We may live in a time where there are more tv channels and methods of streaming available to us than ever before but this can also be tricky to navigate as almost all have some sport but not all sport and figuring out which is which can be both time consuming and very expensive!
Historically Sky Sports dominated the market, particularly for the Premier League games, then came the arrival of BT Sport who tried to move in on the same territory. With Sky Sports not reducing their subscription fees and BT Sport charging for theirs (unless you have some kind of telephone/broadband deal with them), suddenly the price of watching your team doubled. From 2019 it doesn’t get any better. Amazon have now taken a share of the football pie and have won the tv rights to show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years. The online streaming service won the rights to show every game from the first round of midweek fixtures in December and all 10 matches on 26 December as part of a three-year deal. So unless you already pay for Amazon Prime, you will have to subscribe to that as well!
Of course there are a multitude of other fantastic sports available on TV and these can generally be watched for free you can still watch the US Open on the BBC as well as all the action from Wimbledon. Incidentally, Eurosport actually shows the entire tournament for free in Europe – except the UK and Ireland which is a real shame but apparently that has to do with sub-licensing regulations. Get it while you can though as Amazon Prime have just signed a new exclusive deal to air the tournament exclusively on Amazon in the UK for the next five years. It will start airing from 27th August this year and the deal includes live coverage and on-demand match highlights, plus other content to Prime Video members at no additional cost.
The home of Formula 1 is still at Channel 4, as is a substantial amount of horse racing including the Grand National Festival in April. However most of the action is still on At The Races and Racing UK – which you have to pay for. Sky Sports have managed retained the rights to the US Masters for the eighth consecutive year so look out for that next April.
For rugby union fans, live games are a mixed bag. The Six Nations will be on the BBC as usual which is fantastic but the European Heineken and Challenge Cups are generally split between BT Sport and Sky Sports. The bright spot is that if you follow a very specific team and can’t get to the games, you can actually buy a Sky Sports one day pass via Now TV and can catch all the action at a fraction of the subscription price.
So after all of that what have we learned? That you need to pick and choose your subscriptions carefully based on what sports float your boat otherwise you could be seriously out of pocket just to watch a few live matches or days of golf!