Calling sports fans – if you’re a Sky TV customer or your TV service is Freeview get ready for the first weekend in February when you’ll be able to watch sports channel ESPN absolutely free. It’s all thanks to a deal between ESPN and Nokia to promote the Nokia Lumia and it means free access for all satellite and Freeview viewers from 6am on Friday 3rd to 6am on Monday 6th February – the Freeview element means that customers of BT Vision and Top Up TV will also get the deal.
They’ve picked a good weekend too as there’s a range of decent events on the schedule, from Premier League action to boxing to basketball, so there’s a good chance a lot of sports fans are going to really enjoy this and be tempted to subscribe – surely the intention… more on how to do that below.
What’s on over the free weekend?
Here’s a rundown of the highlights on ESPN’s free weekend…
The weekend kicks off with Nuremberg v Dortmund in the Bundesliga at 7.30 on the Friday and there’s a good helping of European games on with French and Italian fixtures over the weekend too. The big double bill on the Saturday is Fulham v Man City in the Barclays Premier League at 4.30 on Saturday followed by Italian Serie A excitement with Roma v Inter Milan at 7.45pm.
In the middle of the night at 3am you can watch the UFC143 welterweight fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit live from Vegas. This was originally to be Diaz v George St Pierre but he had to pull out following a knee injury.
If you follow NBA basketball this is a major game – the New York Knicks at the Boston Celtics can be seen at 1am on Sat 4th, so something to round off your Friday night if you have the staying power perhaps.
How to Get ESPN
So what to do if you love the free weekend so much you can’t bear to be without ESPN? If you’re a Virgin Media customer you get ESPN included in the XL package, so adding the channel is simply a case of upgrading to TV XL. On Sky you can add ESPN as you would any other premium channel – it costs £9 a month if you’re a Sky Sports subscriber and £12 a month if you’re not.
Top Up TV is a Freeview-based service that allows you to pay a monthly fee for a card or adaptor which enables you to receive channels like ESPN and Sky Sports 1 and 2 on Freeview – without a subscription to Top Up or BT Vision you’ll find the channel on the Freeview EPG but it will be blocked. ESPN on Top Up TV costs £10.99 a month with no contract – you just take it a month at a time.
Finally, here are the highlights of the free weekend:
- Fri 3rd Feb
- 19:30 – LIVE Bundesliga: Nuremberg v Dortmund
- Sat 4th Feb
- 01:00 – LIVE NBA New York @ Boston
- 16.30 – LIVE Barclays Premier League: Manchester City v Fulham
- 19:45 – LIVE Serie A: Roma v Inter Milan
- Sun 6th Feb
- 03:00 – LIVE UFC 143 Condit v Diaz
- 11:30 – LIVE Serie A: Genoa v Lazio
- 13:45 – LIVE Serie A: Fiorentina v Udinese
- 16:45 – LIVE Bundesliga: Kaiserslauern v Cologne
- 19:15 – LIVE Serie A: AC Milan v Napoli