As well as being Britain’s most popular broadband provider, BT boasts an impressive suite of flexible TV packages. Here’s everything you need to know, including advice on finding the best broadband and TV deal for you and your household.
BT TV has a lot to recommend it. For starters, BT Sport brings you Premier League football matches, Formula 1, golf majors and many other popular sports from the UK and across the pond.
And because BT TV add-ons operate on a 30-day rolling contract basis, you’ll be able to chop and change your package whenever you want.
You can also add NOW TV Memberships to watch Sky Sports, as well as Sky Original shows on popular channels such as Sky One and Sky Atlantic, plus the full Sky Cinema collection.
BT TV packages
Here’s what each BT TV package has to offer:
- Entertainment – a Netflix Basic plan, plus a NOW Entertainment Membership that includes Sky channels (such as Sky Atlantic and Sky Max), National Geographic, Nickelodeon and many more
- Sport – one of the UK’s most popular sport packages, BT Sport features four dedicated BT Sport channels, along with BoxNation. These channels showcase live Premier League and Europa League games, as well as exclusive UEFA Champions League coverage
- Big Entertainment – this combines a NOW Cinema Membership and NOW Entertainment Membership to give you everything in the Entertainment package, plus all Sky Cinema channels. With award-winning Sky Originals, HBO, more than 300 box sets, and 1000+ movies, you can enjoy endless hours of entertainment
- Big Sport – alongside all BT Sport channels, BT’s Big Sport bundle brings you all Sky Sports channels, courtesy of a NOW Sports Membership, plus Eurosport 1 and 2. Highlights include Premier League and UEFA League games, as well as all Formula 1 races
- VIP – combines everything Big Sport and Big Entertainment have to offer, Netflix is bumped up to a standard plan, and all content is HD-ready
All these come with a YouView set top box, as well as free-to-air channels and AMC (exclusive to BT).
You can only get a BT TV package if you take BT broadband. Luckily, BT has a wide range of ADSL and fibre optic broadband packages, and they’re widely available – though what you can get depends on your area.
Here’s a list of the fibre broadband packages that BT offers:
- Fibre Essential – average speeds of 36Mbps
- Fibre 1 – average speeds of 50Mbps
- Fibre 2 – average speeds of 67Mbps
- Full Fibre 100, 300, 500 and 900 – speeds ranging between 150-900Mbps
Our best BT TV and broadband deals this week
*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.
What can I get from BT TV?
What are flexible TV packages?
Although all BT TV packages are on 24-month contracts, they operate on a flexible basis.
Known as flexible TV packages, these packs of channels can be changed every 30 days during your contract – for example, you can switch from an Entertainment TV package to a Sport one, and vice versa.
As well as the ability to switch your TV package, you can also customise your plan with a variety of add-ons (see below). These can be added and removed every month, so you can upgrade or downgrade your package whenever you want.
BT's range of optional add-ons includes the NOW Sky Sports Membership, BT TV Kids and the NOW Sky Cinema Pass. Moreover, you’ll be able to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix through BT's set top box, too.
What channels can I get with BT TV?
All BT TV packages with over 30 Freeview channels, including BBC (plus HD channels), ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV Be, Channel 4 (plus HD, +1), Channel 5, Dave, E4, Five USA, Quest, CBBC and CBeebies. They also include AMC, which is exclusive to BT.
You can get Sky Atlantic, Sky Max, Sky Showcase, kids channels and Sky Cinema channels, plus a host of other Sky channels, via the NOW Entertainment and NOW Cinema Memberships. These are included in the Entertainment and VIP packages – otherwise, you can get them as add-ons.
As for sports, you can get four BT Sport channels, BoxNation, Eurosport 1 and 2, as well as all 11 Sky Sports channels with a NOW Sports Membership.
A popular option for sports fans, the BT Sport package comes with all four BT Sport channels, plus BoxNation.
The main draw of BT Sport is exclusive coverage of every single UEFA Champions League game. There’s also the Premier League, UFC, WWE, Premiership Rugby and more.
While you need to be a BT broadband customer to get a BT TV package, you can get BT Sport on its own and contract-free. With its Monthly Pass, you get full access to the BT Sport app, where you can watch all BT Sport channels and download them to your phone, tablet, Smart TV and other devices.
It costs £25 a month on a monthly rolling contract, so you can cancel anytime.
Read our page on BT Sport for more on what it covers.
Through BT TV’s Film Store, you can buy or rent some of the latest releases from the cinema.
Simply enter the BT Player app, select and pay for a film, and watch blockbusters from the comfort of your own home.
Can I get Sky channels with BT?
Yes, you can. As all packages come with NOW Entertainment, NOW Cinema or NOW Sports Memberships (either included or as an add-on), you can get plenty of entertainment channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Showcase and Sky One, as well as all Sky Cinema and Sky Sports channels.
BT YouView Box
Every BT TV plan comes with a BT TV Box Pro, which is a YouView set top box that connects to your BT broadband hub to deliver TV services.
It’s super handy, as you don’t need an aerial to watch TV – just BT broadband. Still, if you do want an aerial, you can pay a one-off £30 for an engineer to come and install one.
Otherwise, it’s easy to set up yourself – just plug in the YouView box, connect it to your home broadband, then enjoy instant access to all your channels and apps.
Streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Britbox, are all nicely integrated into the BT TV interface. However, it’s worth noting that BT doesn’t support the YouTube app just yet.
The YouView box also comes with some useful functions, such as the ability to pause and rewind live TV, as well as record up to 600 hours of TV on up to four channels at the same time.
Want to watch BT TV in another room? With Extra Box, you can. This gets you a BT TV Box Mini, which is an additional non-recordable TV box that lets you watch different shows in a different room, at the same time.
An Extra Box subscription costs £10 a month.
What are the alternatives to BT TV?
These days, most household-name providers offer TV alongside their broadband packages, including Sky, Virgin Media, NOW TV and TalkTalk.
If you want the most premium TV on the market, go with Sky or Virgin Media. They both offer a wider selection of TV channels and better set top boxes than BT, and you can get BT Sport with either provider.
Additionally, Plusnet broadband customers can get a discounted BT Sports subscription – either through the BT Sport App, or as an add-on if you already have Sky TV.
Meanwhile, TalkTalk gets you a TalkTalk TV 4K box, where you can watch free-to-air channels and your favourite subscription services (including NOW TV).
However, neither TalkTalk nor NOW TV offer BT Sport channels.
What are the pros and cons of BT TV?
As we say, BT TV has a lot to recommend it. But does that mean it’ll be the best choice for you and your family? Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision:
- BT Sport – boasts all Champions League matches and UEFA League football, plus a host of other popular sports
- Free YouView set top box
- Flexibility – you can add or subtract channels every 30 days
- Netflix and Sky Cinema are available to watch through your TV box
- Don’t have to get a satellite dish installed, as you can stream BT TV via your home broadband
- Only available if you’re a BT broadband customer – you can’t get a TV only package
- 24-month contracts – no shorter-term options
- Unless you have the VIP package, you’ll need to pay extra to watch certain content in HD
- Add-ons can add up
- YouTube isn’t supported
- Sky and Virgin Media have a greater range of channels (though they’re more expensive)