‘Heartless’ BT Sport criticised by MP amid confusion over TV options

BT Sport are accused of being 'heartless' by an MP after failing to pause its subscriptions despite being unable to show live sport, including MotoGP

BT Sport - Jorge Lorenzo

BT Sport has been accused of attempting to ‘profit’ from customers by only offering opportunities to amend its television packages to those with flexible accounts.

MotoGP, which is televised to UK audiences through its services, is one of the many sports that has been affected by the coronavirus crisis, creating a headache for broadcasters who have sold packages calculated to the exclusive rights it offers.

However, while Sky has moved to pause their subscriptions automatically – including its Sky Sports packages – until the crisis has abated, BT Sport has run into controversy for only allowing those with a Flexible deal to switch to another television pack. Making no mention of those without a flexible package, BT instead encourages people to phone up to discuss their contract options but expect to be met with large call volumes.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for customers and if they wish to discuss their BT Sport contract or other options, would ask they give us a call,” read a statement dated Monday 23 March 2020. “Alternatively customers on our new flexible TV package can pause their Sport subscription and switch to a different pack should they wish – more details can be found on bt.com/tv.”

With no live sport to show, BT Sport – which has packages ranging from £15 to £60 a month for two years - says it is working hard to revise its schedule with the content it already has, though its statement neglects to say where MotoGP fits into this.

“We have been busy working on a revised schedule for BT Sport which will include variations of popular shows such as Premier League Tonight, live WWE, Rugby Tonight, BT Sport Films and ESPN Films, recent boxing events and classic football, rugby and other sport fixtures from across the years.”

The lack of clarity being offered to customers has prompted Labour MP Carolyn Harris to call them out on their ‘heartless’ practices.

“BT are without doubt a total disgrace. I'm appalled that in this time of national crisis they are totally heartless in their business practice. Whilst the rest of the country come together in a spirit of unit and survival, they use the situation to profit, whilst not fulfilling on their commitment.”

With MotoGP currently postponing its events, rather than cancelling them, BT Sport could potentially argue that as it stands the same number of races will ultimately be shown this year. For now, round one of the MotoGP class is scheduled for May 1-3 at Jerez, but this is expected to change as the crisis worsens in Europe and nations initiate stricter lockdowns.