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Digital TV Deals

Best digital TV offers

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Nick and Sarah G | Edited by Martin

Updated Weekly

At symbolDon't overpay for Sky, Virgin or BT TV. Existing customers can haggle for £££s off with just a phone call, and new customers can slice chunks off signing up the right way.

Digital TV subscriptions can mount up to £1,000+ if you add up the price over the contract. This step-by-step guide, with best buys, will help you slash the cost.

Haggle down the price

In mature industries such as digital TV, companies grow by tempting customers from other firms, not by grabbing customers new to that market. So just call up, threaten to leave and your existing company will often offer kick-butt discounts.

New customers can still call up companies to haggle, armed with the best deals below, but where this technique comes into its own is for existing, out-of-contract customers.

Before we get into it, here are some successes to show you how easy it is:

Called Sky, told them I was leaving and was put through to retentions. They kept me on the same package but reduced it to £30/month, a £180/year saving.

I rang Virgin Media, as I was being charged £38/mth for broadband, TV and phone before call charges. I mentioned a family member had signed up to all three for only £30/mth. It immediately reduced my package by £10/mth.

Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are easiest to haggle with. We polled 4,000 MoneySavers to see where hagglers had most success, and they reported at least 75% success rates with these three providers. See full results.

How to haggle – step-by-step

We've pulled out the top tips here, but for more see our full Haggle with Sky & more guide.

  • Benchmark the best buys

    The first step is to ensure you know the type of price you should be looking to beat. New, hot customer offers abound on digital TV packages – you should aim for these.

    Note down the best TV buys for the package you want using the best buy deals below. These packages often include broadband as well, but to benchmark broadband prices, see our Cheap Broadband guide for the cheapest bundled and standalone deals.

    Then call your supplier near the time you're due to renew. Quote the best buys and ask for a price match.

  • Be polite and charming

    Don't be aggressive. You've no right to a discount – just a right to leave. Think of it like financial flirting.

    Good haggling is simply an exchange between two people trying to agree on a win/win deal. It should be done with seduction, a gentle patter and a touch of firmness. Aim for polite, firm and non-combative.

    It's rumoured some operators have quotas on the discounts they can give, so make them want to give you a price cut.

  • Get put through to 'retentions'

    If you're coming to the end of your contract, or are out of it, you're wielding a powerful weapon: customer loyalty. Companies desperately want to keep you, so if they believe they'll lose you, you can often get much better deals.

    If you don't get the deal you want from the first person you speak to, tell 'em you're considering leaving. Then you get put through to 'disconnections', which is really 'retentions'. It's this department's job to keep you, and it has more power deals.

  • Don't be forced to disconnect

    If your bluff is called, and the deal isn't good enough, then consider leaving. Yet don't be forced into a corner to disconnect. An easy 'get out of jail free' card is to say: "I need to check with my husband/wife/dog etc first – I'll call you back."

  • If you fail, try again

    Don't assume one setback means a no. Wait a few days and try again. You may have been unlucky – the person you spoke to might have already hit a quota of discount deals, so it's worth trying again. Or maybe you talked to somebody in a bad mood, or perhaps you just didn't use enough of your haggle charm.

Best buysFor new customers

If you're a new customer, or your haggle didn't give you a big enough discount, the current top deals are below. Here, it's all about timing. Offers come and go, so if you see one you like, grab it while you can.

Virgin Media

£100 vch/prepaid card or TV when you take Sky TV*

APPLIES TO ALL BUNDLES INCL SPORTS, MOVIES & FAMILY

Until Thu 14 July, new customers (or those who left Sky 12 months+ ago) can sign up to Sky* and take a year's contract for one of its TV packages can get either a £100 Mastercard, a £100 Amazon voucher or a 32" LG TV. A one-off compulsory £10 set-up fee applies.

Here's a quick breakdown of the deal:

  • Take any Sky TV bundle. (on a 12-month contract) – see the full list
  • Choose a £100 Mastercard, a £100 Amazon voucher or a 32" LG TV BUT you must claim them. Log in via this claim link using your Sky account details (you'll get these when you sign up). You must claim your reward within 90 days. The Mastercard, Amazon voucher and the TV should take no more than 28 days to arrive for more help go to how to claim your reward.
  • Compulsory £10 set-up fee. Unavoidable whatever package you get – this isn't reduced.

  • Unlimited broadband £5/mth. If you take Sky's line rental, which is £17.40/mth extra, you can get unlimited Sky broadband at £5/mth for 12 months, but you'll have to pay a compulsory £6.95 for router delivery.

If you opt for the Complete bundle it's £80/mth. Factor in the £10 set-up fee and it works out as £970 for the year, equiv £80.83/mth. If you factor in the £100 Mastercard it's equiv £72.50/mth.

If you take Sky's £5/mth broadband and factor in line rental, router delivery cost and £100 Mastercard, it works out as £1138.80 for the year, equiv £94.90/mth before calls.

More information

Are channels such as BT Sport/ESPN or other sports channels included?

Can I add any extras?

