With the remaining Premier League football matches to be held behind closed doors, a number of broadcasters have announced they will showing games free to air.
The BBC will broadcast four games live, in addition to its Match of the Day highlights programmes. The channel to show these matches is not known, but is likely to be BBC One or the BBC Red Button service.
Sky owned free-to-air channel Pick will be showing 25 games live, with the first being Everton v Liverpool, which will also be simulcast on Sky Sports.
Amazon will be streaming 4 matches on its platform Amazon Prime platform, without the need for subscription. The exact matches are yet to be announced.
This leaves BT Sport as the only rights holder to have not announced any free to air coverage.
Including the free to air matches and those as part of subscription services, all remaining Premier League games will be televised live.
Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature are due to launch this spring, and will be joined by Sky History and Sky History 2.
Sky History is part of a joint venture between A+E Networks UK and Sky, and will be a rebrand of the current History channel. Both Sky History and Sky History 2 will be available on Sky’s Now TV streaming platform, as well as Virgin Media, BT TV and TalkTalk TV.
The changes are also due to take place this spring, with both channels to continue being operated and managed by A+E Networks UK.
Retro Movies appears to have stopped broadcasting on satellite. Although still listed on Sky and Freesat EPGs, the satellite feed has went ‘dark’ with no programmes or other content being broadcast.
According to website RXTV Log, Retro Movies is still available as part of Channelbox on Freeview 271, as a streamed channel on devices connected to the internet.
There has been no official word from Retro Movies. Their website (at time of publication) is still live, but the schedule doesn’t list any programmes beyond Friday 24th January.
Talking Pictures, Sony Movies Classic and TCM Movies are alternative channels for those wishing to view older films.
Disney have confirmed that their Disney+ online streaming service will be available in the UK and Ireland from 31st March 2020.
Full details of the programme line up have yet to be confirmed, and might be impacted on existing rights deals with broadcasters.
The service will be available on a variety of platforms including:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV, and fully integrated with the Apple TV app; customers can subscribe to Disney+ via in-app purchase)
- Google (Android phones, Android TV devices, Google Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices)
- LG Smart TVs
- Xbox One
- Sony (all Android based Sony TVs and PlayStation4)
- Roku (Roku streaming players and Roku TV models)
- Samsung Smart TV
Dplay has become Discovery’s online platform for content from its free to air channels, replacing QuestOD.
Dplay combines content from Quest, Quest Red, Food Network and DMAX, along with that from recently acquired Home and Really. Home and Really on-demand content has now been removed from UKTV Play, the equivalent streaming service of their former owners.
Home is expected to rebrand as HGTV, but a date for this is yet to be confirmed.
Premier Sports has secured the rights to show Spanish La Liga football until the end of the 2021/22 season, replacing ITV4 who had temporary rights for the start of the season.
A new channel called La Liga TV will be made available on the Premier Player streaming service from October. This channel is also expected to launch on the Sky satellite platform from January 2020. Prior to the new channel joining Sky, the La Liga matches can be found on Premier Sports 1 and 2 (which can be found on Sky and Virgin Media).
Sister channel Freesports will also show highlights and selected matches.
Here is a summary of some changes which are taking place on online streaming services.
Freesports is joining the STV Player service, and will be available as a 24 hour online stream. For next 3 years, STV will be the exclusive advertising sales agent for Premier Sports’ online subscription services.
Now TV are implementing price increases this month. Most passes are affected, with the Sky Sports Day Pass rising by £1 to £9.99.
The sports streaming and on-demand service Eurosport Player is to arrive on Amzon Fire devices, as part of a collboration between Amazon and the channel’s owner Discovery. Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo Show devices will be able to access the service across Europe.
Amazon’s Prime streaming service crashed yesterday, affecting access to the US Open tennis competition. Services were restored by early evening.
In Ireland, Eir and Virgin Media have aggreed a deal which will see their sports channels become available on each others platforms.
Virgin Media Sport will become available to subscribers to of Eir’s sports pack. In return, Virgin Media subscribers will be able to view Eir’s sports channels in Ireland.
The new agreement will come into effect in time for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on September 20.
Eleven Sports has suspended subscription payments for UK customers, following the loss of La Liga rights. The La Liga rights failed to sell, and a permanent deal has to be agreed with ITV4 showing some matches as a temporary measure.
Eleven Sports were unable to secure a carriage agreement for a service on a traditional TV platform, following the launch of the online service in 2018. As a result, the channel lost most of its rights to a variety of international football leagues. The last remaining rights were the La Liga matches, for which a basic £4.99 subscription fee was charged.
Eleven Sports has advised customers that the subscription fees have been suspended pending clarification of the La Liga rights beyond the first three matches day. Eleven Sports services in other countries continue unaffected.
The UK rights for LaLiga football failed to sell, however ITV are continuing an existing partnership for the first 3 match days as an interim measure.
Athletic Bilbao v FC Barcelona will be shown tonight (Friday) on ITV4 at 8pm, with FC Barcelona v Real Betis (8pm on Sunday 25th August), and Villareal CF v Real Madrid (8pm on Sunday 1st September) to follow. Highlights programmes will follow each match day.
A last minute alteration to darts coverage on ITV4 has been made, with the darts to be shown either side of the football.
ITV4 is on all linear TV platforms, with additional HD versions on Sky and Virgin media. Coverage of the LaLiga matches will also be available on the ITV Hub on-demand platform.