In a move that has left many sports enthusiasts scratching their heads, Virgin Media has announced that it will no longer include TNT Sports in any of its TV bundles.
Until last week, TNT Sports – formerly known as BT Sport – was a staple in some of Virgin Media’s packages, but new customers will now have to add it as a paid add-on.
Existing customers are exempt for now – but they will face the same changes once their current contract expires and they choose to renew, or if they make any other changes to their existing bundle (see full details below).
As expected, some of Virgin Media’s customers have taken to social media to complain, when they discovered they will have to pay more for something that was – until recently – included in their package.
According to Virgin Media, these changes are meant to “simplify” their broadband and TV offers, giving customers more choice on whether to add TNT Sports or not.
With these new terms, however, some Virgin Media subscribers are better off signing up for TNT Sports in different ways – read ahead for more on that.
The Rise Of TNT Sports
TNT Sports, previously known as BT Sport, emerged from a merger between BT Sport and Eurosport, a well-established French sports TV network that is now owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.
The rebranding aimed to consolidate the TV and streaming rights of both services under the umbrella of Discovery+, and it officially launched in July 2023.
TNT Sports (now with Eurosport), now holds the rights for a long list of sporting events – from the thrill of the UEFA Champions League and Premier League matches to the excitement of Premiership Rugby and Champions Cup.
Other global sports events like UFC, WWE, Boxing, Roland-Garros, the Tour de France, and the exclusive pay TV broadcast rights for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will also be part of the lineup.
TNT Sports has welcomed several high-profile new additions to its presenting team, including Laura Woods, a two-time winner of the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards Sports Presenter of the Year.
The pricing model for TNT Sports has remained consistent with its predecessor, BT Sport, at £29.99/month for standalone subscribers (that is – without a pay-TV subscription like Sky or Virgin Media) – but those £29.99 now also include a Discovery+ subscription, so you get Discovery’s entertainment and lifestyle content, along with Eurosport and TNT Sports.
Virgin Media’s TV Offers Explained
Virgin Media is a major player in the UK’s TV and broadband landscape, offering a range of packages that pair fast fibre broadband with an extensive selection of channels.
One of the standout features of Virgin Media is its high-speed broadband, offering speeds ranging from 54Mbps to 1130Mbps. The service is delivered through your home broadband connection, eliminating the need for a satellite dish.
For those who want to get TV add-ons via Virgin Media, the company offers pre-selected bundles, known as Big bundles and Bigger bundles, which include a variety of channels and services.
These bundles normally come with the Virgin TV 360 box, equipped with functions like voice search and control, personalised recommendations, and 1TB of storage for recordings.
With more than 230 channels, including Freeview, some of Sky’s channels and more, Virgin Media stands as one of the largest TV providers in the UK – however, like other pay-TV companies – it’s not cheap.
Last year, Virgin Media also launched its Stream box – which offers contract-free TV, which is delivered via streaming.
However, unlike Sky’s competing service (Sky Stream), Virgin Media’s Stream only works with Virgin Media’s broadband – so it’s not truly a standalone product.
The Unbundling Of TNT Sports From Virgin Media Packages
Virgin Media’s decision to remove TNT Sports from its TV bundles has been met with a mixture of surprise and disappointment among its customer base.
The announcement came without much fanfare, leaving many subscribers scrambling to understand the implications for their viewing habits and monthly bills – especially those who are facing a renewal of their contract.
Had a call from virgin media, we can renew your package for £105 but you’ll lose your tnt/bt sport, so pay £23 more for less channels…. No thanks, I’ll keep the wifi but cancel everything else.
Cancel everything please apart from my wifi
Let me see what I can do
— Here’s Johnnie (@Heres__Johnnie) September 4, 2023
Until recently, TNT Sports was included in several of Virgin Media’s TV bundles, offering a convenient and cost-effective way for sports fans to access a wide range of sporting events.
The inclusion of TNT Sports was seen as a significant value addition, making Virgin Media’s bundles, which also included Sky Sports, highly attractive to sports enthusiasts – at least compared to some of the competing pay-TV offers.
With the recent changes, TNT Sports will no longer be part of any Virgin Media TV bundles, including the “Maxit” bundle, which has been renamed the “Mega” bundle, and now no longer includes TNT Sports (but does include Sky Sports).
For new customers, this means they will have to opt for TNT Sports as a separate, paid add-on if they wish to access the channel’s content.
The add-on comes at an additional cost – currently £18/month – effectively raising the price of what was once a bundled service.
For existing customers, the situation is a bit more complex. They will continue to have access to TNT Sports until their current contract expires.
However, once the contract is up for renewal, they will find that TNT Sports is no longer included in their package and will have to decide whether to add it back at the extra cost.
But as always, customers should try and haggle with Virgin Media – and they may get a better offer for TNT Sports.
Virgin Media Stream customers won’t see any difference – since TNT Sports was always an optional, paid add-on on Stream.
And, it’s even cheaper on Stream, at least as of this writing – at just £10/month.
Virgin Media’s Response
A Virgin Media spokesperson told Cord Busters: “We are simplifying our broadband and TV packages to make it easier for customers to find a great-value plan that suits their needs.
“Existing customers will not see their package change as a result of these bundle updates unless they make a change to their services and agree a new deal with us.
“Should existing customers want to alter their package, we’re happy to review their options to ensure they can enjoy a great-value plan that suits their needs.”