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Sky TV: Sky Sports channels & deals
If you’re seriously into your sports, you’ve really got three options: spend a lot on live sports, spend a lot in the pub, or subscribe to Sky Sports.
In terms of your health and your wallet, a little bit of the first two plus the latter is probably the best option!
Sky Sports rose to prominence when it partnered with the newly formed Premier League football division for the 1992-93 season, taking our beloved footy away from terrestrial TV.
There was uproar at the time, but looking how things have moved on in the last 20 years its hard to look back in anger.
No matter what your sporting poison, its likely Sky Sports has got it covered. With four channels of sport, all also in HD, plus dedicated F1 and sports news channels, it is far and away the king of UK sports television empires. Here are the highlights of the current line-up:
- Football: Where else to start? With 115 live Premier League games, plus The Champion’s League, its number one. And that’s before you mention live coverage of World Cup Qualifiers and internationals, the English and Scottish football leagues, the FA Cup, Spanish football and the best from the women’s game - not to mention shows such as the ever popular Soccer AM.
- Rugby: Another Sky Sports decision frowned on at the time was moving rugby league to be a summer sport - but what a transformation. Despite the stupid American style names not catching on, both rugby codes have been well served by Sky, both in the UK and with internationals.
- Cricket: As well as the internationals, both home and abroad and of all the test playing sides, you can enjoy exclusive County Championship coverage as well as the shorter forms of the game.
- F1 motor racing: You can watch all the races live on Sky, as well as all the qualifying and practice, all on an exclusive F1 channel.
- Golf: It seems an age ago when, as a lazy student, I used to be able to watch golf in the afternoon on the BBC. Sky Sports now has almost all the golf worth watching, with exclusive coverage of both US majors, and it shows The Masters - plus the PGA Tour, the European Tour and the Ryder Cup.
- And the rest...: A fan of darts, ice hockey, boxing or WWE (some of which are sports...)? Sky covers them all, as well as a host of other motor racing events such as NASCAR, speedway and superbikes.
And with a ‘summer of sport’ promised, who knows what other gems Sky will serve up as we huddle, freezing in front of the TV avoiding the rain, this summer?
Of course, to cram that much sport onto the tele there needs to be more than one channel. Thankfully, Sky Sports gives you six.
The inspiringly titled Sky Sports 1 to 4 offer a variety of coverage across its full range of sports.
In addition, all of the six channels are available in HD - depending which Sky package you sign up for, of course (see below).
As well as the four general channels, you’ll also find Sky F1 (the ultimate one-stop-shop for Formula 1 petrol heads) and Sky Sports News, keeping you up to date on all the latest results and transfers 24/7.
Even more sports: Extra time
While Sky Sports’ own channels cover a lot of ground, there’s plenty more televised sports coverage out there - and you can find most of it via a Sky subscription.
As well as the Sky channels described above you’ll have access to the likes of Eurosport, BT Sport (if you're a BT Broadband customer), Extreme Sports, MU, LFC and ChelseaTV (some of these may need extra subscription payments), Premier Sports plus a bunch of racing and motors channels.
It’s always nice when TV and broadband companies keep it simple in terms of deals, if rare - but Sky Sports is one of the rare exceptions: you’ve either got it, or you haven’t.
For £21 per month (on top of whichever deal you sign up for) you get all six sports channels - no messing around. In addition, if you sign up for the Entertainment Extra+ package, you’ll get Sky Sports 3D - and if you add the HD pack, all six channels in HD too. If you want to learn more about the various Sky Entertainment packages, check out our Sky channels guide.
What’s more, once you’ve signed up you can watch all your sports when you’re out and about with Sky Go - for more on this, have a read of Genie’s guide to Sky on the move and internet extras.
If you already have a Sky subscription and want to add the Sports package - or if you’ve decided a Sky TV deal is right for you - either click through to Sky’s official website from one of the links here, or read more in our guide to upgrading or switching to Sky.
Finally, if you’re hooked on the sports but don’t know all the details of the basic Sky television services, we’ve got a Sky beginners’ guide for you.