With the announcement earlier in the year that Tennis TV will no longer be showing the WTA, fans around the world have been wondering for the last couple of months just how they will be able to watch their favourite female tennis players in action in 2017.
WTA Networks announced in October that it was due to launch its new apps and website in January. With the first WTA tournament of 2017 starting on Monday 2nd January, that now doesn’t leave much time to sign up and get going, and they’ve not even announced any prices yet.
Here in the UK, I like many others, have been left with the dilemma of either waiting for the WTA to get their act together, or finding a way to get BT Sport, who are increasing their WTA coverage next year, as shown by the fact they are showing live coverage of all five WTA events taking place before the Australian Open.
However, the question has already been answered for us by the WTA. And it’s not looking good. In an interview with the No Challenges Remaining podcast in October, the WTA’s CEO Steve Simon said that there probably won’t be a streaming service available until mid-2017. If the WTA has no replacement for Tennis TV ready for the start of the 2017 season, why has it pulled out?
Whatever the answer to that question, a more pressing one two weeks before the seasons starts is how can I watch the WTA on BT Sport, which seems to be the only option now (dodgy low quality streams aside), and how much will it cost?
There are three ways to subscribe to BT Sport:
- Take a BT phone line and broadband, and get BT Sport on top.
- Add BT Sport to a TalkTalk phone and broadband package
- Add BT Sport to a Sky TV subscription.
- Get BT Sport through Virgin Media cable
Some of these options would involve taking out a new phone and broadband or TV subscription with new equipment. There is no guarantee now that this could be installed by the start of the season on 2 January and if you’re tied into a contract with another provider already, there may be a charge to pay to end a minimum term.
Note, a small number of WTA events will not be broadcast on BT Sport and remain on Eurosport in 2017: Nuremburg, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Linz and Luxembourg.
Getting BT Sport directly from BT
BT’s cheapest phone and broadband package is currently £29.99 per month, and BT Sport on top of that is £5 per month, and you watch via the website or app.
Alternatively if you take BT TV starting from £3 per month, you get a set top box which you can watch BT Sport on for free, but only in SD; HD is £5 per month more.
If you have or get BT phone and broadband and a Sky subscription, it’s an extra £6 a month to add BT Sport to your Sky package, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
Getting BT Sport via TalkTalk
If you get your phone and broadband from TalkTalk you can subscribe to BT Sport for an extra £21.99 per month, which gives you access via the website and app. It takes approximately 15 minutes to add.
Getting BT Sport through Sky
If you get your broadband through another provider (not BT or TalkTalk) and have a Sky TV dish and set-top box, you can add BT Sport to your viewing card for £21.99 a month in SD or £26.99 a month in HD. Currently they are offering the first three months for free but there is also a £15 activation fee.
This is the most expensive way of getting BT Sport as you would also be paying this on top of your broadband and Sky TV subscriptions, the cheapest of which is currently £42.40 per month to get both through Sky.
If you already get your phone and broadband through BT but subscribe to Sky TV, it’s £6 a month to add BT Sport to your Sky package, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
Getting BT Sport through Virgin Media
BT Sport is available through Virgin Media if you live in a cabled area. It’s in their Full House bundle which costs £46 per month for phone and TV, or £55 per month with broadband.