The mass cancellation of all sport in the United Kingdom has left broadcasters scrambling for contingency plans after losing all of their live coverage, with events on hold for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus crisis.
Across the board sport events are being cancelled, with no football in England and Scotland until at least 30 April and all rugby union matches cancelled after the Rugby Football Union ended the season below the Premiership. The England and Wales Cricket Board is preparing to take action surrounding the county season, which is due to get underway next month, while all horse racing has also been suspended until May including the Grand National. Further abroad, the first seven Formula One races of the 2020 season have been either postponed or cancelled.
Sky Sports shows all of the above sports as well as the likes of rugby league, darts, netball, the NBA and NFL, meaning the broadcaster is under pressure to reduce the cost of subscription given what is normally promised among its collection is no longer available.
With live sport set to be absent from our screens for coming months, Sky has announced that viewers can suspend their Sky Sports subscription and has now made the provision to do so online, meaning there is no need to call and spend your day logged in lengthy queues.
But furthermore, Sky will continue to broadcast all 11 Sky Sports channels even after you suspend the subscription, with an agreement for the payments to renew once live sports returns to the schedule.
An update from Sky read: “In such challenging times, we are working hard to keep you connected to what matters, when it matters most.
“Our first priority is ensuring our customers continue to get the very best service we can provide. We’d love more people to experience Sky, but for the time being we’re focusing our attention and resources on making sure we do our very best for our existing customers. Whether this is prioritising the calls coming into our call centres, improving our online service, or sending our engineers on visits to your home to keep your services up and running.
“With us all likely to be spending more time at home in the coming months, we’re also doing a few extra things to make your Sky TV experience even better.
“Whilst we expect that many of the recently postponed sports events will go ahead, if you wish to pause your Sky Sports subscription in the meantime you will not be charged a fee to do so or be held to any notice period. Meanwhile we continue to provide high quality content across all of our 11 Sky Sports channels.”
1. Go to: https://www.sky.com/pausesports or call 0800 151 2747
2. Log in to your Sky account.
3. Follow the steps to pause your Sky Sports subscription.
4. Do nothing – Sky will automatically renew your account once live sport resumes on TV.
Those looking to suspend their BT Sport subscription will not find it so easy though. The broadcaster has offered one-month free to existing subscribers, but those looking to cancel it completely have reported excessively difficult circumstances to do so and have been told they will be liable to pay the remainder of their contracts, resulting in hefty cancellation fees.
A BT Sport statement read: “We apologise to customers about the changes to the BT Sport schedule this month due to the impact of Covid-19.
“The situation is evolving rapidly and we are working with the leagues to continue to broadcast live sport wherever possible and broadcast games when they are rescheduled over the coming months.
“We will continue to broadcast a wide range of BT Sport content including films and documentaries and we will update our customers as we have a clearer view of the remainder of the season.”