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Watch the Premier League for less

20+ tips to find the cheapest football package

The football season is upon us, and the battle to be the cheapest TV provider is almost as hot as the fight to be Premier League champions. Pricing is more art than science, so check out our 20 tips to cut the cost of your footie fix.

This guide includes how to watch the Premier League for less, what's on offer from the big UK TV providers and how to haggle a discount. Right now, we're seeing some cracking deals...

The football season is upon us, and the battle to be the cheapest TV provider is almost as hot as the fight to be Premier League champions. Pricing is more art than science, so check out our 20 tips to cut the cost of your footie fix.

This guide includes how to watch the Premier League for less, what's on offer from the big UK TV providers and how to haggle a discount. Right now, we're seeing some cracking deals...

First analyse what you want based on the football you'll watch

This is all about just how much of a fanatic you are, so home in on the best deal based on exactly how much football you'll watch.

Sky Sports has the rights to the majority of live TV games - but this season BT Sport has some corkers as well

Sky Sports & BT Sports

There are 154 Premier League games in the 2014/15 season to be shown live on UK TV. Sky has the rights to the majority of games, some 116, while the remaining 38 are with BT. Be warned though, buying access to every live game isn't MoneySaving by anyone's book.

To see which matches each channel has check the Sky Sports and BT Sport live matches lists, though only fixtures up to November have been picked for TV so far.

More info on Sky Sports

More info on BT Sport

Sky Sports is cheapest on BT but if you love sport, you'll miss other big events

BT allows you to add Sky Sports to its TV packages, but only Sky Sports 1 and 2. This gives you access to all the Premier League games Sky covers, but you'll miss out on Spanish football and Formula One.

If you take the full Sky Sports package with Sky or Virgin, you'll get access to all seven Sky Sports channels, including the newest, Sky Sports 5, which covers European football.

New customers with Sky can get 50% off Sky Sports and a £25 voucher

If you're looking for a new TV deal, this Sky offer is an absolute net-buster and the best about if you want to watch all live Premier League games (though you'll need to add BT Sport on top for that). While you get it for a decent price though, it's still a substantial outlay.

Sky Sports Sky Sports and basic Sky TV 50% off codes Plus £25 vch, 2yrs 'free' b'band

Deals on Sky Sports rarely crop up at the start of the football season, but fill in the form below and new Sky customers (or those who left 12 months+ ago) can get an MSE Blagged code for 50% off the Sky Sports Bundle (and other TV packages) for a year, plus a £25 Tesco or M&S voucher, or £25 in credit on a prepaid Mastercard.

You must use it by noon on Tue 2 Sept. There are also two broadband deals you can choose from - a year 'free' blagged with our code, or two years 'free' with Sky Sports. For both you'll need Sky's line rental.

If you got a code from one of our previous Sky offers, but didn't use it, you CAN get another code this time around.

Here's a quick breakdown of what you get:

50% off basic Sky TV and Sky Sports (excl HD)

£25 back in Tesco/M&S vouchers, or in credit

Two years' 'free' standard broadband if you take £15.40/mth line rental

...or if you'd rather, far quicker fibre-optic (up to 38Mb) at half-price for a year.

Weekend calls to landlines

Compulsory £10 set-up fee and £6.95 router p&p

£20 installation for a new line if you need one

Enter your details below and you'll be emailed a code. Then return here after 10am on Fri 29 Aug to redeem it via a special link. We'll ALSO email you a reminder on Friday. You must use it by noon on Tue 2 Sept.

Get your 50% off Sky TV and 'free' broadband for a year voucher code

Enter your email address and postcode

Email:
Postcode:
Privacy Policy

IMPORTANT INFO - MUST READ:

  • You can’t use the code until Fri – we’ll email you a reminder. After that, we won't send you any more emails about this offer.
  • You must use the specific link above to apply. If you go via any other method you won't get this deal.
  • 'Free' broadband & 50% off TV only for one year (or two years' broadband with Sky Sports). After the offer period, broadband is £7.50/month (though Sky may raise this in the interim) and TV costs will rocket, so consider switching if you can get it cheaper then.
  • Codes can't be passed on or sold. The codes are linked to postcodes, so they can't be sold on.
  • Please ONLY get a code if you'll use it. As there's heavy demand, you'll be denying someone else a code otherwise.
  • Code does not work in conjunction with cashback. Sky says it will not honour cashback on any orders made via a cashback site.

