If you find yourself still awake (or woken up) late at night, you often need something reliable and entertaining to watch. Sports channels offer a safe haven for dads doing late-night childcare duties, so in the typical sports format, here’s a power ranking of things to watch on BT Sport that you may not have seen before.

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10. CFL

I’ve watched a fair amount of the Canadian Football League, though even as a huge fan of American football, I only tend to watch CFL in moments of desperation. There are occasional entertaining moments, but as a fan of strong defensive play I find the tweaked rule tweaks in this variant of the sport skew too far in favour of the offence. The widening of the field, the lengthening of the end zones, and the fact that receivers get a running start make for some exciting plays, but it can pale in comparison to other American football.

9. Squash

I enjoy playing squash. Or more accurately, I enjoyed playing squash until I discovered my ankles are made of glass. It’s a physically draining and intense sport – and should be way more popular than it is. What might be holding it back is the viewing experience. An event I watched seemed a little bizarre: a well-dressed crowd drank wine and champagne (might have been prosecco) and looked down on this glass box, in which sweaty competitors did battle at high speed. It wouldn’t have been out of place in some movie about a nightmarish dystopian future.

8. NCAA Women’s Bowling

I frequently question the classification of snooker, darts, fishing and such the like as sports and their place on TV. I also have a strong ambivalence towards bowling; much due to the frustration that when we go on family holidays, I’m the only one who has zero interest in us all going bowling together. So it makes little sense then that I will happily watch NCAA bowling when it’s on. But I do.

7. Premiership Rugby

On the basis that physical sports are the superior sports, rugby is the best of the lot. As a kid I was largely ignorant to its appeal, but my fondness has increased as I’ve gotten older. I love the physicality and the discipline of the sport itself, and the analysis offered up in the BT Sport highlight shows are great for someone like me, who needs some guidance on the tactical nuances of the game.

6. MLB

Baseball is very much a love it or hate it affair, but makes for ideal late night viewing. The pace is agreeable, the coverage is excellent, and once you appreciate the strategy of the sport it’s highly addictive stuff.

5. NBA

If you’re awake for the vast majority of live NBA games it’s likely that something in your life has gone very wrong indeed. But being able to enjoy this fast paced, highly entertaining sport is at least some consolation.  

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4. UFC

“IT’S TIME!” should probably be changed to “It’s on all the time!”, considering how often UFC is on BT Sport. The channel is making full use of its licence to broadcast UFC, and does a great job. Most nights you’ll have some combination of re-runs of events, clip shows, and excellent analysis show featuring the ever-brilliant Dan Hardy. It’s ideal late night viewing.

3. College Football / NCAA Frozen Four

If you like NFL and NHL there’s no reason you shouldn’t like the college equivalent of both. College hockey coverage seems easier to access than NHL over here, whereas college football has a level of pomp and ceremony missing from the professional version of the game – the crowds are larger (it’s not uncommon for 100,000+), drunker, and soundtracked by massive bands located in the crowd. Some college games can be one-sided affairs, but a game between evenly matched teams will rival the best the NFL and NHL has to offer.

2. Lacrosse

If there was some kind of lord of sports, who was in charge of coming up with new sporting concepts based on focus groups feedback, I’m pretty sure lacrosse would be the result. It combines the best parts of football, American football, and hockey – a pacey, violent affair that requires lots of skill. I don’t quite understand the tactical subtleties of the sport, but it’s still fun to watch.

1. PBR (Professional Bull Riding)

There’s a moral conflict about watching bull riding. Undoubtedly, you’re on shaky ground over the mistreatment of animals. But damn is it entertaining. Commentators talk about the bulls as if they’re elite athletes, which is nice. And the humans attempting to ride these monstrous bulls often come out in far worse shape, as they’re flung around the place. It’s an excellent late night watch, as your attention span is no doubt limited at this time. The short bursts of action, which last mere seconds, are made all the more entertaining by the high stakes involved. If you enjoy PBR, you should check out the excellent Netflix series Fearless that provides a great insight to the sport.

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