I read in the paper that Sky Sports will work different soon, with loads of new channels. What exactly are these new channels, how do I get them, and will I have to pay more than I do now?
Paul, via email
Sky Sports has undergone a pretty dramatic revamp. Gone are the old channels Sky Sports 1 - 5 - they've been replaced by new services that cover specific sports.
Read on, and I'll explain what each channel now shows, and what this means for Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media and Now TV customers.
What new Sky Sports channels are there?
There are now 10 Sky Sports channels. They are:
- Sky Sports Main Event - shows the highest-profile events across multiple sports, including big Premier League games, golf, F1 and more
- Sky Sports Premier League - exactly as it sounds, this is the main channel for Sky's Premier League coverage.
- Sky Sports Football - shows EFL, the EFL Cup, La Liga, SPFL, UEFA qualifying games and Nations League
- Sky Sports Cricket - shows ECB matches, ICC world tournaments, England away matches (but not the Ashes - that's on BT Sport) and T20 tournaments
- Sky Sports Golf - shows the Majors, the Ryder Cup, European Tours and more
- Sky Sports F1 - shows every single race in the F1 calendar, including qualifying and practice
- Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Arena - these two channels (bundled together) cover Rugby Union, Rugby League, Tennis, Boxing, Darts, NFL, WWE, GAA and more. Basically, all the other sports that don't fit on the other channels.
- Sky Sports News - 24-hour news about Sport. Pretty much the same as the old Sky Sports News HQ.
- Sky Sports Mix - available for free to all Sky customers, and Virgin Media customers with Mix TV and above. Shows a variety of sports - think of it as a 'try before you buy' service.
How is Sky Sports changing across TV services?
You can get Sky Sports from almost every provider, so naturally people are curious as to how their package will change. The biggest differences are hitting Sky and BT, with TalkTalk and Virgin Media pretty much carrying on as usual.
From 18 July 2017, Sky Sports will be sold in a different way on Sky itself. Rather than getting a big bundle of everything, you'll be able to choose specific channels instead. Or you can still get everything in a big bundle if you want.
Four options are available now:
- One Sky Sports channel
- Two Sky Sports channels
- Three Sky Sports channels
- The Complete Sky Sports bundle - including Sky Sports Main Event
The idea is to make things more flexible and - potentially - cheaper. For example, if you only really care about Premier League, you can just get Sky Sports Premier League. Alternatively, if you loved, say, F1 and golf, you can get Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports F1 only.
Will Sky Sports become more expensive on Sky?
No - it may actually be cheaper depending on what you want.
- A single channel is £18 a month.
- Two channels is £22 a month
- Three channels is £26 a month
- All Sky Sports channels is £28 per month.
When doing your sums, it's worth noting that however many Sky Sports channels you sign up for you will need to pay an extra £6 per month to get Sky Sports in HD.
Also, bear in mind that Sky Sports isn't available as a standalone service - you also need entertainment channels. There are often special offers that dramatically reduce the price of bundles, so use our comparison service to see what the best deal right now is.
BT will continue to get two Sky channels - Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Main Event Extra. These replace the previous channels Sky Sports 1 and 2 and, as before, be available to customers taking BT Superfast Fibre and a BT TV package.
Both channels will show plenty of Premier League action, so between them and BT Sport, there's still plenty for football fans to sink their teeth into.
If you're already a customer, your service will change on 18 July, but new customers won't be able to sign up for Sky Sports until 21 July 2017.
Will Sky Sports get more expensive on BT Sport?
Unfortunately, there will be an increase in price from 4 August 2017. The Sky Sports add-on will go up from £22 to £27 in standard definition, and £27 to £33.50 in high definition.
TalkTalk will continue to sell a Sky Sports Boost, which contains the full suite of new Sky Sports channels. There's no way to get individual channels - it's everything or nothing - but it remains one of the more flexible ways to get Sky Sports. As before, the Sky Sports Boost operates on a rolling monthly basis - so you can cancel or reactivate it at any time.
Will Sky Sports get more expensive on TalkTalk?
There is no change in price. The Sky Sports Boost will remain at the same price on TalkTalk - £34 a month.
Virgin Media is getting all the new Sky Sports channels, but there's no change to how it sells it. You can sign up for a complete bundle of everything only - no individual channels are available.
That's good because it means Virgin Media remains the only way to pay for the full Sky Sports and BT Sport services together.
Will Sky Sports get more expensive on Virgin Media?
No change here. The new Sky Sports add-on costs the same as it does now - £31.75 a month.
As you'd expect, all the new Sky Sports channels will be available through NOW TV. That said, despite being owned by Sky, it won't sell access to individual channels. Instead it'll work the same as it does now - you can get a day, week or month pass to the full Sky Sports suite.
Will Sky Sports get more expensive on Now TV?
The NOW TV Sports passes and broadband bundles are now: £7.99 for day pass, £12.99 for a week pass and £33.99 for the whole month. You can also buy a Mobile Month Pass for £5.99 per month.