Best TV and broadband deals and how to find them

Save hundreds of pounds a year with our guide to broadband and TV packages
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  • Whether you want superfast download speeds, multiple TV channels or access to the top streaming services, a TV and broadband package is a great way of getting everything you need in one place. But with research suggesting many of us are overpaying by hundreds of pounds a year on current contracts, it’s crucial to check what else is out there.

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    There are hundreds of different TV and broadband deals and they vary widely when it comes to their monthly price, the number of channels they offer, broadband speed, add-ons and extra perks. By taking the time to compare your current deal with other packages, you could save some much-needed cash and end up with a deal that better suits your needs.

    The good news is that switching when you’re outside of your minimum-term contract is easier than ever – in many instances, you just need to order a new package and your new provider will take care of the rest.

    Best TV and broadband deals 2020

    Best TV, broadband and phone package deals

    Provider Deal name Average* broadband speed Channels Monthly/
    setup costs
    Notes
    Virgin Media Bigger TV Bundle, Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & phone 213Mb* 220 £49.00 p/m
    no setup costs
    12-month contract; Unlimited downloads
    Sky Sky TV & Sky Broadband Superfast with Evening & Weekend Calls 59Mb* 300 £52.00 p/m
    £29.95 setup cost
    18-month contract; Unlimited downloads

    Best phone and broadband deals (no TV)

    Provider Deal name Average* broadband speed Monthly/
    setup costs
    Notes
    Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone 108Mb* £33.00 p/m
    no setup costs
    12-month contract; Unlimited downloads
    Vodafone Superfast 2 Broadband and Phone Line 63Mb* £22.95 p/m
    no setup costs
    24-month contract; Unlimited downloads (20.95 p/m for existing mobile customers)

    Best broadband and TV deals (no phone line)

    Provider Deal name Average* broadband speed Channels Monthly/
    setup costs
    Notes
    BT Fibre 1 & Entertainment 50Mb* 52 £38.99 p/m
    £9.99 setup cost
    24-month contract; Unlimited downloads, £70 BT reward card

    Best fibre broadband-only deals

    Provider Deal name Average* broadband speed Monthly/
    setup costs
    Notes
    Talk Talk Fixed-price Unlimited Superfast Fibre 67Mb* £21.95 p/m
    no setup costs
    18-month contract; Unlimited downloads

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    How to shop for the best TV and broadband deals

    What broadband speed do I need?

    Aside from cost, speed is probably the most important thing to look at when deciding which broadband package to go for. In general, the faster the speed the better because it means you can download and stream your favourite content quickly. However, faster broadband speeds are usually more expensive, so if want to keep costs down you should think carefully about what you really need.

    First off, it’s worth checking your current broadband speed. The information should be on your latest bill, but if it isn’t you can call your provider to find out. Broadband speed is usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

    In most cases, households with one or two people who just use the internet for browsing and social media will only need broadband speed of up to 30Mbps. If your house has three or more users who go on the internet at the same time, then a speed of 30 to 60Mbps would be more suitable.

    Those who use the internet heavily for online gaming or streaming films should opt for 60 to 100Mbps, while serious gamers or people who work with lots of large files would require 100Mbps or higher.

    Which TV package is best for me?

    Best-TV-and-broadband-deals

    Image credit: TI Media

    Choosing the right TV package will depend on what you and your family like to watch and what your budget is. It’s worth writing down your favourite shows, what devices you watch them on and whether you watch things that aren’t on regular TV (such as Netflix and YouTube).

    You can then think about how much you’re willing to pay – some premium channels like sports and movies can send monthly bills rocketing.

    Sky – best all-rounder

    Sky offers a variety of TV “packs” containing a collection of channels and on-demand content. The Sky Signature pack comes as standard and includes around 300 channels, Sky BoxSets on-demand and 40 catch-up channels. You can add on any other packs you like, such as Sky Cinema and Sky Sports. Sky requires a satellite dish and is one of the more expensive options.

    Virgin Media – best for channel choice

    Virgin Media offers a wide range of TV packages, including the “big bundle” with over 110 channels, the “bigger bundle” with over 230 channels, a movies bundle and a sports bundle. Its TiVo set top box lets you pause and rewind live TV and access on-demand content such as Netflix.

    You can pay extra for channels like Sky Sports and BT Sport. It’s one of the most expensive services, however all the TV options are available on 30-day rolling contracts.