Virgin Media

TV, fibre b'band & line rental equiv £33.77/mth*

With upfront line rent. Equiv £35.55/mth paid monthly

New customers who sign up for Virgin Media's Big Easy Bundle* can get TV, fibre broadband and line rent with weekend calls plus line rental on an 18-month contract.

The offer is via Cable.co.uk, here's how it stacks up:

  • Virgin Media TV, broadband and line rent with calls. See full details
  • You need line rental – call Virgin to get a year upfront for £184. Line rental's £17.99/mth, costing £323.82 over 18 months, but if you call 0800 064 3840 after signing up via the above link, you can pay £184 for a year upfront, and then £17.99 for the remaining 6mths (total £291.94). Crucially you need to phone to do this before installation. If you pay upfront it works out equivalent to £16.22/mth for the first 18 months, £17.99/mth afterwards.

    If you know you'll stay after the 18mth contract ends, it's likely you'll be able to pay upfront for another year, though obviously prices could change again.

  • It's £10 for 9 months then goes up to £24/mth. Go via the link above and the Big Easy TV and fibre broadband deal is £10/mth for the first 12 months, then £24/mth for the remaining six months.

  • Activation is £9.99. Sadly this is unavoidable and will be applied to your first bill.

Factoring in the bundle price and line rental paid upfront for the first year, it works out at £607.93 over the 18-month contract for new customers, equivalent to £33.77/mth. If you pay for the line rental monthly, it's £639.81 all-in, equivalent to £35.55/mth.

More information about the Virgin TV deal

BT

TV, fibre & line rent equiv £41.93/mth, get £100 card*

with upfront line rent. Equiv £44.73/mth paid monthly

Until Sat 2 July, BT newbies can get the Entertainment Plus + Unlimited BT Infinity 1 + Weekend Calls* TV and up-to-52Mb fibre broadband bundle, which comes with a decent number of channels. Click on "see packages" in the Entertainment Plus column and it's the top one.

The deal also includes weekend calls and gives access to all BT Sport channels. It's on a 12-month contract.

  • BT TV Entertainment Plus and fibre broadband. It's £20.99 for 12 months. It's then £36/mth once the 12 month contract ends. See full details
  • Line rental. The cheapest way is to pay £194.28 (£205.08 from 3 July) upfront for a year. Alternatively you can pay monthly – it's £18.99/mth.
  • £49 set-up fee. There is also a £7.95 router p&p cost.
  • Free phone line. If you need a new phone line (eg, if you don't have one or you're switching from cable), it'll be installed free.
  • £100 Mastercard but you must claim it. Frustratingly, you need to register for the Mastercard via this online form once the broadband's activated it's then sent within 45 days. Make a diary note with a copy of this link – BT WON'T remind you. See full details of how to claim.
  • BT Sport. BT TV customers get access to the full range of BT Sport channels, which have coverage of some Premier League and all Champions League games. HD is free for three months, it's then £6/mth on top of the cost of this bundle.

The total cost of the bundle including line rental upfront, setup and router is £503.11 for the year, equivalent to £41.93/mth (or £536.71 if you pay line rent monthly, equivalent to £44.73/mth).

If you'd spend the £100 Mastercard it's £403.11 for the year, equivalent to £33.59/mth. (or £436.71 if you pay line rent monthly, equivalent to £36.39/mth).

More information

TalkTalk

TV, b'band & line rent equiv £25.42/mth*

With upfront line rent. Equiv £28.08/mth paid monthly

Since it was hit by a high-profile hack in October, TalkTalk's been doing its best to attract new customers with competitive deals like this one, though whether people will trust it after the brand damage is yet to be seen.

Newbies to TalkTalk can get its Plus TV* bundle on an 18-month contract. It includes six Sky channels and you also get anytime calls to UK landlines.

Here's how the deal breaks down:

  • TV, calls & broadband. It's £10/mth for entire 18 months. See full details
  • Line rental. The cheapest way is to pay £270.81 for 18 months upfront, equiv £15.05/mth. Alternatively it's £17.70/mth
  • You get a 'free' router but delivery is £6.75. This is compulsory.
  • Need a new line? If you don't have a line or only have a cable one (or in a few cases other lines), installation is free.
  • Optional free Sim. This deal includes a free Sim which comes with 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200 MB of data per month on a 30-day rolling contract. Any extra calls, texts or data charges will be on top of your monthly TV, broadband and line rental costs.

Assuming you pay 18 months line rental upfront and add up the cost of broadband, TV, calls and the router delivery. it's £457.56 all-in over the 18-month contract, or £25.42/mth equivalent. Pay line rental monthly and it's £505.35 over the 18-month contract or £28.08/mth.

More information

Cashback sites may pay you for signing up

As an extra boon, members of specialist cashback websites can be paid when they sign up for some products. Do check that it's exactly the same deal though, as terms can be different. And remember the cashback is never 100% guaranteed until it's in your account.

Full help to take advantage of this  and pros & cons in our Top Cashback Sites guide.

How to get BT Sport for less

BTSport

BT Sport now includes the Champions League – something BT paid a pretty penny for the rights to – as well as 42 of the 168 televised Premier League games and some FA Cup matches.

