The United Kingdom has several main Tv providers, from Sky being one of the most well known to its competitors like Virgin and TalkTalk. But you might have wondered to yourself whether your TV provider actually worth the price that they demand? So how do you save money on your favourite TV subscriptions I hear you ask?
When I was younger my family was signed up to Sky, and I used to love watching TV shows and films. I would have it on in the morning after my paper round before I headed off to college and then it would go back on when I came home from college, and later 6th form, whilst I did my homework (usually on Kerrang!). At university I no longer had the option of watching Sky, or even of TV in general (might explain why I find computer games so enjoyable now), and whenever I returned home I found that I would rather do other things than watch Tv when I had time between my assignments and working part-time.
When Emma and I took the leap into living together (as you can tell we got on living together) we also had Sky, as Emma was a long standing customer of Sky. We soon enough discovered that only a handful of the channels were being watched and even after reducing our package it was still £40 a month! With a combination of mine and Emma's jobs at the time, Emma's blog, a lack of interest in the programs on Sky and a notice of increasing prices to Sky, we ended up leaving Sky.
We have not actually missed Sky at all since that time, it hasn't impacted our lives at all and in the meantime have found some great alternative places in which to spend any TV time together for a much lower cost or for free! These have after their fees have saved us £31.38 a month.
Sounds like a crazy thing to say but you can negotiate with your provider to get a better deal for yourself. One of the most successful ways to do this is to ring to cancel, and usually you will be transferred to a department that will do nearly anything in its power to keep you. If you are not confident on the phone however here is a super lazy way to haggle with Sky.
If negotiations go sour or you just want to outright save there are some awesome alternatives out there. Myself and Emma use several of these that have allowed us to not miss our Sky subscription at all! In fact some quickly became our new favourite TV subscriptions.
An obvious choice as an alternative is Netflix. After all we have all heard about it or even have it already. Netflix offers a huge amount of series and films for only £5.99 a month. Some of which are Netflix exclusives such as Stranger Things and the several Marvel heroes series.
You can watch Netflix from multiple devices such as Xbox, Playstation and Firestick, but you can also watch from your computer or Ipad. This makes Netflix a brilliant choice as you can watch from any device as long as you have internet.
Amazon Prime has lots of fantastic benefits. Not only do you get free next day delivery, you will also be able to watch great TV shows and films with Amazon Prime Video. Although it isn't as extensive as Netflix it offers a whole host of other series and films that Netflix doesn't, some of which are exclusive to Amazon Prime, such as Man in the high Castle.
Like Netflix you can also watch from multiple devices around your home or whilst out and about.
At £79 for a year it is a large price, though it works out at around £6.50 a month, yet gives you access to a lot of different features not just next day delivery and Prime Video. For those on the fence over Amazon Prime then you also get a free trial.
If you are worried about missing your favourite sports and cinema channels, then this is the one for you. NowTV is a monthly subscription service, that you can use via any device connected to the internet or a NowTV box. It even has watch on demand!
You can pay for one or several of the services (called passes) that you want. So if you just want cinema channels then you can just have your cinema channels. The passes can be stacked up. So what you are paying per month can vary a lot.
- Sky Cinema £9.99 a month
- Now TV entertainment £6.99 a month
- Now Tv kids £2.99 a month
Though the Sky sports pass is the more expensive of the passes it can be bought as either a month, 7 day or 24 hour pass. Brilliant for those that like the sports that aren't on as often, cricket & tour de France for example. My father-in-law pays £61.50 a month to have the sports channels as well as the entertainment channels with Sky. The Sky sports passes are:
- £33.99 a month
- £10.99 for 7 days
- £6.99 for 24 hours
You can get FREE passes though through a mobile phone game app called Snatch. Read more about what we think of Snatch over at my wife's blog.
If you enjoy TV reality shows then Hayu is the place for you. This service is just like Netflix but deals only in those TV reality shows that you either love or hate, or as some people do love to watch to hate on them!
Hayu is £3.99 a month but there is a free trial.
Freeview & Freesat
Exactly what it says on the tin! It is free channels that can be watched on your TV.
There is a one off payment if you do not have a TV that has Freeview built in as otherwise you will need a Freeview set top-box, and Freesat will need the top-box and a working satellite dish.
If you are coming off Sky then it is worth noting that there is also Freesat from Sky, in which you still get access to some of the channels from your old box. If you don't then there will be a one off payment with them to provide what you need.
Iplayer, ITV hub, All4 and more
All of the major channels such as BBC and ITV offer a free iplayer service. Not only can you watch live Tv but also you can watch missed shows and see other programs that don't air on anything other than the iplayer. Myself and Emma have ended up finding some really interesting or funny short series this way, such as the Cat-Olympics.
The down side with these services is that the programs often do not last all too long on the iplayer, some might only be on the iplayer for a couple of months. There are also the adverts to watch on some of the iplayers, which can get a little long at times.
Amazon TV Firestick
Although not a service by it's self it is well worth mentioning the Amazon TV Firestick.
The Firestick allows you to watch programs from different media sources from a single location. All that is needed is to pick which media you need and install them onto the Firestick for free, before enjoying them. There are also computer games available to download and play as well as screensavers. Some of these however aren't free.
We have Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hayu, BBC and ITV iplayers installed onto our own Firesticks.
The Amazon TV Firestick is £39.99 but was well worth buying to have the option of all the different media sources in a single device location that is easy and accessible to anyone.