Sky Sports deals – what you need to know
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Friday, June 7th 2019
In this guide
- What is Sky Sports?
- What does Sky Sports offer?
- How to get Sky Sports
- What else does Sky offer?
- Frequently asked questions
Sky Sports has been around since 1990 and has had a major impact on sport itself as well as the way we watch it. We often hear that armchair fans have never had it so good, but what exactly does Sky Sports offer these days and what is the best way to go about getting it? Those are the questions we’ll try to answer for you.
What is Sky Sports?
Sky Sports is a collection of premium sports channels showing sporting events that often can’t be viewed on any other channel. The channels are available as a subscription service, added on to a Sky TV service or indeed BT TV, Virgin Media TV or TalkTalk TV. It’s also available on a no-contract basis via NOW TV and as a mobile app.
What does Sky Sports offer?
Sky Sports is no longer the only player in town thanks to the emergence of BT Sport in recent years, so what is Sky Sports doing about it? What channels does it have and what other features are there?
Eight premium sports channels3>
Sky TV customers adding Sky Sports to their package can choose to add just one channel – there are five dedicated to a particular sport or competition – or to get the complete collection. These are the channels you can only get by subscribing to Sky Sports.
- Sky Sports Main Event – The Main Event channel showcases the best of what’s happening from across Sky Sports’ other channels and is a reliable place to find all the big games.
- Sky Sports Premier League – A dedicated channel showing only Premier League football. Sky is showing 126 live matches in the 2018/19 season (124 of them in 4K) and will show 128 per season from 2019/20 onwards.
- Sky Sports Football – This channel covers all football that isn’t the Premier League – including 138 EFL games and the 15 EFL play-off matches, the EFL Cup, EFL Trophy, international friendlies, the UEFA Nations League and the MLS.
- Sky Sports Cricket – A dedicated cricket channel showing exclusive coverage of England’s home tests, ODIs and T20s, the ICC Cricket World Cup and Women’s World Cup, the County Championship, One-Day Cup, T20 Blast, Women’s Super League, Caribbean Premier League and more.
- Sky Sports F1 – After years of free-to-air coverage on the BBC and Channel 4, Sky is now the only place to watch live Formula 1 races on British TV. All races are available to watch in 4K and Sky makes its race highlights and live coverage of the British Grand Prix available free on Channel 4.
- Sky Sports Golf – Sky Sports Golf shows live golf events every week of the year, including The Open, the US Open and the Ryder Cup as well as the PGA and European tours.
- Sky Sports Action and Arena – These two channels cover a host of sports including rugby union, rugby league, netball, wrestling, basketball, darts, tennis, boxing, swimming and motorsports.
There are also three Sky Sports channels that are made available to everyone with Sky Entertainment, Sky’s basic TV package. You don’t need a separate Sky Sports subscription in order to watch them. These channels are also included in Virgin Media’s Mix, Full House and VIP packages.
- Sky Sports Mix – Sky Sports Mix gives non-Sky Sports subscribers the chance to sample a bit of what they’re missing, showing a wide range of live sporting events mixed in with interviews and documentaries.
- Sky Sports News – Sky Sports News is a 24-hour news channel bringing you breaking stories from the sporting world. It’s also the home of Soccer Saturday and is known for its in-depth coverage of football’s transfer windows.
- Sky Sports Racing – Sky Sports Racing is the new name for At The Races. Launched in January 2019, the channel broadcasts hundreds of fixtures across the year, including meetings from Ascot, Chester and Bangor-on-Dee, more than 200 French fixtures, 88 fixtures from the Hong Kong Jockey CLub and the Kentucky Derby.
Watch in HD as standard
All of the Sky Sports channels come in HD as standard. That might not sound like much but it’s not the case for the majority of channels on Sky Entertainment – to watch Sky Atlantic in HD for example, you need to add the HD pack for an additional monthly fee.
Watch Sky Sports in Ultra HD
The majority of Sky’s live Premier League matches, all F1 races and certain other sporting events are available to watch in Ultra HD – but in order to do this you need not only the right equipment but also to be subscribed to the right packages with Sky.
Obviously you’ll need a 4K TV. You’ll also need the Sky Entertainment package and Sky Sports, as well as Sky Q Experience (the new name for Multiroom) and a 2TB Sky Q box. This isn’t the standard box that comes with Sky Entertainment, it’s a higher spec model and it comes with a £75 set-up fee.
Sky Sports on mobile
Sky Sports subscribers can watch on the go as well as at home – and there’s a couple of different ways of doing this. The Sky Sports channels are available via the Sky Go app as well as the Sky Sports app.
How to get Sky Sports
Getting Sky Sports is primarily associated with having Sky TV, but that’s not the only way of getting the service. Customers of other TV providers can also add Sky Sports to their package and there are no-contract and mobile options, too.
Sky Sports on Sky TV
Customers with the basic Sky Entertainment package can add a single Sky Sports channel for a standard monthly price, or all of the Sky Sports channels for an extra few pounds. Sky Sports comes with an 18-month minimum term contract and if you’re an existing Sky TV customer, you’ll be setting off a new minimum term for your Sky TV contract as well.
Sky Sports on Virgin Media TV
Three Sky Sports channels are available to all Virgin TV customers on the Mix package or above – Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Racing. The full Sky Sports package is included in the Full House Sports TV bundle and the VIP bundle. Virgin customers who don’t have Sky Sports included in their package can choose to add it for an additional monthly fee.
