BT & Sky reach deal to sell each other's channels

BT & Sky reach deal to sell each other's channels

From 2019, they will also be able to pay for a Now TV Entertainment Pass, which includes channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living, plus on demand content and box-sets from each.

That's right, no need for separate Sky and BT subscriptions and no need to scan the Internet for dodgy streams of matches provided by the supplier to which you are not now subscribed... although we're sure you're not into that sort of thing.

Both Sky and BT now share the Premier League fixtures while BT hold the sole right to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League in the United Kingdom meaning Sky Sports will get the opportunity to once more show live European football from early 2019.

BT said that it had also agreed to wholesale its BT Sport channels to Sky, allowing Sky to sell those channels directly to Sky satellite customers.

The services are expected to be available to customers from early next year.

It can't come quickly enough.

Now TV offers Sky's most popular content, including Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and Sky Atlantic.

BT and Sky have been at loggerheads for years over the issue of channel carriage, most acrimoniously over access to Sky's prime sports channels which had been the subject of a protracted legal battle which BT lost.

At present, BT TV customers can only buy some Sky Sports services as a bolt-on for £27.50 per month.

The research director at media analysts Ampere, Richard Broughton, said that the deal between both media giants is "certainly very unusual".

"This is an important day for BT and for our customers, who will be able to enjoy a whole range of Sky's sport and entertainment programming on their BT TV boxes", said BT's chief executive Gavin Patterson.

BT and Sky had paid more than £5bn for Premier League rights last time, with costs rising 70% at each of the past two auctions. "Having built up an outstanding portfolio of exclusive sports rights and a loyal base of customers, we feel that now is the right time to broaden the ways in which we distribute BT Sport", he said.

"I wouldn't say [the deal with Sky] takes the pressure off at all... we believe in holding exclusive rights."

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