BT Vision subscribers to lose Sky Sports if they don't take Infinity broadband

Many BT Vision subscribers are angry that they will lose access to Sky Sports when the communications and broadcaster launches its own BT Sport channels from 1 August. Because BT Sport will be filling the digital terrestrial television channel slots that Sky Sports 1 and 2 has held for the past three years, the last stations will be shifting to internet streaming only.

That means most customers without BT's high-bandwidth Infinity fibre optic broadband service will no longer be able to receive the Sky channels. BT claims that through using "new technology" some customers will be able to received versions of the channels through their copper wire internet connections, but many others just won't have the capabilities at all.

BT is therefore urging BT Vision customers who still want to subscribe to Sky Sports as well as receive the new BT Sport services from the start of August to upgarde to BT Infinity. It has sent out letters to those who will be affected, offering an upgrade.

Those customers who cannot get the Infinity service because there is currently no fibre optic cable in their areas, or cannot receive the alternatives through their existing broadband connection are being offered BT Sport for free. It is usually free to Infinity customers. They will also get six month of free broadband.

The Guardian reports that an estimated 15,000 customers are affected, half of the number of BT Vision customers believed to also subscribe to Sky Sports.

"Launching a new sports channel and extra live TV channels has meant we have had to make some changes to the way we deliver different programming," a spokeswoman for BT told the newspaper. "Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 will now be delivered over our Infinity fibre-based broadband."