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Student Accommodation

Best digital TV package deals 2022

For the times when you're binging shows to avoid uni work, it's super important to get the best deals on TV packages. Here are our top picks...

Happy woman beside yellow tv

Credit: jamesteohart (background), WAYHOME studio (foreground) – Shutterstock

With the rise of online streaming services, the cost of paid TV subscriptions has dropped hugely. Whether you're into your sport, movies or boxset binges, paying for live TV channels is still really popular (especially in shared student houses).

We've reviewed and compared the best TV package deals currently available, shown below. And, as an added bonus, we'll also throw in a few money-saving tips along the way.

For the best value, most of the TV packages here are bundled with broadband. If you have an existing broadband contract you can usually get TV only by browsing the provider's website.

Best TV and broadband packages

Compare TV package deals

ProviderBroadbandContractEffective Monthly CostWebsite
Virgin Media
Virgin Bigger Bundle
108 Mbps 18
months
£39.99
Inc. fees
Visit »
Sky TV
Sky Ultimate TV
11 Mbps
(Costs extra)
18
months
£26.11 Inc. fees Visit »
TalkTalk logo
TalkTalk Fast Broadband + TV
11 Mbps 18
months
£26.34 Inc. fees Visit »
BT TV bundle
Entertainment + Fibre 2
67Mbps
24
months
£45.96 Inc. fees & reward Visit » £100 REWARD

Digital TV package reviews


Virgin Media

Virgin Media

Bigger bundle

Virgin now only offer TV if you take it out as a bundle with their fibre broadband and line rental.

Get this deal »

 

Package details

  • Channels: 190+
  • TV box: Record, pause and rewind
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Extra: BT Sport, Sky One, 108Mbps broadband
  • Advertised cost: £39.99pm
  • Effective cost: £39.99pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £719.82

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 18 months: £719.82
  • Upfront costs: FREE
  • Calculation: (£719.82) / 18 = £39.99pm

Visit Virgin TV »

↑ Comparison table


Sky TV

Sky TV

Sky Ultimate TV

This package offers more channels than other providers, and the Sky Q box allows syncing with devices. Choice of add-on packages inc. Sports, Cinema, HD. The broadband bundle’s optional.

You also get a basic Netflix subscription with it.

Get this deal »

 

Package details

  • Channels: 300+
  • TV box: Record (1Tb), pause/rewind, sync
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Extra: Netflix
  • Advertised cost: £25pm
  • Effective cost: £26.11pm
  • Lifetime cost: £470

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV for 18 months: £450
  • Upfront costs: £20
  • Calculation: (£450 + £20) / 18 = £26.11pm

Visit Sky »

↑ Comparison table


TalkTalk TV green logo

TalkTalk

TalkTalk TV, broadband and entertainment boost

This has 30 extra entertainment channels (inc. Sky) beamed from a smart recording TV box. Broadband’s included.

Get this deal »

 

Package details

  • Channels: 80+
  • TV box: Record (180hrs), pause/rewind
  • Average broadband speed: 11 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £24.95pm
  • Effective cost: £26.34pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £474.10

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 18 months: £449.10
  • Upfront costs: £25
  • Calculation: (£449.10 + £25) / 18 = £26.34

Visit TalkTalk »

↑ Comparison table


BT TV

BT TV

Classic Starter Bundle

This is a good choice if you’re ok with a longer contract length.

You get a Now and Netflix subscription too.

Get this deal »

 

Package details

  • Channels: 170+
  • TV box: Record, pause/rewind
  • Average broadband speed: 67 Mbps
  • Contract: 24 months
  • Extra: Now & Netflix
  • Reward: £100 prepaid card
  • Advertised cost: £48.99pm
  • Effective cost: £45.96pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £1103.12

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 24 months: £1173.12
  • Upfront costs: £30
  • Calculation: (£1173.12 + £30 – £100) / 24 = £45.96pm

Visit BT »

↑ Comparison table

 

Is it worth getting a paid TV package?

tv on cabinet

Most recent TVs will already have Freeview channels included. But, if you have an older television, you can get a Freeview box on Amazon. With Freeview, you can access over 70 channels – including some in HD – and the boxes can be bought for around £25. After that initial cost, viewing is free (hence the name…).

If it’s movies you’re into, online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime (get six months free here) may satisfy your cravings for less money.

But if you have specific interests, such as live sport, paying for a TV package can open you up to over 300 live channels. Just review all the channels you’re getting before committing to a lengthy contract and weigh up the value for you.

If it’s sport you’re after, check out our guide to watching football for free.

Do you need to pay for a TV Licence?

The answer is: probably. Even though you’re paying a monthly subscription for your TV package, this doesn’t include the cost of a TV Licence. You’ll likely need to buy this separately.

They cost around £160 for the year and can be bought online. If you have a licence but don’t watch live TV during the summer months, you can apply for a refund.

But, if you’re savvy, you might not actually need one. You just need to take advantage of this TV Licence loophole.

How does TV package installation work?

Getting set up with a TV package is usually pretty easy. After confirming that they can supply your address, your provider will send you a set-top box that you can connect to your TV.

However, if your house hasn’t had cable or satellite services before, installation can be more complex. It could require an engineer to visit for an extra cost. You’ll also need to get permission from your landlord.

After installation, you’ll pay the advertised monthly fee for the length of the contract. However, if you find you’re not watching all the channels, you can sometimes rework the contract.

Moving out soon? Find out how to get your full deposit back.

How to get cheaper TV package deals

Four friends watching tv together

Credit: bbernard – Shutterstock

Here are some quick ways to save money on your paid TV package:

  • Only sign up for the channels you need
  • Pay upfront
  • Select paperless billing
  • Bundle with broadband and line rental
  • Watch out for price hikes (switch!)
  • Always haggle at the end of the contract
  • Seek out hidden charges when comparing (think about the ‘effective monthly cost’).

You can cut down your monthly bills even further by finding the best deals on energy and gas suppliers. Have a read of our guide to find out how.

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