Got more questions? Read our quick Q&A

Already got a TV package? Haggle a discount

Haggle that discount!

If you've already got a TV package with sports from Sky, Virgin, BT or TalkTalk, you could try haggling with your current provider to get the sports channels at a discounted rate (or even free!).

Existing Sky TV customers can also grab rare deals for upgrading, including up to £25 in M&S vouchers

If you've already got Sky, here's a rare existing customer deal.

Sky Sports

Up to £25 M&S voucher and 2 years' 'free' b'band?* If you add Sky Sports and/or b'band & phone line rent

Existing customer offers are as rare as a convincing England World Cup display, but Sky have broken the mould. If you've already got Sky TV you'll get the following if you go through the Sky Sports* link (deals not available by phone):

Up to £25 in M&S vouchers

Whether you get a voucher depends on what package you currently have and what you take.

  • Not got either Sky broadband or Sky Sports? You can get a £25 voucher by adding the full Sky Sports package (£24.50/mth from Mon 1 Sep) + two years' 'free' broadband. Alternatively take half-price fibre-optic broadband (details below) with Sky Sports, but you'll get no voucher.

  • Not got Sky broadband (but have Sky Sports)? You can get a £25 voucher if you add 'free' broadband for two years. Alternatively take half-price fibre optic broadband for a year (details below), but you won't get the voucher with the fibre broadband, only the 'free' broadband.

  • Not got Sky Sports (but have Sky broadband)? Take the full Sky Sports package (£24.50/mth from Mon 1 Sep) + get two years' 'free' broadband or half-price fibre-optic broadband even if you're still in contract (details below). There's no voucher with this offer.

For the deals where you get a voucher, you'll be emailed it within 28 days of activating your broadband.

Full info on the 'free' unlimited standard broadband for two years or 'half-price' fibre-optic for a year

Just want to watch the odd game online? Get a £7 day pass or £11 week pass for Sky Sports

If you only want to watch certain matches, you can buy a Sky Sports web streaming pass with Now TV*.

Virgin's top deal for new customers include superfast broadband & BT Sport

Virgin offers a range of packages, all of which come with superfast broadband, but our top pick also includes BT Sport. It's more expensive than the deals above but not everyone wants or can get Sky. One advantage of Virgin over BT is that you can't get Sky Sports in HD on BT.

Virgin Media

Sky Sports & BT Sport with Virgin* Plus superfast unlimited b'band and weekend calls

If you want to watch every game and get unlimited fibre-optic broadband, it won't be cheap, but the most cost-effective option is getting Virgin's Big Kahuna* package on an 18-month contract and then adding in Sky Sports. For new customers it's £60/mth for 12 months, £71/mth after that, plus line rental. BT Sport is included.

  • Virgin Media TV. This gives a 500GB TiVo set-top box and 230+ channels, including 41 channels in HD.

  • Fibre broadband. Superfast unlimited fibre broadband with speeds of up to 152Mb. Available to 50% of the UK.

  • Weekend calls. Unlimited weekend calls to landlines for a maximum 60 mins - hang up and redial to avoid additional charges.
  • Make it HD. BT Sport comes as standard with HD on this bundle. Add Sky Sports in HD for an additional £7/mth.

  • Line rental at £15.99/mth or £144/year (equiv £12/mth). Line rental's usually £15.99/mth, but if you call 0345 840 7777 after signing up via the above link, you can opt to pay upfront for a year at £144. Crucially you need to phone to do this BEFORE installation, otherwise you'll pay more. Then it’s £15.99/mth for the remaining six months of the contract.

Option to add Sky Sports just for the football season

Don't want to pay? It's possible to watch loads of football on TV absolutely free

If you just want to watch football and don't care whether it's the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup or internationals, you can do so for free on BBC and ITV through Freeview.

