I been reading about this over on the Digital Spy forums as well as on the Youview community forums and not many seem to know how this will afect customers. They all seem to be guessing.
I dont have the Sky Sports channels via BT TV as I would not watch them enough with in the month to justify the monthly fee.
My recollection is that regulators originally said that Sky had to give BT the channels that show Premier League football. The odd game has been on a different channel when Sky had a lot of major events to show at the same time or was showing more than 2 games on the last day of the season, but almost all are on Sky Sports 1 & 2.
BT could get just the 2 football channels or Sky may decide to put most of the Premier League matches on one channel, in which case BT will probably get it and Sky Sports Arena, showing sports other than football, golf or cricket.
It will be interesting as the original OFCOM ruling meant the most popular sports (PL football and cricket) had to be mainly on the 2 channels available to BT. That ruling has now been dropped but OFCOM have said they can bring it back quickly if SKY dont co-operate.
That said there is a question mark over the future cricket coverage that is being fought as we speak that will see SKY lose its exclusivity to a free to air channel for T20 and possibly more...
OFCOM Ruling :-
Ofcom today announced its decision to remove the regulation requiring Sky to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on a wholesale basis, as the company is now widely supplying these channels to other pay TV providers on commercial terms.
The 'wholesale must-offer' regulation was introduced in 2010 to promote choice and innovation for consumers through greater competition in pay TV1.
Last year, Ofcom began a review to determine whether regulation remained appropriate.
Since 2010, consumers have been able to choose from a wider range of services, enabling them to watch sports through a range of pay TV broadcasters and devices.
Following consultation and evidence from stakeholders, Ofcom has found that Sky is now supplying sports widely on commercial terms outside of the regulation.
Given the evidence of Sky's supply arrangements, Ofcom is lifting the wholesale must-offer regulation. However, Ofcom will continue to monitor closely market developments and, if necessary, will quickly step back in.
Availability of sports content
Sky now makes Sky Sports available through commercial wholesale arrangements with its pay TV competitors, including BT, for its BT Vision service, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Sky Sports channels are also available on Sky's internet-based NOW TV service, which can be accessed on a range of platforms and devices - such as EE TV, Apple TV, games consoles, smartphones and tablets, as well as NOW TV set-top boxes.
Since 2012, BT has invested over £2bn in building its sports offer, including 25% of Premier League rights and exclusive rights to broadcast all Champions League matches live until the 2017/18 season. BT Sport is now available on a number of platforms and devices, as well as being bundled with BT's broadband service.
New providers have entered or plan to enter the TV market, such as EE and Vodafone, and companies are increasingly competing to provide pay-TV services as part of a package that includes broadband and mobile.
Sky Sports on BT YouView
The only supply arrangement for Sky Sports 1 and 2 under Ofcom's wholesale must-offer regulation is with BT for its YouView service. Ofcom expects all providers to engage willingly, constructively and in a timely manner to ensure sports continues to be made widely available to viewers.
Ofcom continues to monitor the pay TV market closely. Should evidence emerge of practices which we consider to be prejudicial to fair and effective competition, we will quickly reassess the need for regulation. In particular, Ofcom wants to be sure that consumers continue to have access to, and a choice of, packages and services containing Sky Sports 1 and 2.
I don't want to link to an outside source but someone over on DigitalSpy who has access to Skys Programme Information listings site is stating that the listings shown there from the 18th of July would appear to show the Premier League channel replacing Sky Sports 2 with the 'all other football' channel replacing Sky Sports 3. They also state that Sky Sports 1 seems to be changing to a 'mix/best' of channel with Cricket, Rugby League, Football, The Open Golf, Tennis & Darts all being shown live.
I've also noticed that BT have removed all mention of Sky Sports from any of their tv package or tv upgrade related pages possibly indicating that changes are afoot.
So with Sky re-naming and re-branding what does this mean to BT's Sky Sports subscriptions where previously only 1&2 were available?
Which channels will we get now for our money?
Sky Sports Main Event – Channel 401
Sky Sports Premier League – Channel 402
Sky Sports Football - Channel 403
Sky Sports Cricket - Channel 404
Sky Sports Golf – Channel 405
Sky Sports F1 – Channel 406
Sky Sports Action - Channel 407
Sky Sports Arena - Channel 408
Sky Sports News - Channel409