Now we know what BT Sport’s new 4K live sportscast channel will cost

by on July 18, 2015

Stephan Jukic – July 17, 2015

As we’ve already covered repeatedly here and here, BT Sport is bringing the first ever live sports channel in 4K ultra HD resolution to European audiences in August, 2015 and after several weeks of somewhat vague information, we now finally know what that channel is going to cost subscribing consumers.

The broadcasts in full 4K glory will begin as of August 2nd and these proceedings will be kicked off with an FA Community Shield football (soccer in the U.S) match between Arsenal and Chelsea. After this, only a couple of other events will follow throughout the month of August, including the Premier Leagues matches and the Silverstone MotoGP, which will be available in 4K video but in the month that follow a wide and constantly growing selection of football, rugby, racing and other sports matches will regularly be shown in full 4K resolution.

Now, moving back to that monthly cost for accessing this still thoroughly unique service in the world of sports broadcasting: according to BT, the monthly subscription will run UK viewers to the tune of 15 British pounds per month. Of course, as the most expensive package the company offers in its tier structure, the so-called “Entertainment Ultra HD” doesn’t just consist of the 4K content we mentioned. It also comes with all other BT Sport offers combined. Thus, subscribers willing to spend the extra £ will also get their hands on the regular  BT Sport Pack, all Freeview channels, 47 “premium” channels access to a bunch of catch-up services and of course the monthly 4K programming that’s going to grow as the year goes by.

This is BT Sport's new premium Ultra HD 4K live sportscast channel

This is BT Sport’s new premium Ultra HD 4K live sportscast channel

In other words, the new 4K-included package costs 5 pounds more than the current most expensive tier, which is going for £10 per month and is called “Entertainment Plus”. Basically, the extra 4K offerings cost a £5 monthly premium.

However, there are some caveats at work here. The “Entertainment Plus” 4K package will only be available to BT Infinity broadband subscribers who are already paying £9.75 per month for the company’s 38Mbps internet connectivity package (which also comes with a monthly £17 line rental fee). This additional subscription is not just a sales forcing gimmick, it’s actually absolutely necessary for the 4K sports service to work at all. The ultra HD content is going to reach subscribers via broadband internet connections which need at least 20Mbps to work for such a wide load of video resolution. Thus, not all potential British subscribers will even be able to access the 4K content that BT is offering. It will depend on the maximum capacity of their local line for broadband content.

Other requirements also include the obvious like a 4K ultra HD TV and also involve buying a new set-top box which is capable of receiving BT’s 4K broadcasts. This of course is the 1TB Ultra HD YouView+ box which is configured to work with the BT 4K service. Simply installing this box will cost another £44. Thus, as you can see, the whole 4K live sports thing is starting to look a bit pricey for UK consumers. However, it does come with the partial consolation of a £500 voucher from BT Sport towards the purchase of a new 4K TV from LG.

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