Find out all you need to know before you pick a deal
With so many broadband and TV bundle deals to choose from, deciding which package is best for you can be overwhelming. The first step is to take a look at your household's TV viewing and online habits.
Once you’ve got an idea of what it is you're looking for, you're ready for step two: "the search". Here are some things to think about when you’re comparing different broadband and TV packages:
TV packages come in many shapes and sizes, with something for everyone; whether you’re a football fan, movie addict or a student on a budget; what is offered by each provider can differ quite a bit though, so we recommend you do your research.
Most broadband providers will let you pick and choose which TV packages to add to your subscription. So, let’s take a look at the types TV add-ons on offer to help you choose the right package:
Most broadband and TV providers offer a basic, entry-level TV subscription, often known as an entertainment package.
After all, what’s TV without entertainment? These will typically be the cheapest bundle deals offered by each provider.
Not all of these starter packs are the same, however, and some have a much more comprehensive offering of channels to what many people would consider ‘basic’.
For example, the number of channels offered on NOW’s entertainment package is 18, whereas Sky’s equivalent package includes over 300.
Entertainment TV packages are where you’ll usually find premium channels such as Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Comedy Central, and MTV.
Each provider will differ slightly, however, so always make sure to check exactly what channels you’ll get so you don’t end up disappointed:
Number of channels (base packages)
300+ (inc. Netflix subscription)
£25 (TV only)
£43 (with superfast broadband)
80 (inc. 12 channels in full HD)
£12 (TV add-on)
109 (Big Bundle)
172 (Big Bundle + Drama & Docs)
£33 (Big Bundle)
£37.99 (Big Bungle + Drama & Docs)
£9.99 (rolling contract, TV only)
150+ (inc. Amazon Prime Video + Premier Sprots subscriptions)
£15.99 (TV add-on)
70 (Freeview channels only)
£24 (with fibre broadband)
You should also look out for any extras included with a basic TV subscription which could help to seal the deal. This could include a monthly subscription to an online streaming service.
For example, Sky is now offering a Netflix subscription with their basic TV package, while you’ll get Amazon Prime Video with Origin’s 4K TV bundle.
You should also note that Freeview channels are often included as part of these basic packages, so bear that in mind if you already have a Freeview box at home.
In fact, TalkTalk stopped offering exclusive TV channels at the end of 2020, so now all you get with TalkTalk TV are those 70 Freeview channels. If you have a smart TV, it should already come with these channels by default.
As most sports fans already know, following your favourite team doesn’t come cheap.
The competition between broadcasting giants Sky and BT is fierce, and to watch every big event live you’ll probably need multiple subscriptions and a healthy budget.
Football fans, on the other hand, will need to fork out quite a bit to catch every game, as the Premier League is shared between not only Sky and BT, but now Amazon Prime Video too.
And if you want to watch live matches from European leagues including La Liga and Serie A, that’ll set you back another £11 a month, thanks to exclusive coverage from online-only platform Premier Sport.
When it comes to choosing a sports TV package, Sky, BT and Virgin Media all offer both Sky Sports and BT Sport under one package, at varying price points.
NOW, however, currently only offer Sky Sports channels as part of their sports pass, although you can get around this by signing up to BT Sport’s contract-free monthly pass, which you can watch on the BT Sport app (no need to be a BT broadband or TV customer).
For more info, check out our page on the best TV sports packages.
Another option if you want to keep costs to a minimum, is stick to rolling, monthly contracts.
Currently, you can only find these with the NOW sports pass (Sky Sports) or the BT Sport app, but it means you can cancel at any time and only pay for the months when the sporting event you’re interested in is occurring.
NOW also offer a daily, one-time only sports pass, but at almost £10 a go this is only really worth it if you watch one match or event per month or less.
Thankfully, choosing a movie TV package is a bit simpler than sports. This is because the channels you get are actually the same no matter which provider you choose.
Sky, Virgin Media, BT and NOW all offer a movie package that consist of the 11 Sky Cinema channels which are based on certain genres, including Sky Cinema Action, Sky Cinema Family, and Sky Cinema Comedy.