You can now get two versions of BT Sport – 'Lite', which shows the Premier League , and full BT Sport, which includes the Champions League and FA Cup. BT broadband customers get BT Sport Lite 'free' with their package, or can pay £6/mth for the lot.

Sky TV customer? Switching your broadband may get you BT Sport cheaper

BT charges Sky TV customers a hefty £22/mth to add BT Sport to their package. But if you have BT broadband, you'll pay just £6/mth.

So if you have Sky TV and also want BT Sport, it may be cheaper to take BT's broadband and pay the £6 each month rather than keep your existing broadband deal and pay the £22/mth fee.

You'll need to crunch the numbers though – weigh up the difference in broadband costs and factor in the £16/mth saving on BT Sport. Of course the best option depends on whether you're still in contract and what promo deals are out there.

Get the most out of Freeview

Freeview

Ask yourself: "Do I really need every channel?" If the answer's 'no', and you're not bothered about getting Premier League matches or hundreds of extra channels, Freeview may be the best option.

If you've a fairly new TV, it'll probably have basic Freeview built in to it, giving you over 60 permanent channels and 12 HD channels. (If it doesn't and you want Freeview, basic boxes start from around £10.)

Some people can't get Freeview because of their location (check on the Freeview website) which means you'll need to look at one of the other options. Freeview says 98.5% of people will be able to get it, with channel line-ups dependent on area.

If you want to really get the most out of Freeview though, and be able to record, pause or rewind live TV or record whole series, you'll need a Freeview+ box. These start at around £100 for a box with 320GB of memory (records up to 150 hours of TV).

Use our MegaShopBot to compare prices, but here are our top picks (prices are correct as of 28 June 2016).

Goodmans

Goodmans: Record 150hrs of TV – £109*

Cheapest we can find, with 320GB hard drive

The 320GB version of this Goodmans* Freeview+ box, currently available for £108.74 from Amazon, is the cheapest box we can find. It's not HD (see below if that's what you'd prefer), but does have sufficient capacity to record over 150 hours of TV. Plus it lets you record whole series and pause/rewind live TV.

It's designed to work with standard terrestrial aerials – it won't work with satellite dishes, you'll need a Freesat box for that (similar to Freeview but for satellite dishes).

BT YouView+: Cheap HD recorder – £95*

Cheapest we can find allowing you to record in HD but it's a refurb

The BT YouView+* box has great user reviews and is the cheapest HD box we can find. It's currently priced at £94.99 via Amazon (other HD boxes cost more, with some running well into £100s).

However, it's this cheap because it's a refurbished box, meaning it's pre-owned but has been certified and tested by BT. It may not come in the original packaging but is covered by a one-year warranty.

It comes with a 500GB hard drive and allows you to record two channels at the same time, or watch one and record another. It allows you to store up to 125 hours of HD recordings or 300 hours of standard recordings.

You'll also need an HD TV to watch HD channels – decent HD TVs start at £160 but for more info and deals, see our Cheap HD TVs guide.

How to pick the right package

If you're not sure what extras you want, read these tips on what to watch for:

Only pick the channels you know you'll watch

See the cheapest ways to watch Premier League games

Moving house imminently? Check if fees apply

Buying a deal with broadband? Check the download speed and limit

Do you want to record programmes?

Do you really need to pay for TV at all?

Switching from Sky/Virgin to Freeview saves many £400+/year, enough to supplement the loss of movie channels with DVD rentals! However, even without ditching, the savings can be huge.

For more details on renting and downloads, read the Watch Movies & TV Online guide.

While filming one of his TV programmes, Martin heard from one family that followed this step-by-step technique and cut its Sky bill from roughly £50/mth to £25/mth, without losing any regularly-watched channels, and through pushing hard on the phone for a better deal. That's £300/year saved.

Problems with getting an MSE Blagged deal?

If you signed up to an MSE Blagged Deal – a best-in-market deal we've negotiated exclusively – which involves you being sent a voucher, we'll always do our best to ensure you get the voucher.

But as we warn above, there can occasionally be problems with the deal tracking. In particular, if you were running ad-blocking software or cookie blockers when you signed up for the deal, or exited your browser while in the process of signing up, this can stop it tracking correctly.

Key tips

  • Many vouchers are supposed to arrive within three months of installation. If it hasn't been that long yet, please be patient.
  • If you're waiting for an email voucher, please do check your spam folder regularly in case it's been diverted there.

If you've satisfied the criteria above and still don't know what's happened to your voucher, please email us at voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com.

Warning: This is an archive so this deal is no longer available.

Sky: TV, Line rental and broadband deals

How to complain about your TV provider

If you have a problem with your TV provider and need to complain, contact it and keep a record of the date, what you said and the person you speak to. Common problems include installation dates not being met, limited service, incorrect billing and more. It's always worth trying to call your provider first, but if not, then…

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver can escalate it to the free Ombudsman Services (or CISAS if you're complaining about Virgin Media).

Important: if your issue is about a voucher or incentive that was part of an MSE Blagged deal, then instead just let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com as that's usually quicker.