Dan Howdle | September 19th, 2023
Sky Sports is the leading sports TV subscription service in the UK. Launched 30 years ago, it has evolved and changed over the years and now shows a vast amount of sport that you cannot see anywhere else, including the exclusive rights to a huge range of top sporting events around the world, from football to golf, to F1 and even darts.
Sky Sports is, unsurprisingly, not cheap, but you do get a lot for your money. It is available via a Sky TV package, as a NOW TV membership, or as a bolt-on with various other TV providers, including Virgin Media and BT TV. In this guide, we take a detailed look at everything that’s included in Sky Sports, along with the best – and most affordable – ways to get it.
Sky Sports is a paid-for TV package comprising 11 channels devoted purely to sport; from football and cricket to Formula 1 and horse racing. It is available on a long contract as part of a TV subscription bundle, or as a monthly add-on that you can cancel when you wish.
Sky Sports is available as part of a Sky TV subscription, and also with a number of other TV providers, including BT and Virgin Media. You can also watch it via NOW TV – Sky’s little sibling streaming service – on a monthly or daily subscription.
As well as watching Sky Sports directly on your TV, you can watch it via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or games console. If you want to watch on a Mac or a PC, you will need to download the Sky Sports desktop video player.
The Sky Sports app comes free with any Sky Sports subscription, and also provides live scores, news feeds and fixture results, as well as the option to watch your Sky Sports subscription live both at home or when you are out.
If you choose to buy a NOW TV Sports Membership, you can watch it on any device that supports the NOW TV app, from a smart TV to a mobile phone – plus there is the added bonus that there is no requirement for a Sky satellite dish to be bolted onto your property.
Sky Sports is not cheap, regardless of how you get it. The smallest amount you can pay to watch it is the price of a drink at your local pub – go there and watch it if you want to see a specific Sky-screened sporting event and your local is showing it.
The second-cheapest is the £10 daypass on NOW TV, provided you just want it for a day. If you want it for a month, this then becomes the most expensive way to watch it. It's good if you just want to watch the odd event, though. The one day membership gives you access to all 11 Sky Sports channels for 24 hours.
If you are looking for a monthly membership, the cheapest way to get Sky Sports is with Sky TV, where it costs around £20 a month on a rolling monthly contract. This works out as the most affordable option if you are likely to be watching Sky Sports regularly. Sky puts all its customers on an 18-month contract, so make sure you’re happy to be tied in.
|Sky Sky Glass + Entertainment + Sports + Netflix
|£34 per month
|Sky Sky Stream + Sports + Netflix
|£37 per month
|Sky Sky Stream + Entertainment + Netflix + Sports + Cinema
|£45 per month
|NOW Brilliant Broadband + Sky Sports
|£49.99 per month
|NOW Super Fibre + Sky Sports
|£52.99 per month
|NOW Fab Fibre + Sky Sports
|£52.99 per month
|Sky Stream + Entertainment + Sports + Netflix + Superfast
|£55 per month
|Sky Sky Stream + Entertainment + Sports + Netflix + Ultrafast
|£59 per month
|Sky Stream + Entertainment + Sports + Cinema + Netflix + Superfast
|£63 per month
|Virgin Media Bigger Combo Bundle + Sports
|£65 per month
As mentioned, Sky Sports offers coverage of a vast range of live sports, but also offers documentaries, features, news and interviews as well as replays of previous events. But the question is, can you watch the sport that you are interested in? To help you decide, we’ve summarised what’s on offer on all the channels.
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Sky Sports is not exclusive to Sky TV customers – it is also available with many other subscription TV services as either a bolt-on or as part of a package.
To get Sky Sports with Sky, you can choose to have it in a bundle with Sky TV, or add it on as an extra. It is cheaper to take it in a bundle, and either way it comes on an 18-month contract. By signing up to Sky, you will also get free access to the Sky Sports app as well as Sky Go, meaning you can watch your favourite sports when you are away from home.
BT offers customers its Big Sport bundle, which comes both with TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport) and a NOW TV Sports membership, giving you the full monty of sport TV in one package. Alternatively, you can choose to bolt on NOW TV Sport to your basic BT TV package. This works out more expensive, but as it is on a rolling monthly contract, you can choose to cancel at any point.
As with BT, you can choose a pre-built Virgin Media bundle, such as the Bigger Bundle + Sports, which comes with both Sky Sports and TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport), or you can just add Sky Sports to your chosen bundle. Either way, you are tied to an 18-month contract. It’s also worth noting that to get Sky Sports in HD with Virgin Media will cost you an extra £7 per month, unless you pay top whack for the Ultimate Volt bundle, which comes with HD as standard.
NOW TV is the obvious alternative to getting Sky Sports with Sky TV. NOW TV offers Sky Sports on both a monthly or a daily subscription. Both options work out expensive, but on the upside, you aren’t tied into a long contract. Just be aware that NOW TV month memberships roll on automatically unless you cancel. Day memberships do not roll on.
You can watch a NOW TV subscription via the NOW TV app on a Smart TV, on a games console, via a streaming stick (such as Roku), via the web or even on your phone or tablet. If you want to watch Sky Sports in HD, you will need to pay extra for the NOW TV Boost, which allows you to watch in HD and increases the number of devices you can watch on at once from one to three.
If you don’t fancy forking out for a Sky Sports subscription, there are other ways to watch sporting action on your TV. The main one of which is TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport), which, unlike Sky, has exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League. If you want to make sure you have access to all the top-flight sport, you will have to sign up for both TNT Sports and Sky Sport.
For football fans, BT Sport is a great option as it has exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League, the Emirates FA Cup, the UEFA Europa League, and also 52 Premier League matches that are not shown on Sky Sports. It is also the go-to place for Rugby Union fans, showing Premiership Rugby along with the European Champions Cup and the European Challenge Cup.
NOW TV is Sky’s little sibling – offering the best of Sky but without the lengthy commitment. You can get access to all Sky Sports channels on a rolling monthly contract or a one-day membership should you want to watch a specific event. As a bonus, this option also gives you access to five Sky Sports channels (including Premier League) on your mobile for a month.
Freesports is the new sports specialist channel from Freeview – available without any subscription fee. It shows thousands of highlights from sporting events in the UK and around the world, including football, rugby league, hockey, tennis, motorsports, showjumping and more.
Sky Sports starts at around the £20 mark if purchased with Sky TV. If you buy it through NOW TV, it is considerably more expensive, costing around £30 plus on a rolling monthly contract, or even more if you want it in HD.
Yes, you can buy either the Sports Day or Sports Month membership with NOW TV, both if which come without a contract.
Yes. If you sign up for Sky Sports with Sky or with another provider such as Virgin Media, you can watch it on your smartphone via the Sky Sports app.
Yes. If you buy Sky Sports as part of a Sky TV bundle, it comes in HD as standard. If you buy Sky Sports through NOW TV however, you will also have to buy the NOW TV Boost, which comes with an additional monthly fee.
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