As the channels offered by each providers’ movie package are essentially the same, it would make sense to look at the total price of each service as the deciding factor.
However, some providers such as Sky include over 1,000 movies to watch on demand as part of the package, so look out for these extras too.
£37 (broadband bundle)
|£62 (broadband bundle)
|£11.99 (rolling contract, TV only)
For more details, take a look at our page on the best TV packages with movies.
If you have young children at home and are looking for ways to keep them entertained, you can’t go wrong with adding a kids TV package to your broadband service.
Luckily, these are among the cheapest add-ons available, and you shouldn’t be paying more than £5 a month on top of your bill.
Kids TV packages will typically have a handful (6-8) of dedicated kids channels, including Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. While this might not sound like a lot, only CBBC and CBeebies are currently available on Freeview, and we know children can get bored pretty quickly!
|8 channels & 5,000 episodes on demand
|7 channels & catch-up TV
|6 channels & 1,000s of shows on demand
|£3.99 (rolling contract, TV only)
If you don’t have a TV, you can still get a TV subscription through NOW, which allows you to watch any of its passes on any device compatible with the NOW TV app. This includes laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
BT Sport can also be watched exclusively on the BT Sport app, although Sky TV, BT TV and Virgin Media’s TV bundles will require an installation and delivery fee (for the set-top box or satellite dish).
If you’re not too fussed about live TV, but still like to binge TV shows and watch the occasional movie, you could save a lot of money by skipping TV bundle packages altogether and settling with a streaming service or two – like Netflix or Amazon Prime video.
These start at between £5 and £10 per month each, and all you’ll need is an internet connection and a device to watch it on, whether that’s a smart TV, laptop, tablet, or even just a smartphone.
Just have a normal TV that doesn't provide you access to all these services? Worry not, as it is pretty simple these days to turn your normal TV into a Smart TV with a set-top box; read out guide on How to turn a TV into a Smart TV for more information.
It’s also becoming increasingly common for broadband providers to include a streaming service subscription in their TV bundle deals. Some providers will reel you in with promise of access to on-demand TV apps such as Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime Video, so look out for these packages too.
For more information, visit our streaming services page.
When comparing different broadband and TV packages, you need to think about more than just what you want to watch. Different providers offer different services, each with their own pros and cons.
When finding a new broadband and TV provider, often you'll think about the price first. You want the best value for money, understandably so. NOW offers some of the most competitively priced TV packages, when compared to BT TV, Sky TV and Virgin Media. However, it might not offer all the kinds of services you and your family are after.
Depending on what your priorities are when looking for a new package, these are currently some of the best providers:
While you might be tempted to go with whatever the lowest monthly cost is, one of the most important things to be aware of is the contract length, and whether or not there are any early termination fees. For example, if you're in student accommodation, it makes no sense to get a 18 month contract or a 24 month contract, unless you plan to stay put. NOW is one of the only TV providers offering a rolling 30-day or 12-month contract, which give you a great deal more flexibility.
When it comes to accessing the widest selection of channels, nothing beats Sky TV. Sky’s most basic TV package comes with 300+ channels, including Sky Atlantic, Sky One,National Geographic and Comedy Central. Higher-tier packages include access to Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and Sky box sets. There's even the option to buy temporary access passes, opening yourself up to premium HD quality channels and box sets with lower overall cost.
Sky's multi-room function, which does cost extra per month, allows you to watch different Sky channels simultaneously throughout the house. The inclusive 1TB set top box also allows you to pause and rewind live as well as record TV and movies. For a small fee you can upgrade to the 2TB Sky Box that stores 1000 hours of premium quality TV.
While the benefits of a Sky box can't be understated, BT offers one of the most competitive and popular sports TV packages on the market. BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and ESPN channels provide coverage of major events such as the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, the Ashes and the UFC. The BT On Demand store also hosts a wide variety of films and TV shows at the click of a button, and allows you to download Sky Cinema and Sky Sports.