BT broadband customers automatically get 'free' BT Sport - and there's an £80 voucher for newbies

BT markets its BT Sport channel as free to broadband customers, but you'll need it's superfast broadband and line rental to get it through your TV so there's more to it than that.

BT Sport

BT Sport 'free' with BT b'band + £80 Sainsbury's vch* Add Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £21/mth

You can watch BT Sport through your TV - including some HD channels free for six months - if you take out BT's superfast Infinity broadband and its line rental on an 18-month contract. Plus, until Mon 8 Sep, new customers can get an £80 Sainsbury’s voucher on top.

  • BT TV Entertainment, Infinity fibre broadband and calls. This costs £10/mth for six months, then £22.45/mth for 12 months. Speed is up to 38Mb, with a 20GB monthly download limit. Available to 60% of the UK.

  • HD Extra free for six months. BT's HD Extra bolt-on gives you access to BT Sport in HD through your telly, plus 13 other HD channels. BT is offering HD free for six months, and £3/mth after that, if you want to keep it.

  • Compulsory line rental. It costs £15.99/month but during the sign up process you can pay £159.84 upfront for a year, equivalent to £13.32/mth. For the remaining six months - or if you opt to pay monthly - it's £15.99/mth.

  • £49 activation fee. You'll have to pay £49 for activation, and £6.95 delivery if you need a new router.
  • £80 Sainsbury's voucher. Warning - you need to claim this voucher, it isn't auto-sent. Set a diary alert so you remember to claim (details below).

More info on this deal incl how to get the Sainsbury's voucher

Three months' half-price Sky Sports for TalkTalk customers, plus a £100 voucher for newbies

TalkTalk requires you to take broadband and line rental if you want their TV service. It's one of the cheapest packages around but it includes Freeview and catch-up services, not the hundreds of channels you get with Sky or Virgin.

Adding Sky Sports via the deal below makes it good value, although you can't get BT Sport with TalkTalk so you'll miss out if you want to watch all the Premier League games this season.

BT Sport

Sky Sports half-price for three months with TalkTalk + £100 Love2Shop vch* Plus half-price TV, broadband and phone for six months

Until Wed 24 Sep, new customers to TalkTalk's Essentials TV* bundle on an 18-month contract, can add its Sky Sports Boost package half price for three months, giving access to all seven Sky Sports channels. On top, they'll also get £100 Love2shop voucher until Thu 4 Sep. Existing customers* can get the same deal, but on a 24-month contract.

  • TalkTalk Essentials TV, unlimited broadband and calls. Until Thu 9 Oct, this costs £4.25/mth for six months, then £8.50/mth for 12 months. Speed is up to 16Mb, with no monthly download limit. Available to 85% of the UK.

  • Sky Sports Boost. Half-price at £15/mth for three months, if you sign up before Wed 3 Sep. After three months it will increase to £30/mth though you can cancel at any time (more info below).

  • Compulsory line rental. It's usually £15.95/mth or £287.10 over 18 months. When signing up if you choose to pay £172.20/year upfront then £15.95 for the remaining six months it's £267.90, equivalent to £14.88/mth.

  • Free connection. If you need a new line installed it's £20, but you'll get this back in credit on your first bill. If you need a router it's £6.95 for delivery.
  • £100 Love2Shop voucher. Spendable at Boots, Argos & over 80 other stores - see the full Love2Shop list for all retailers. Once your broadband connection is live, log into TalkTalk My Account and the voucher will be posted within 28 days. You can't get the voucher if you need a new line installed.

More info on this deal

Check how the costs for new customers stack up

The pricing for getting different services via different providers can be fiendishly complicated, so we've drawn up a table below setting out all the possible combinations. We've based our comparisons on taking a basic TV package, broadband and line rental, though you'll need to pay activation fees on top. We've also included a column with the best current deals if you want to get both Sky Sports and BT Sport, though TalkTalk doesn't show BT Sport.

