Premier League Live Streaming Guide 2017: We breakdown the best deals and cheapest packages across Sky Sports, BT Sport and Virgin Media to help you watch the Premier League live on your TV, iPhone, iPad, Android device or PC.
Navigating the complex world of TV bundles is difficult, more difficult even than life as Pogba’s barber. Is it better to go all in with one provider, or should you pick and mix? What 4K and streaming options are available? Is it worth switching broadband providers just to make sure you can catch every minute of the title chase?
Yes, it’s certainly complicated, but fear not, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you find the best and cheapest legal ways of watching all 168 televised Premier League games live, whatever your device.
Note that for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to be focussing on the cheapest ways to get access to the football – broadband-only and inclusive broadband plus TV deals will be covered in a separate guide, or added in a future update.
Why? Because we generally recommend shopping around for a broadband provider outside of your TV package, as there tend to be better bargains available, while big players like Sky and BT can quietly sting you with line rental charges and installation fees.
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Premier League Live Streaming: TV rights explained
First of all, let’s look at who has the rights to show the matches.
Back in February 2015, Sky and BT paid a combined £5.1 billion for the rights to show 168 games for three seasons beginning with the 2016-17 campaign – that’s over £10 million per game in case you were wondering.
Sky has the majority of the games and will show 126 matches this season, predominantly on Friday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Monday evenings. It’s also top dog when it comes to EFL coverage, and will show 127 matches across the Championship, League 1 and League 2 in 2017-18.
As was the case last year, BT has secured the rights to 42 games, most of which will be shown at the new 5pm kick-off time on Saturdays. It will also show six mid-week matches and has rights to Champions League, Serie A and FA Cup games.
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Premier League Live Streaming: Watch the Premier League in 4K
Sky and BT will both offering almost all of their games in 4K. Sky will be showing 124 games in Ultra HD, though this is only available through the top-tier of its Sky Q service.
BT will show some of its allotted games in 4K, but to take advantage of this you will need a BT Ultra HD Entertainment Pack. This supposedly costs just £15 per month, but by the time your roll in the required BT Infinity broadband and line rental, you’re actually looking at more than £40 per month.
Buy Now: BT Ultra HD Entertainment Pack
Premier League Live Streaming: Sky Sports breakdown
The most straightforward way to see the majority of the Premier League games is to sign up for Sky Sports. The cost, however, depends on whether you are new to Sky or not.
New to Sky – If you are not a Sky customer already and are looking to switch, then the broadcaster is offering some tasty deals including Sky Sports to entice you to sign up for a two year contract.
As part of its rebrand, you can now start building a Sky package from just £22 a month. Throw in an £18 a month Sky Sports Premier League subscription and you’re looking at £40 a month – a veritable bargain by Sky’s usually eye-watering standards. That said, the far better deal is to pay an extra £2 a month and opt for the £20 ‘Complete Sports Pack’, which gives you access to all the new Sky Sports channels.
You can opt to add Sky Broadband as well, should you choose – this will also entail a line rental charge – and there’s a £20 one-off charge for setting up your 1TB Sky Q box, but assuming you’ve got all the other pieces in place, you can get now on-board with Sky and Sky Sports from £40 a month.
Note that this will only net you standard HD content – despite Sky Q being associated with all things 4K, the 1TB Sky Q box naughtily doesn’t offer 4K content. For that, you’ll need the 2TB Sky Q box, which entails a hefty £199 set-up fee.
Now that’s the Sky we know and love…
Existing Sky customers – This year, Sky is offering its existing customers the chance to add Sky Sports to their package from £18 a month, or £10 a month if you already subscribe to Sky Cinema.
Sky Go – All Sky TV customers get access to the Sky Go app on smartphone, tablet and laptop allowing subscribers to watch live TV on up to two extra devices at once (or up to four if you sign up for Sky Go Extra).
Adding BT Sports – Whether you are a regular Sky customer or a Sky Q subscriber, to add BT Sport 1 and 2, as well as ESPN to your Sky package from £22.99 per month for SD or £27.99 for HD, plus a £20 activation fee.
Upgrade Now: Add BT Sport to your Sky package from £22.99 a month
Premier League Live Streaming: The Now TV option
Sky’s pay-as-you-go product, Now TV , is a very simple proposition.
Instead of signing up for – and being tied to – a lengthy Sky contract, you purchase passes for what you want to watch, when you want to watch it.
Sky Sports access via Now TV costs £6.99 for 24 hours, £10.99 per week, or £33.99 a month. However, in an attempt to help you jump ship in time for the Premier League season, Now TV is currently offering 40% off the price of a Sky Sports month pass, bringing the cost down to £19.99 – the same you’d pay if you were signing up for Sky proper.
This deal runs for two months, after which it’ll auto-renew at the full £33.99 price. If you’re looking for a way to sample the Sky Sports offering without committing yourself for the next 18 months, this is a great place to start.
Now TV also has the benefit of being accessible not just through the official set-top box, but on a huge range of apps, devices and operating systems, including: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, YouView, Roku, EE TV, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Google Chromecast, Kindle Fire HD and Blu-ray players – you can watch the Premier League via Now TV pretty much wherever you are.
