EE offers free BT Sport – how to get it and what's really on offer


EE customers can now get free access to BT Sport, the first proper tie-in between the two brands since BT took over the double-lettered network.

However, it's not as simple as 'Got EE? Have some football!' as there are a few caveats if you want to be checking out a spot of sport on the go – we spoke to EE to find out exactly what you'll need to qualify, and what's actually on offer here.

You'll be getting access to BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and ESPN – but is it really free? Will you get anything extra? And where can you actually use it?

1. It's free for six months on EE

Once you activate the deal, you'll be getting access to the four portals listed above for six months – after which you'll need to pay £5 per month to keep watching on your EE device.

BT Mobile offers the same thing for the lifetime of the contract – there were some questions about whether this was actually a limited offer, but we've spoken to BT and they've confirmed it's for as long as you take the mobile service.

If you're on EE and want some BT Sport right now, the good news is the offer is live and ready to be taken up as an option.

2. It's only for phones and tablets

Here's the bad news for anyone that's got Sky and has been holding out on paying the rather expensive fees to add in BT Sport: you're not able to watch BT's channels on the big screen as part of this deal. It's only offered on phones and tablets, and Chromecast screen sharing will be disabled too.

However, EE promises that it's able to tell if you're watching on a phone or tablet, and will optimise the stream for either screen. So the smaller, lower-res displays will get about 1.2Mbps, but the iPad Pro devices of this world, with a bunch more pixels to play with, will get streams up to 2.5Mbps to keep the sharpness up.

3. It'll use your data allowance

This won't come as much of a surprise – it would have been a massive bonus if it didn't take your bytes to watch this sport. EE told us that the rise of watching football on the go inspired the offer, with a big spike in catching some action on the go showing there's an appetite for it.


Yeah, but I was in Footloose and I'm wearing socks, so...

However, make sure you've got a decent bundle if you're going to be keeping up with the latest sporting shenanigans – you could be munching up to 2GB of data on a phone if you're going to watch the whole match and hoover up the half time show too.

4. Not for all on EE

While EE is touting this as a big deal for its customers, it's not great if you've chosen a pay as you go tariff.

EE has confirmed to us that this is only for customers on pay monthly plans – so if you topup whenever you fancy it, you're not going to get the BT Sport deal. Similarly, if you're a 4G Wi-Fi broadband customer, that's also excluded.

However, there is a glimmer of light: EE has confirmed it's 'looking' at a pay as you go option in the future.

5. How to activate EE's BT Sport deal

Right, you've read all that and decided you fancy the free six month trial. It's now pretty simple: you'll just need to text 'SPORT' to 150 from any EE handset.

If that's not possible (perhaps you're running an iPad) then you'll need to phone the call centre and talk to an actual human. Urgh.

Once that's done, you'll download the BT Sport app (which is available on iOS, Android and even Windows Phone) and enter the details you've been given – sport is then spurting into your eyeballs.

…. There's more to come

While the company wouldn't be drawn on precisely what, EE did confirm to us that it was exploring some other options with BT for the future – although it's hard to see what that will be precisely, given EE already gives access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots (which would have been the obvious choice).

Marc Allera, EE's CEO, confirmed as much with a recent statement: "The BT Sport offer is the first in a series of benefits we've planned for this summer which together will highlight EE as offering an unrivalled network experience for those wanting to make the best from their smartphone.""

The big question here lies with EE TV and BT Sport – to steal Bacon's parlance, it seems a no-brainer that those that have streaming service on their phone should be able to watch it on their EE tellybox too… we'll keep poking to see if that's on the way.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.