While major players like BT and Sky have a number of their own channels, these channels aren't exclusive to these providers. For example, BT customers can get Sky Sports and Sky customers can get BT Sport, as long as they pay a bit extra for the add-on.
Virgin Media, which doesn't have any of its own channels, allows you to access pretty much all of them thanks to a whole range of add-ons and extras. For example, Virgin Media's Ultimate Volt bundle is one of the most comprehensive TV and broadband packages out there, although it's also one of the priciest.
Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, NOW, and Origin all offer broadband and TV bundle deals. If you’re after a comprehensive package, you’re better off judging them by overall price; but if you’re clear about what you want specifically, look at who offers the best value for your chosen package (sports, films, etc) and work from there.
Take a look at the table below at the different passes and packages on offer from Sky, BT, and NOW, as well as their monthly costs:
(Please note that these prices are for the TV subscription add-ons ONLY - for broadband and TV bundle prices, have a look at our deals table at the top of this page)
|£25pm (300+ channels as well as Netflix)
|£11pm (Sky TV + 11 Sky Cinema channels & >1,000 movies on demand)
|£20pm (Sky TV + Sky Sports)
£27pm (BT Sport)
|£5pm (Sky TV + 8 Sky Kids channels & >5,000 episodes on demand)
|£12pm (80 channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky One & Comedy Central)
|£22pm (BT Entertainment + NOW Cinema Membership)
|£15pm (4 BT Sport channels & Freeview)
£40pm with Sky Sports included
|£5pm (7 dedicated kids channels as a rolling monthly add-on)
|£9.99pm (18 channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky One & Comedy Central)
|£11.99pm (11 Sky Cinema channels)
|£33.99pm (11 Sky Sports channels only)
|£3.99pm (6 dedicated kids channels)
Virgin Media also offer a wide range of broadband and TV bundles, although their pricing is structured differently so they weren’t included in this table. For more information on Virgin’s TV packages, head over to our Virgin Media TV page.
When looking for a new provider, it's important to know what kind of TV and broadband is actually available in your area.
BT uses the Openreach network to provide its customers with TV and internet, which is available in around 99% of homes.
To get Sky TV, you need a satellite dish, which means you need to live somewhere where there aren't too many obstructions.
Virgin Media uses its own network of fibre optic cables, which is great in terms of speeds, but means it's not readily available across the country.
Use our postcode checker to see what infrastructure has already been laid in your area, so you ensure you find the best deals for your needs.
Enter your postcode to find deals near you
More often than not, broadband deals come with line rental bundled in. This means that whether you need it or not, you’ll get a landline along with your internet. Often, the base phone package offered as part of any internet deal will offer pay-as-you-go calls, but you can also find unlimited call packages with most providers.
For information on bundling your broadband service with your landline, and to compare the best packages, head over to our page on broadband and phone deals.
Generally speaking, it’ll be cheaper and simpler to get your TV and internet from the same provider. But this isn’t always the case. It can be worth comparing prices for broadband on its own with prices for different providers’ TV offerings if you really want to make sure you’re getting the best deal all round.
We’d only really recommend doing this if, for example, you can only get a particular high-speed package from one provider, but are desperate for the sports channels offered by another.
You'll find some of the cheapest TV deals from NOW TV, which uses an internet connection to bring you a small but significant selection of Sky channels, on a flexible month by month basis. For just £9.99 per month you'll get access to 11 Sky TV channels, including Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Comedy Central and FOX. For a one-off £11.99 payment you'll also get a 30-day TV entertainment pass for Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, Entertainment, Hayu or Sports and Kids. You also won't need a set top box to get going; just the app. So you'll need to make sure you have a Smart TV that can download from an App Store.
Mostly yes - it's only Sky's set top box that doesn't let you stream via Netflix.
Certainly! You can download the NOW TV App or visit the website to start streaming today.
Yes; you need to make sure you have a strong and healthy internet connection in order to watch digital TV.
Not necessarily. The TV license only applies to the BBC, so if you're catching up on something via BBC iPlayer then yes you'll need to make sure you've paid the license.
Last reviewed: 07 March 2023
Next review: 07 April 2023