Sky Sports on BT TV
Right now you can’t get the full Sky Sports channel line-up on BT TV, although that should be happening soon. For now, BT TV customers can pay to watch Sky Sports Main Event, which shows the big Premier League matches and the best of other sports, plus a channel called Sky Sports Extra, which shows some of the Premier League games not broadcast on Main Event.
Sky Sports on TalkTalk TV
You don’t get any Sky Sports channels as standard with TalkTalk’s TV packages but you can add a Sky Sports Boost, although it’s not cheap. This gives you the eight premium Sky Sports channels – Main Event, Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1, Action and Arena – but there doesn’t appear to be any way of watching Sky Sports News, Mix or Racing on TalkTalk TV.
NOW TV Sky Sports Pass
The NOW TV Sky Sports Pass gives you access to all 11 Sky Sports channels without the commitment of a long contract. You can choose a month pass, which does automatically renew after a month if you don’t cancel. Or you can buy a day pass that simply expires after 24 hours or a week pass that lasts seven days.
NOW TV also offers the Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass, which gives you access to five Sky Sports channels – Premier League, Action, Arena, Racing and Sky Sports News – on your mobile. Again, it renews automatically after a month but you can cancel whenever you like.
Occasionally, NOW TV offers deals that allow you to save money in the long run by paying for multiple months of the Sky Sports Month Pass upfront. One example is the F1 Season Ticket, which offers nine months of Sky Sports for a one-off payment.
Sky Sports Mobile TV from Vodafone
Vodafone’s Red Entertainment plans come with your choice of four entertainment subscriptions, one of which is Sky Sports Mobile. This is similar to NOW TV’s Mobile Month Pass but there’s no Racing channel – you get Action, Arena, Premier League, Sky Sports News and for some reason Sky News.
What else does Sky offer?
Sky offers much more than Sky Sports – there’s a whole host of add-ons and other services available. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s what.
- Broadband – Sky offers standard broadband with average speeds of 11Mbps and fibre broadband with average speeds of 63Mbps. Unlike other providers it currently offers nothing in the middle.
- Ultimate On Demand – This combines Netflix and Sky Box Sets, putting them both on your Sky TV bill. There’s more than 500 box sets to binge on, plus new stuff from Netflix all the time.
- Kids Pack – Sky’s Kids Pack offers more than 5,000 episodes of top kids shows available on demand, plus 11 dedicated TV channels including Disney XD, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel.
- HD Pack – Sky Entertainment comes with only a handful of HD channels so if you want to watch your favourite Sky Atlantic or Sky One show in HD you’ll need to add the HD pack to your order.
- Sky Mobile – Sky Mobile has a number of interesting features, such as rolling your data into an online piggybank that you store for up to three years and dip into whenever you like.
- Sky Go – Sky Go is an app that lets you watch whatever is included in your Sky TV subscription, anywhere you like. This includes Sky Sports and Sky Cinema if you’ve signed up to them.
- Spotify – Spotify is integrated into the Sky Q box so you can easily play your music through your telly. If you’re not already a Spotify customer then you get three months free when you sign up to Sky.
- Sky Q experience – The new name for Sky Multiroom, this gives you Sky Q Mini boxes so you can watch on different TVs around the house. This is necessary alongside a Sky Q 2TB box if you want to watch Sky TV in Ultra HD.
Frequently asked questions
How do you cancel Sky Sports?
If you are only subscribed to one Sky Sports channel then you can cancel whenever you like. But if you have the complete channel set then you are tied in for 18 months and if you want to leave early you’ll probably be faced with a sizeable cancellation fee. You can do this by calling Sky customer services or using the live chat function on the Sky website.
How many games can I record on Sky Q?
The 1TB Sky Q box that comes with Sky TV subscriptions as standard allows you to record three channels while watching a fourth live, and you can store up to 500 hours of programming. That’s quite a few games and three at any one time, assuming they’re all being shown on different channels.
If you upgrade to the Sky Q 2TB box you can record six shows while watching a seventh and store up to 1,000 hours of programming.
Why can’t I order Sky+ online?
Sky stopped selling Sky+ boxes in 2016, focussing on its next generation box Sky Q instead. But Sky+ HD boxes are still supported by Sky and there are still people using them all over the country.
Can I get Sky Sports without a TV subscription?
Yes – you can get a Sky Sports day, week or month pass from NOW TV. This doesn’t require you to have any sort of TV subscription and, although the month pass automatically renews at the end of the month, you can cancel whenever you like.
Can you get BT Sport on Sky Q?
Yes, but at the moment you need to go to BT to get it. The BT Sport channels are available on a 12-month contract and also on a one-month rolling contract, plus an upfront fee. You’ll have to pay extra to watch in HD.
Is Sky Sports Mix free on BT TV?
No, there are no Sky Sports channels included as standard with BT TV packages. BT TV customers can pay extra to add Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Extra to their subscription.
Can I get Sky Sports News on Freeview?
No, Sky Sports News is not a Freeview channel. It’s included in the basic Sky Entertainment TV service and in Virgin’s Mix, Full House and VIP bundles.
Can I watch Sky Sports on Amazon Fire Stick?
No, the Amazon Fire Stick does not support any of the ways in which you can watch Sky Sports, such as Sky Go or NOW TV.