After years of spats and recriminations, BT and Sky have called a truce and agreed a new two-way content deal which will allow Sky customers to add BT Sport to their Sky account and gives BT TV customers access to all of Sky’s channels.
Here’s our round-up of answers to some of the questions you’ve been asking:
No, its not a typo. The deal probably won’t come into effect for at least another year – it seems both firms need time to implement some platform and back office changes.
That said, it’s likely that if they can get things up and running sooner they’ll do so.
What will I be able to watch and where?
Sky customers who add BT Sport to their Sky subscription will be able to watch on their set top box and via Sky Go.
BT TV customers who sign up to a NOW TV pass through BT will be able to watch via the NOW TV app on tablets and smart TVs, as well on their BT set top box.
BT Sport will also be available as an app on NOW TV boxes, giving customers who receive the channel with BT Broadband an easy way to watch on their TVs.
NOW TV customers will also be able to buy BT Sport as part of its sports passes.
For the first time, BT customers will be able to watch Sky One and Sky Atlantic, giving them access to shows such as The Flash, Game of Thrones and Tin Star.
Sky customers will be able to watch BT’s growing range of sports content, including the Champions League, Australian Cricket and the Premier League games Sky Sports doesn’t offer.
BT is keeping its US drama channel, AMC, as an exclusive for its own customers, including those Sky households who sign up to the BT Sport pack directly with BT.
This has a potential read-across for any Virgin Media customers hoping the channel will be popping up on their platform anytime soon – if BT didn’t feel the need to wholesale it to Sky, it seems less likely they’ll be supplying it to Virgin anytime soon.
I’m a Sky user, will I get 4K BT Sport?
No, the deal doesn’t include 4K versions of any channel. BT Sport 4K will remain exclusive to BT TV.
Being able to advertise that customers can watch top shows on Sky Atlantic will be a big bonus for BT.
While the firm is technically reselling NOW TV on behalf of Sky, rather than having a wholesale deal to carry the channels in their EPG, most customers aren’t going to care about the legal and technical differences.
What matters is that shows such as West World will be available on their BT box and bill.
Some Virgin Media users have been getting excited about this line in the Sky press release
“UK consumers will have even more ways to watch great Sky entertainment content with our leading portfolio of channels – Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living – available on all major Pay-TV platforms for the first time.”
which they’re reading as implying Sky Atlantic may come to their platform but Sky tell us there are “currently” no plans for this to happen.
Who do I pay?
Today’s deal means Sky customers will be able to add BT Sport to their existing Sky subscription for the first time, instead of having to sign up separately with BT.
BT customers will be able to add NOW TV to their existing BT TV subscription, just as they can with Netflix, and pay on a single bill.
Can I record?
Sky customers will be able to record BT Sport content on their set top boxes but it seems unlikely BT customers will be able to record as NOW TV is a streaming service.
While live versions of Sky’s channels will be available, they’ll only exist inside the NOW TV app, not in the BT TV EPG.
However, every programme will be available on-demand so those who don’t want to watch live can still stay up to date their favourite shows.
While some will see this as BT caving in to its larger rival, the fact it’s holding back AMC and has struck a deal which includes Sky Atlantic, a channel not currently available on TalkTalk and Virgin Media, suggests this is a truly mutual agreement rather than a shotgun wedding.
BT has bolstered its platform’s competitiveness by boosting the amount of top content available.
Meanwhile Sky no longer needs to direct customers wanting content it doesn’t have, including rights it’s lost to BT, to a rival which then seeks to tempt them to switch platforms or broadband providers with various deals.
Virgin Media. The cable firm currently makes a lot out of being the only place to get BT Sport and Sky Sports on the same bill. That boast will no longer be true from 2019.