Sky fired the first salvo in what is going to be an interesting battle with BT to capture the attention of sports and specifically football fans by making Sky Sports 1 free on the first day of the new Premier League season, Saturday 17 August. However, BT has responded, saying that its BT Sport channels are free every day of the year.
A BT spokesman contacted Pocket-lint, reminding readers that its new line-up, to start broadcasting on 1 August, comes at no extra charge to BT Infinity customers. "BT Sport is free every day of the season for BT broadband customers, not just free for one day," the company claims.
"We are pleased to see that our arrival has prompted Sky to attempt to raise its game, but this stunt does not disguise the fact that this season they have fewer top pick matches.
"BT Sport customers will enjoy 38 live Barclays Premier League matches this season, including almost half of the top picks, so fans have a real choice of quality live sport on Saturdays for the first time in Premier League history. We think that means BT Sport is an essential part of the mix for sports fans."
The comment also comes on the back of a report which says some BT Vision customers will stop receiving Sky Sports when the BT Sport service starts, unless they subscribe to BT Infinity broadband.
Thanks to the new channels taking the digital terrestrial television slots previously occupied by Sky Sports 1 and 2, these stations will need to be delivered by the internet instead. BT will be able to stream the live broadcasts to some using traditional copper wire broadband thanks to "new technology" but some may not be able to access the service at all.
For those, BT will waive any fees it would charge for BT Sport (it's only free to Infinity customers) and give them six months' free broadband. BT says this also applies to very few of its BT Vision subscribers.