Can you beat rising TV costs?

Holly Thomas / 31 January 2017 ( 12 July 2017 )

Have you ever found yourself flicking through channels and wondering exactly what it is you’re paying for?

The cost of some popular TV packages has risen at four times the rate of wage inflation and twice as fast as UK rail fares in the last seven years, according to new research.

Since 2010, while average UK rail fares have risen by 23%, the cost of some TV bundles has soared by 50% on average and some even had eye-watering hikes of 82% in the last seven years.

The research from Freesat also found that 99% of the most-watched shows on some packages are all available on free channels.

So if you find yourself sitting on the sofa flicking through channels you don't watch, it could be high time you looked at your TV package again. 

To compare the best digital TV deals in your area, use Saga's switching service. Find out more or call 0800 840 5375

Time to switch?

You can easily compare the cost of deals using online comparison sites which will show you what is available in your area.

There is no one-size-fits-all, best-value deal because everyone has different preferences. Your best bet is to be honest with yourself about which channels you really watch or want as a priority and search for a deal on a comparison website. For starters, see if you can bear to downgrade with your existing provider. Sky’s basic package is just £22 a month, according to a uSwitch study.

Far bigger savings can be made if you look at NowTV which works on a rolling contract - essentially, it's pay-as-you-go. You can buy a monthly entertainment pass for £6.99 which gives you access to the likes of Sky One and Sky Atlantic. You can add Sky Movies for £9.99 a month or Sky Sports for £33.99 a month. Look out for deals and free trial on offers - such as 14 days free - on all passes except for Sky Sports, so you can try before you buy.

Alternatively you can pay nothing and just use Freeview which is built into digital TVs. It offers 15 HD channels, 58 entertainment channels, five children's channels and seven news channels, as well as more than 30 radio stations.

What is Now TV?

Top tips:

1. Experts say the key to making savings is often by bundling television channels with broadband and home phone services. Because providers want you to bundle services, their prices are lower than getting services separately as an incentive to sign up.  And if you get a bundle it also means you only have one bill to manage each month.

2. Look at what you watch and, if you have enough data in your broadband and a fast enough connection, streaming TV may be another option.  

3.If you don't already have one, think about opening an account with a cashback site such as Topcashback or Quidco. You could get cashback on a range of deals, from monthly passes to signing up for 12-month or 18-month packages.

Next article: How to make your cash go further >>>

Let the experts at Saga's switching service find the best digital TV deal for you. Call 0800 840 5375 for free, personalised advice and dedicated switching support.  

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.