For TV football fans, life has never been better. Thanks to dedicated sports services it’s possible to get coverage of almost every major series - Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Serie A, Bundesliga… you name it.
Of course, knowing how to watch them isn't so easy. You can get a smattering of live football on terrestrial TV, but for the most part, football coverage is shared between two competing services: Sky Sports and BT Sport.
Some leagues, including the Premier League, are split between both, but each also has their own exclusives. BT Sport, for example, is the only place to watch the Champions League, while Sky Sports shows more than 100 Football League matches a season.
Read on and we'll tell you which TV sports service you need to watch each championship, and reveal the many ways to sign up for Sky Sports and BT Sport.
What football can I watch on TV?
|League||Where to watch it|
|Premier League||Sky Sports, BT Sport|
|Champions League||BT Sport|
|Europa League||BT Sport|
|League One||Sky Sports|
|League Two||Sky Sports|
|FA Cup||Sky Sports, BT Sport|
|Capital One Cup||Sky Sports|
|FA Women's Super League||BT Sport|
|Scottish Football||Sky Sports, BT Sport|
|National League||BT Sport|
|League Cup||BT Sport|
|International Champions Cup||Sky Sports|
|Serie A||BT Sport|
|La Liga||Sky Sports, BT Sport|
|Ligue 1||BT Sport|
|Copa Del Rey||Sky Sports|
How do I watch the Premier League?
The job of broadcasting Premier League matches is spread out over both Sky Sports and BT Sport. This season, Sky Sports will handle 126 games, and BT Sport is taking 42.
So, if you want to watch every single televised match of the League this year, you'll need a package that gives you both BT Sport and Sky Sports. Luckily, Sky Sports is showing its exclusive Premier League games on the Sky Sports 1 channel, which widens your options a little.
You can sign up to a TV provider that gives you both BT Sport and Sky Sports 1 - like Virgin Media, BT, or even Sky TV if you have BT broadband. Watch out though, as this can get pretty expensive, potentially up to £100 a month if you go for a chunky TV package.
Sky Sports has the biggest chunk of Premier League games, so that's what major football fans will want. It's available on Sky TV, TalkTalk TV, Now TV, and Virgin Media - plus BT TV customers can get Sky Sports 1 and 2 as a bolt-on.
The cheapest way of watching any Premier League matches by far is to sign up to a BT TV package. This'll give you the BT Sport suite absolutely free. Plus you can add Sky Sports 1 and 2 as a bolt-on, though it'll cost you £22-£27 a month. If you've got broadband from BT, but not BT TV, you're in luck - BT Sport is available to you for just £5 a month.
If you only plan on watching a handful of matches on Sky Sports, take a look at Now TV's Sports Passes. These will let you watch as much Sky Sports as you want for either 30 days, a week, or a day.
The 2016/17 season kicks off on Sky Sports, 12.30pm on 13 August, with Hull City v Leicester City - so make sure you've got Sky Sports on your telly if you want to catch that.
Can I watch football online?
Yes, you can absolutely watch football matches on your computer, tablet, or even smartphone.
With a Sky Sports subscription, you can watch all available channels live on the Sky Sports website, as well as via the iOS or Android app. You're also able to watch live on the website if you have a Now TV Sports Pass. Just log in with the Sky ID you were given when you signed up.
If you have Sky TV, you'll find all your subscribed channels on Sky Go too - again, just log in with your Sky ID.
BT Sport also lets you stream all your subscribed channels online on its website - just log in with your BT ID, which you'll be given when you first sign up.
You'll also find it on BT TV Everywhere, provided you have BT TV with an Everywhere bolt-on.
How do I get Sky Sports?
Sky Sports has more Premier League matches than any other channel, plus coverage of loads of other footie championships too. Many people assume that you need and Sky to get Sky Sports, but that isn't the case. You can also get the channels from other providers, including TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk) and Virgin Media (www.VirginMedia.com). Here are some of your options:
Sky - Sky Sports can be added to any Sky TV package. Alternatively, you can sign up to the Sky Sports bundle, which gives you all seven Sky Sports channels, as well as Sky's main entertainment channels - including Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts. Compare Sky TV deals here.
TalkTalk - Sky Sports is available as an add-on 'Boost' for TalkTalk TV. It adds an additional monthly subscription charge, but unlike other providers the contract rolls monthly, so you can cancel at any time if you want to save some cash. Compare TalkTalk TV deals here.
Virgin Media - You can get the full Sky Sports suite of channels added to any Virgin Media package for an additional monthly charge. It's also included as standard in the Big Kahuna Sports and VIP bundles. Compare Virgin Media TV deals here.
BT - Unlike the other providers, you can only get Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 with BT Sport, but fortunately both show plenty of football! You'll need a BT Infinity fibre optic broadband package to watch them though. Compare BT Infinity deals here.
For full information about Sky Sports, check out our complete guide.
How do I get BT Sport?
BT Sport shows plenty of football, with some of the biggest Premier League matches, and exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. As with Sky Sports, there are quite a few ways to get it, including Virgin Media and Sky. Unfortunately, TalkTalk does not currently offer BT Sport.
BT TV - If you get any BT TV package, you'll get the full BT Sport pack included. That gives you every BT Sport channel, including ESPN, which you can watch on TV, online, and via the BT Sport smartphone app. If you have a flash new 4K TV, you can also watch the UK's first ultra-HD channel BT Sport Ultra if you sign up to BT's Total Entertainment package.
BT Broadband (no TV) - If you get broadband from BT but don't sign up to TV, you can still watch BT Sport on your computer or phone for an extra £5 per month.
Virgin Media - BT Sport can be added onto any Virgin Media package. Want it bundled in? Look for options with the TV XL package - it's in there as standard. If you subscribe to BT Sport via Virgin Media, you can also watch on computer or phone via the Virgin TV Anywhere service.
Sky - If you're a Sky TV subscriber, you can sign up to BT Sport for an additional monthly fee. If you're thinking of switching to Sky, bear in mind that you can't get it pre-bundled with any package, so you should get it after you're all set up.
For more information about what's on BT Sport, and the cheapest ways to get it, check out our exclusive guide.