A few days ago I looked at the frustrations of Virgin Media customers who face missing out on BT’s new sports channels when they launch today.
While they’re certainly the most voluble group missing out on the channels, they’re not the only one.
YouView customers who purchased their own boxes but have connected them to a BT broadband line also stand to miss out, even when they’re connected to the Infinity fibre broadband BT says is needed to receive the channels.
After several rounds of the channels appearing and disappearing on the EPG in recent weesk, they reappeared overnight alongside entries for BTs new 18 entertainment channels.
But despite BT’s press office last week saying a method for retail YouView users to order the sports channels would “be available until 1st August” and that BT would be emailing customers who registered “from 1st to direct them to the site”, it still isn’t possible to order them.
Calls to BT are met with a firm ‘There’s no way to order these channels for your box’ line.
With just a few hours until the big launch, it doesn’t seem YouView customers who’ve elected to save BT the costs of supplying and supporting a box will be much better off than their Virgin Media counterparts.
As a shareholder in YouView, BT could be thought to have a responsibility to ensure those customers who pay it for broadband can access the channels they’re helping to fund on their set top boxes.
But that doesn’t seem likely to happen in time for tonight’s launch.
And it’s now also looking unlikely that retail box owners who registered long before the July 31st cut-off point will enjoy the free 1 year HD pack available to customers who got their STB from BT or Sky.
There are clearly far more Sky customers than retail box owners, but it does seem somewhat odd to invest in a platform and then treat your rival’s customers better than your own.