This football season is set to be a blockbuster, and not just because of the football. From the moment that BT snagged 38 live games off Sky, a battle line was drawn. BT announced that they would make certain games available free – hint its not quite what you think, but click here to see how you can actually get the football for free this year – and this forced Sky to launch new products, like Sky Now TV. As we can see, sport is very much in-vogue as a way to package content and sell services like broadband.
So BT sports is here to shake things up, launching two sports channels to rival Sky Sports. People who subscribe to their Infinity broadband package can stream these games free, and Sky customers can upgrade to access them through their subscription. However, it is the BT sport app which is drawing attention today.
The first thing to note is that you require a BT account in order to utilise the app. After download you get hit by a sign-in wall, and you’re prompted to set-up an account (presuming you don’t have one). This is the usual slightly convoluted but ultimately simple process, and you should be up and running in a couple of minutes.
Once in, you get access to the latest news first. With all of the attention on football, it is easy to forget that BT are building a wider sports offering, and this is reflected in the multi-sport news section. The sports are categorised, and you can filter content easily between articles, videos and live content.
The focus is understandably on football, with rugby union and somewhat strangely, women in sport being the other featured categories. More sport lets you access the other slightly more fringe sports, with your usual suspects like cricket, tennis and cycling all featured.
The main purpose behind the app is on delivering in-app live content though. This is a huge trend in the USA, where sports like Baseball have a massive in-app live audience. BT let you easily and painlessly check the schedules, which besides BT sports 1 and 2, includes the emerged ESPN.
Once you’re in, your able to watch the live sport in highly respectable quality. The better your connection – we would always recommend Wi-Fi (or 4G, if you have a good data allowance) to optimise this. The app lets you easily toggle between full screen views and a smaller in-app window. The later is almost pointlessly small on an iPhone screen. In our opinion, they should have just set playback to automatically go full screen, but that may come in an update.
BT have also capitalised on the second screen trend. This basically refers to people who browse their ipad or smartphone whilst passively watching TV. BT have therefore designed the app to work alongside the live game, pulling in stats and other info as the game progresses. It’s a great idea, and again capitalises on the big trends on the other side of the pond. This will include a nice social element too, allowing you to share opinions of the game as it plays out.
The app will also feature exclusive content, which will not be made available on BTs sport website or TV channels. That in itself makes the app worth a download, although we are not yet sure exactly what this content will entail.
Everything about the BT launch has been a breath of fresh air so far. From their incredible studio, complete with football pitch and top gear style live audience, right the way through to this BT Sport app. With the action only a week or so away, we can’t wait to see how this season unfolds, as well as the apps new features.
Will you be changing broadband to get the BT football free? Have your say in the comments below!