Once upon a time, you could only get TV packages from dedicated TV providers and the only real choice was between digital TV packages or sticking with regular free-to-air TV. Now you can get a wide selection of TV packages from leading broadband providers, streaming services and other digital platforms. Meanwhile, TV providers have begun bundling their services with broadband packages to give consumers the most value for their money.
TV packages in the UK vary quite significantly depending on your choice of provider and TV package. When looking for a TV package it’s important to first consider your TV viewing habits.
- Do you like to watch new TV shows and movies as soon as they’re available? If you love watching new episodes of TV shows and enjoy watching new movies, you’ll probably want to go for a more comprehensive digital TV package from providers like Sky and Virgin Media.
- Do you watch a lot of live sport? Live sports are available in a number of TV packages, but they’re typically the most expensive. If live sport is your passion then it can work out to be more cost effective to subscribe to a bigger TV package, as adding on services like Sky Sports and BT Sport can quickly get expensive.
- Do you have kids –– young or old –– that need quite a lot of entertainment? Kids channels are usually included in TV packages from providers like Sky and Virgin Media –– as are a number of music channels and reality TV channels for the teenagers –– but you can add these services individually on platforms like NOW TV.
- Do you like to have the TV on in the background and just rewatch episodes of your favourite shows? Don’t discount the simple pleasure of having a constant stream of comfort content readily available. Streaming services give you a great choice of content, but sometimes the act of having to make a choice means you never press play. Having access to a wide range of digital channels in bundle TV packages can be a grat comfort that you don’t need to deny yourself.
The best TV package deals will often be linked to a broadband provider. And since you need good internet in order to enjoy most TV services, it makes sense to starting looking for TV deals from your broadband provider. If your provider doesn’t offer TV package deals, or at least not the kind that you’re looking for, then it’s time to look at what other TV providers can offer.
Currently, the biggest TV providers in the UK market are Sky, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. Below we will look at the TV packages offered by each to help you find the best deals out there.
Sky's Signature package includes a wide variety of pay-TV channels, including Sky Atlantic, FOX, Comedy Central and dedicated music and documentary channels like Discovery and Nat Geo Wild. If that's not enough, you can add and remove 31-day packs for Box Sets, HD or kids' content. Sky’s Multiroom option — which you can add for a fee — is also great as it allows you to enjoy Sky channels in different rooms in the same household at the same time.
The best TV package from Sky –– Sky Signature –– is perfect for families and those that want access to as much TV content as possible. You can bundle in flexible access to Sky Sports, box sets and even Netflix and Disney Plus. When it comes to sheer volume of content and the number of ways in which you and your family can watch it, Sky TV is still your best choice.
Virgin Media has simplified its TV packages which are available as part of its broadband, TV and phone bundles. These include the Big Bundle, Bigger Bundle, and Ultimate Oomph Bundle, offering 100+, 190+ and 230+ channels respectively.
While the Virgin Media Ultimate Oomph TV package offers a huge selection of content, it’s the lower-end Big Bundle which probably offers the best value for most TV viewers. The combination of over 100 premium channels bundled in with Virgin Media’s incredibly fast M100 broadband, with average download speeds of 108Mbps, makes it a top-range broadband and TV package for a very reasonable price.
Check out the latest Virgin Media broadband and TV deals.
BT and Sky recently called a truce in their battle for the airing rights to live sports in the UK. Their new collaboration has made it easier than ever for BT fans to access exclusive Sky content and vice versa. As such, BT TV users can easily access a range of Sky channels on flexible monthly passes from NOW TV.
BT TV has five TV packages: Entertainment, Big Entertainment, Sport, Big Sport, and VIP.
The best TV packages from BT TV include BT Sport which is an absolute must for sports fans. BT Big Sport includes access to all the BT Sport channels and all 11 Sky Sports channels at one of the cheapest monthly rates available.
There are TV packages specially designed for sports fans, TV lovers, movie buffs and kids. Most of the time you'll find packages that offer the channels you want in related genres. In some cases, you can mix and match them into bundles or subscribe to individual channels to create your own personalised TV package.
The most expensive TV packages are those that include movie channels and sports channels, but there are key TV packages that can make even these affordable.
The cheapest TV package for movies is typically the NOW TV Sky Cinema pass which you can purchase individually for £11.99 or add to other services like BT TV or TalkTalk TV. The Sky Cinema pass lets you watch thousands of new and classic movies, plus get a brand new premiere every day.
The trick to getting the cheapest TV package for sport is finding one that gives you access to both Sky Sports and BT Sport. While it may cost the same to purchase BT Sport from Sky as it does to purchase Sky Sports from BT, BT TV allows you to get a sports TV package without having to subscribe to all the other entertainment channels too.
Read our guide on the what’s the cheapest way to watch football on TV for more details.
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