    BT – best for bundling with broadband and phone

    BT is a cheaper option than Sky and Virgin Media, but it’s only available with a BT broadband and phone package. The “starter” package offers 80 Freeview TV and radio channels as well as catch-up TV via the YouView box.

    The top package “Max” includes free BT Sport and 50 premium channels, which you can view on the YouView+ Ultra HD box. Bolt-ons include Netflix, Sky Cinema and BT Box Office.

    TalkTalk – best for flexibility

    TalkTalk is also based around the YouView box, but it’s more flexible than BT because it enables you to add and remove channels on a monthly basis. This can be a great option during sports seasons. TalkTalk is one of the cheaper TV providers out there, but like BT it’s only available as part of a phone and broadband package.

    Now TV – best for commitment phobes

    Now TV is a cheap way of streaming TV shows without committing yourself to a contract. You can buy one or more “passes” – entertainment, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, kids and hayu – on a rolling monthly basis and watch shows online or via the Now TV stick.

    Should I get a broadband and TV bundle?

    All of the TV providers mentioned above offer broadband and TV bundles. A bundle is convenient because it means you only have one supplier, one contract and one bill to deal with. What’s more, some bundles come with discounts and additional perks, such as cashback or a free laptop.

    ‘A TV and broadband bundle could work out cheaper than taking out a separate subscription for each, but this may not always be the case, so it pays to compare prices and packages online by using an on-site filter tailored to your requirements and budget,’ says Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com.

    The downside of a broadband and TV bundle is you could end up paying for things you don’t actually use, such as TV channels you don’t watch, or sacrificing broadband speed so you can afford a premium movie package.

    ‘TV and broadband bundles are great if you want to watch live TV and sports, but if you don’t it might be better to buy standalone broadband and then add a streaming service like Netflix,’ says Rory Stoves, spokesperson for Uswitch.

    ‘Alternatively, you might want to get a superfast broadband connection with, say, TalkTalk and have Sky as your TV provider. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.’

    Only looking for bundles could also mean you miss out on some of the less well-known standalone providers like Zen Internet and Hyperoptic, who were recently voted the fastest broadband providers in a survey by Broadband Genie.

    Can I get broadband and TV without a phone line?

    Best-TV-and-broadband-deals-phone

    Image credit: Jon Day

    If you want broadband from one of the main providers but don’t want a phone line, your only real option is to go with Virgin Media. Its fibre network is separate from BT’s, so it can bring a broadband connection into your home directly.

    Having said that, Virgin Media sometimes charges more for a broadband package without line rental than it does for one with line rental, so it could prove cheaper to just get a landline and not use it. Additionally, all of Virgin Media’s broadband and TV bundles include line rental – as do the bundles from all the other TV and broadband package providers – and if you split them out you could end up paying more.

    The only other way of getting broadband and TV without a phone line is to get mobile broadband, however the current 4G network is only fast enough for basic online activities. You’d need to live somewhere with a strong 5G signal to use streaming services like Netflix.

    Can I switch at any time? What are the restrictions?

    It is possible to switch deals before the end of your contract, but you’ll probably have to pay a hefty exit fee. Some providers make customers pay off all the remaining months of the contract at once, plus the cost of any equipment they supplied, which could amount to well over £100.

    An exception to this is you’re suffering from extremely slow broadband speeds. All of the main providers are bound by Ofcom regulations, which state that customers have the right to cancel their broadband contract without charge if their broadband speeds drop below their provider’s minimum level.

    How do I know if I’m out of contract?

    Best TV and broadband deals date

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    New rules that came into effect in February 2020 make it easier to know when your TV and broadband contract is coming to an end. Providers have to send their customers an alert between 10 and 40 days before their contract ends showing the contract end date, how much you’ll pay after the contract ends and the best deals and prices available to new customers.

    If you’re already out of contract, you’ll be sent a reminder every year about the provider’s new deals. However, you don’t have to wait for the reminder before switching – you can leave straightaway if you’ve found a better deal.

    How can I reduce my bill with an existing broadband/TV supplier?

    If you’re happy with your existing supplier’s service but think it’s too expensive, it’s always worth phoning them up and trying to haggle a better deal.

    You’re more likely to have success if you negotiate towards the end of your contract when your provider knows there’s a real chance you could leave. Checking what other deals are out there will help you to determine a realistic price to aim for.

    You might need to try several times before your provider reduces the price. And even if they refuse to budge, there could be free extras like a faster broadband speed or additional TV channels up for grabs.

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