Premier League Live Streaming: Sky Sports Mobile TV
If you only want to watch the Premier League on a mobile device, you can save even more of your hard earned coppers.
The Sky Sports Mobile TV app is available on iOS and Android and costs £5.99 a month for a pack that gives you mobile access to Live TV on a handful of Sky Sports channels including, crucially, Sky Sports Premier League.
Vodafone mobile customers can also get access to the Sky Sports Mobile TV app for free, depending on their contract. You can learn more about that deal here.
Premier League Live Streaming: BT breakdown
BT offers similar bundles to Sky. By signing up for the Starter + BT Sport pack, you get access to 80 Freeview TV channels, plus free access to BT Sport 1, 2, 3 and ESPN for 12 months – thereafter, it cost is £16.75 a month for SD.
Upgrading to HD is free for three months, then costs £5 a month. And if you want access to the BT Sport 4K Ultra HD channel, you’ll need a Max bundle. These start at £44.99 a month but will also include activation fees, line rental and the other unwanted trimmings.
Adding Sky Sports – You can add Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Extra to any BT TV bundle. They cost £22 a month for SD or £27.99 for HD – the same as getting the boost to BT Sport with Sky, in fact.
BT Sport App – When it comes to streaming on-the-go, all BT TV customers can access the BT Sport App for free or mobile or desktop. If you’re not a BT subscriber, you can sign up to access the app for £5 per month. EE customers can also enjoy a free three month trial.
Premier League Live Streaming: Virgin Media breakdown
Virgin Media offers customers the option of adding both Sky Sports and BT Sports to their subscription, and has a wide array of offers and price points available.
However, to put it in the simplest possible terms, getting Sky Sports Premier League will usually mean adding the full Sky Sports bundle on top of your package, which costs an extra £31.75 a month. A side order of BT Sport will set you back an additional £18 a month, making the cheapest Virgin Media package to feature both Sky Sport and BT Sport Prem action £54.75 (Virgin Player TV + Sky Sports + BT Sport).
That gets you a miserly 13 channels on top of the normal Freeview offering, though – most of which are just the HD equivalents of terrestrial channels. So you may want to look at the Virgin Mix option (£22 a month) which brings more genuinely premium channels like Comedy Central, MTV and Sky 1 to the party, instead. Adding Sky Sports and BT Sport brings the monthly cost to a nearly identical £55.
This could be some kind of glitch on Virgin Media’s website, but at time of publication, adding on BT Sport to Virgin Mix (which Virgin Media’s website says is an extra £18pm) only increased our overall package price by £1.25 having first added Sky Sports – and the same happens vice-versa, adding BT Sport and then Sky Sports.
Is it a poorly communicated ‘double up’ sport deal? It seems unlikely – what’s the point of Virgin’s more entry-level Player TV offering, then? – so if this the bundle that tickles your fancy, we’d recommend snapping it up fast.
We’ve reached out to Virgin Media’s representatives for clarification on the above, and will update the guide as soon as any new information is made available to us. Note that while we took our order right through until point of payment and read as many T&Cs as we could find, we cannot take responsibility for how Virgin Media would respond to a customer taking advantage of this ‘offer’.
While great value, that’s all only for SD, though. HD footy will cost you an additional £7 a month for Sky Sports, while it seems you need to ante up to the pricier Full House package to get BT Sport in HD – so realistically, even aspiring TV snobs are going to be looking at a monthly bill of over £70 with Virgin. (4K and you’ll need the VIP bundle from £90+ a month, but we honestly wouldn’t recommend going there – Sky is, frankly, a better option for Ultra HD content).
Still, if you want a ‘one-stop shop’ to procure all the football you can, Virgin does serve a purpose – especially if the below deal is indeed more than just a mistake.
Premier League Streaming: What’s the best deal?
Which more or less brings up full circle: what’s the best cheap way to stream all the football?
Well, it depends if you’re purely interested in streaming, or also want to settle down in front of your TV occasionally.
If you’re only going to be watching on a mobile device – by which we mean a smartphone or a tablet – then a £5.99 Sky Sports Mobile TV monthly app subscription gives you the bulk of the Premier League matches for a ridiculously low cost. Plus, you cord cutters out there will already know there are plenty of ways to beam the mobile action to your TV – that’s yet another guide, perhaps.
If you want to settle down in front of the box and watch on-the-go with minimal hassle, then we’d recommend first trying out the Now TV deal currently on offer, which will give you most matches during the first two months of the season for just £20 a month, provided you’re already equipped with the necessary hardware.
This is simply a great value way to test the waters and see just how much football you actually watch – and where you watch it.
Should you discover that, yes, you really should go to some form of rehab for your football addiction and are watching nearly every match available, then you’ll probably want to get some kind of full-fat Sky Sports package.
As you’d expect, it’s cheapest to go through Sky for this and you can get all the Sky Sports channels plus essentials like Sky Atlantic from £40.
Really can’t miss a match and need to add BT Sport? This is where things get both complicated and expensive, but having run the numbers – and speaking purely in terms of what’s the cheapest , not what’s necessarily the best value overall TV package – then Virgin Media offers good (if potentially unintended) value at £55, provided you’re happy with SD quality.
That’s all for now, but stay tuned, as we’ll be featuring plenty more money saving guides in the weeks and months to come.