Want to watch The Ashes? Here's how to get BT Sport for free
Cricket’s greatest rivalry will be renewed once more this Thursday (23 November) as England and Australia meet in Brisbane for the first Test of the 2017/18 Ashes series.
By now you’ll have debated who should open the batting alongside Alastair Cook, discussed the merits of taking – or not taking – arguably England’s most exciting player Ben Stokes, and maybe even felt bad for hoping Mitchell Starc injures himself by stepping on a ball in the warm up, but have you thought about how you’re actually going to watch it all?
There’s only one place you can watch the Ashes this winter – BT Sport – so it becomes more about how to get BT Sport if you don’t already have it. Let’s start with how you can get BT Sport for free and then work through a few ways in which, unfortunately, you will have to actually pay to get it.
EE customers get the BT Sport app for free
If you’re an EE mobile customer and – this is important – haven’t previously benefited from a free BT Sport offer, you can claim three months’ free BT Sport pretty easily. Text SPORT to 150, register for a BT ID then download the BT Sport app and hey presto.
Unlike a puppy this freebie is not for life, it’s just for three months. But that’s long enough to take both the Test series and the One Day Internationals in January.
Just to be clear, you have to have a phone or tablet on a pay monthly 4GEE plan or a SIM-only plan from EE to get BT Sport this way.
And this won’t allow you to watch BT Sport on your TV, it’ll just be on your phone or tablet (wherever your EE SIM card is). But with the first Test starting at midnight, watching in bed with a pair of headphones might not be a bad option.
If you’re thinking of joining EE, just add BT Sport to your basket as an extra after you’ve picked your phone, tablet or SIM plan. After three months, access to the BT Sport app will cost you £5 a month.
You can also get free BT Sport if you're a BT Mobile customer. You have to be signed up to at least a 6GB smartphone or SIM-only plan (double data offers on 3GB plans don't count) or order one.
BT is offering 18 months' free BT Sport for Black Friday
Another way of getting BT Sport for free in time for the Ashes is by taking advantage of one of BT’s Black Friday broadband deals. These run until 27 November and give you free BT Sport for 18 months – the entire length of the broadband contract.
The cheapest package is BT’s basic Unlimited Broadband, which gives you speeds up to 17Mbps for £23.99 a month plus a one-off £9.99 router fee. Thanks to Black Friday there is currently no set-up fee and BT will give you a £50 reward card, as well as an extra £50 cashback if you buy through Cable.co.uk.
There is up to £175 cashback on offer with a range of fibre deals and TV bundles, but we won’t be going into all of those here. The point is that all of these come with free BT Sport for 18 months, so you’ll be able to watch a lot more sport even after the series ends in glory/abject failure (delete as appropriate).
If you just take broadband, you’ll get access to the BT Sport app to watch on your mobile or tablet – but will be able to stream to your TV if you have Chromecast or Apple TV. To watch BT Sport through BT TV you’ll need to go for a TV bundle.
If you’re a Sky TV customer, there are two ways to get BT Sport for free and watch through your Sky box, although one of them really isn’t free at all.
The first is to switch your broadband to BT and take advantage of one the Black Friday deals we’ve already mentioned – as long as you do it before 27 November. The second and not-really-free way is to take up BT’s offer of three months’ free BT Sport for Sky TV customers.
It's free, but it's not free, you see?
See, it sounds free because you don’t pay a monthly fee for the first three months. But you do have to pay a £20 activation fee and then after three months it’s £25.99 a month for the rest of a 12-month contract. So it’s not really free at all.
You may not want to sign up to a new broadband contract just to get BT Sport, of course. If you’re already on the Max TV package with BT you can simply add BT Sport for free. For customers on any other BT TV package, it’s £3.50 a month.
If you’re on Virgin Media, BT Sport is free with the Full House and VIP TV bundles, and can be added to any other TV package for £18 a month.
Plusnet gives you BT Sport 1 for free with its TV subscriptions and will let you upgrade to the complete BT Sport package for £5 a month. This allows you to watch through your YouView box as well as on the app.
If you’re a TalkTalk customer you can get BT Sport ‘free for three months’ in the same it’s-not-really-free way as Sky customers – no monthly fee for three months, then £25.99 after that for the rest of the 12-month contract, plus a £20 activation fee.
Or if you don’t want to be tied into a long contract you can get a one-month rolling contract, although it’s not cheap. You pay £25.99 a month plus a £35 activation fee, but can cancel at any time.
So, those are your options. Make your choice, grab a coffee and get ready for an all-nighter on Thursday. And just hope your side doesn’t start as badly as poor old Steve Harmison did back in 2006.
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