BT and TalkTalk packages come with basic TV whereas Sky and Virgin have far more channels - so factor that into your comparison. Virgin's bundles below also come with superfast fibre broadband, whereas TalkTalk's and Sky's don't.

Cost of getting digital TV, line rental and broadband packages with sports channels
(HD prices in brackets)
Provider with Sky Sports with BT Sport with Sky Sports & BT Sport with Sky Sports and BT Sport, on a deal Comments
BT
(with BT standard broadband)
£49.99/mth (i)
(HD N/A)
N/A on TV, FREE on an app N/A N/A BT Sport is only free online via an app and online player with BT standard broadband. A one-off £35 activation fee applies.
BT
(with BT fibre broadband)
£55.29/mth (i)
(HD N/A)
£34.29/mth (£37.29/mth) £55.29/mth (HD N/A) £80 Sainsbury's vch
Go to deal

BT Sport is free to watch on your TV with BT Infinity. You need BT Infinity and a BT Vision+ Box to add Sky Sports 1 & 2. A one-off £49 activation fee applies.
Sky
£38.40/mth
(£55.15/mth)
£39.65/mth (£42.65/mth) £51.90/mth (£60.15/mth) £25 voucher/credit
Go to deal
One-off £25 activation fee on top. £15 activation fee to add BT Sport to your Sky TV package unless you sign up for a year's contract.
TalkTalk £50.53/mth (HD N/A) (ii) N/A N/A £100 Love2Shop vch
Go to deal
BT Sport is not available on TalkTalk.
Virgin Media £65.41/mth (£72.41/mth) £54.32/mth (ii) (£54.32/mth) £79.66/mth (£86.66/mth) Discounted package for 12 months
Go to deal
BT Sport is available for free with Virgin Media's TV XL package. One-off £49.95 set-up fee applies.
Assumes you have the basic TV service, line rental (paid monthly) and broadband with the provider. Set-up fees are excluded. Table correct as of 8 Aug 2014. Sky prices and BT Sport prices with Sky assume price rises on 1 Sep and 1 Oct respectively, so we've used prices after that date. (i) Only Sky Sports 1, 2 and 5 are available on BT TV (Sky Sports 5 from Fri 5 Sep for those with standard BT broadband, and immediately for BT Inifinity customers). (ii) Sky Sports News HQ not available on TalkTalk. (iii) BT Sport HD is included as standard on Virgin's Big Kahuna bundle.

You can add Sky Sports and BT Sport to many existing packages, but prices vary hugely

If you already have a digital TV service but want to add more sports to it, see below for the cost of adding Sky Sports and BT Sport. If you've come here looking for the best deal from scratch to watch every Premier League game live, first pick one of the deals above, then add any extra channels.

Cost to add sports channels for an existing customer
(HD prices in brackets)
Provider add Sky Sports Sky Sports channels available add BT Sport Comments
BT
(with BT standard broadband)
£21/mth
(HD N/A)
N/A N/A on TV, FREE on an app BT Sport is only free online via an app and online player with BT standard broadband.
BT
(with BT fibre broadband)
£21/mth
(HD N/A)
Sky Sports 1-2 and 5 (i) No charge
(£3/mth)
BT Sport is free to watch on your TV with BT Infinity. You need BT Infinity and a BT Vision+ Box to add Sky Sports 1 & 2.
Sky
(with Sky broadband)
£24.50/mth (ii)
(£29.75/mth)
Sky Sports 1-5, F1 and Sky Sports News HQ £13.50/mth (iii)
(£16.50/mth)
£15 activation fee to add BT Sport to your Sky TV package unless you sign up for a year's contract.
Sky
(with BT fibre broadband)
£24.50/mth (ii)
(£29.75/mth)
Sky Sports 1-5, F1 and Sky Sports News HQ No charge
(£3/mth)
N/A
TalkTalk £15/mth (iv)
(HD N/A)
Sky Sports 1-5, and F1 N/A BT Sport not available on TalkTalk.
Virgin Media £29.25/mth (v)
(£36.25/mth)
Sky Sports 1-5, F1 and Sky Sports News HQ £15/mth
(HD included)
BT Sport is also available for free on Virgin Media with the TV XL package.
Assumes you already have the provider's digital TV service, broadband & line rental (unless otherwise stated), and add Sky Sports or BT Sport. Doesn't include special offers (standard pricing only). Table correct as of 8 Aug 2014. (i) Only Sky Sports 1, 2 and 5 are available on BT TV (Sky Sports 5 from Fri 5 Sep for those with standard BT broadband, and immediately for BT Inifinity customers). (ii) Assumes price rises coming on 1 Sep. (iii) Assumes price rises coming on 1 Oct. (iv) Special price for three months if you add the Sky Sports Boost before Wed 3 Sep, after which it will rise to £30/mth. (v) Virgin Media customers on the Big Kahuna bundle can add Sky Sports for a discounted rate of £26/mth (HD £33/mth).

BT broadband gets you BT Sport 'free' - but it's pricier than other broadband deals

BT markets its sports channels (BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN) as 'free' for all BT broadband customers. And last year, Virgin Media and BT launched a deal for Virgin TV customers to get access to the BT Sport channels.

But they're not really free, given you'll need to sign up for a broadband and line rental, or a TV package, to get them...

You can't get BT Sport on TalkTalk TV

Unfortunately, TalkTalk TV customers still don't have access to BT Sport. However, all the Sky Sports channels are available to TalkTalk customers as a subscription add-on though.

You can't get every service everywhere, so check first if deals are available where you live

What is BT Sport?

Because not every service is available everywhere, you'll need to use a postcode checker to find out which are available in your area. Many cable services are not available nationwide, for example.

You can watch live football online for free, but legally it's highly questionable

Watching football online

It’s possible to watch matches live on the internet for free. But the picture quality's often suspect and there are big question marks about the legality of doing this.

Planning to stream games? Beware broadband download limits

If you’re a footie fan planning to stream matches over the internet whether via an official service such as Now TV or using one of the more questionable methods above, make sure your broadband connection can handle it and you've got an unlimited download allowance.

If you breach any allowance you could be whacked by huge charges. There's more about download allowances and speeds in our Cheap Broadband guide.

Only pay out for Premier League football if you're sure you can REALLY afford it

Watching every Premier League game on TV is pricey. So, before you sign up for anything, use these money mantras to work out whether you really need to be spending all that money.

You can only get Sky Sports HD on Sky or Virgin

If you’re desperate to watch Sky Sports in crystal-clear HD, then you won’t be able to do so if you get it on a BT TV box.

Do also note it’ll cost extra to watch it in HD. Sky charges an additional £5.25/month and Virgin £7/month. That will get you all available channels in HD, not just Sky Sports.

Find a pub showing your team - but you'll need to pay for drinks

MatchPint.co.uk

You could always head down to your nearest pub to get your football fix.

There are loads of other sports to watch on TV, including rugby, darts & cycling

Looking for other sports or something a bit niche? There are loads of other sports channels available in the UK, though if you can get them depends on whether your provider offers them. Some channels may also cost extra - read on for a list of what's available.

At the end of the season, consider cancelling Sky Sports over the summer to save

If you only take Sky Sports to watch the Premier League, once the new season's finished next year you can cancel penalty-free and possibly save yourself a few quid.

You do need a TV licence to watch live sports

Obviously you need a TV licence to watch anything on TV, but if you're streaming football (or any other TV) on a computer, phone or tablet as it is being played on TV, you also need a TV licence. If you don't have one you risk a £1,000 fine.

Got Sky Sports? Then you can get 'free' broadband for up to two years

For those already paying for Sky Sports, shelling out extra for broadband may well be pointless. Sky is giving away two years' broadband to Sky Sports customers who have a Sky box and pay £15.40/mth line rental. Speed's 'up to 17MB' and there's no download limit. See above for more info.

Use specialist cashback sites when signing up to a new TV package

It's often possible to get cashback on top when signing up for a new TV package. Yet it isn't done direct. To get it you'll have to go via a specialist cashback website, such as Topcashback or Quidco.