Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Digital TV Deals Best digital TV offers

A quick message from Martin

All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in MoneySavingExpert's
free weekly email. Don't miss out!

Get Martin's Money Tips email now!

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, including best buys, will help you slash the cost.

How to 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 2,600 MoneySavers to see where hagglers had most success, and they reported over 70% success rates with those three providers. See full results.

How to haggle - step-by-step

1Benchmark 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. If you need 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.

2Be 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.

3Get put through to 'retentions'

If you're coming to the end of your contract, or are out of it, then 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 called 'retentions'. It's this department's job to keep you, and it has more power deals to do it.

4Don'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."

5If you fail, try again

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

Best buys: For 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 grab 'em while you can.

Until Thu 24 Jul, newbies to Sky (or those who left 12+ months ago) can get 25% off Sky TV's* Original bundle for 12 months, plus 25% off all other Sky TV packages (see below for full details). You'll also get a £75 credit applied to your first bill.

On top, all new customers taking out a TV bundle and its £15.40/mth line rental will get 12 months' 'free' broadband.

A quick breakdown:

  • 25% off all Sky bundles (12 month contract)

  • A year's 'free' broadband. You'll still need to pay £15.40/month phone line rental (call and package costs are similar to BT's standard rates).

  • £75 credit. This will be applied to your first Sky bill.

  • Compulsory £25 set-up fee and £6.95 router p&p . Plus £20 installation for a new line if you need one.

If you take the Sky TV Original bundle, factor in the discounted 12 months, £75 credit, line rental and set-up fee, it works out at £328.36 all-in over the 12-month contract, equivalent to £27.36/mth. If you decide not to take the broadband, it's £143.56 all-in for a year, equivalent to £11.96/mth.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk TV, b'band & calls £23.03/mth* equiv £20.23/mth if you pay for line rental upfront

Newbies to TalkTalk with non-cable phones can get its Essentials TV* bundle. On an 18-month contract, it's £4.25/mth for six months for TV and broadband, then £8.50/mth for the remaining 12 months.

You can cut it to £20.23/mth equivalent if you pay for the line rental upfront for the first year (a £141 payment). Here's how it stacks up:

TV, calls & broadband for £7.08/mth equivalent (£4.25/mth for the first six months, £8.50/mth for the remaining 12). Full details:

Line rental at £15.95/mth or £141/year (equiv £11.75/mth). Line rental's usually £15.95/mth, but when signing up, you can choose to pay £141 upfront for a year. It’s £15.95/mth for the last six months of the contract.

Assuming you pay for a year's line rental upfront, it's £364.20 all-in over the 18-month contract for new customers, or £20.23/mth equivalent.

More information

New customers who sign up for Virgin Media's Big Easy Bundle* can get TV, fibre broadband and calls for the equivalent of £30/mth on an 18-month contract. If you sign up before Wed 30 Jul, you'll get £50 off your first bill.

Here's how the offer stacks up:

TV, calls & broadband for £10/mth for the first six months, £20/mth for the remaining 12 months. Details

You need line rental - call Virgin to get a year upfront for £144. 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.

Pay upfront for a year and the line rental effectively works out at the equivalent of £12/mth over 12 months. It'll then be £15.99/mth for the remaining six months. After the first year, if you want to stay with Virgin, it's likely you'll be able to pay upfront for another year, though obviously prices could change.

Factoring in the £10 off for six months, bundle price, £50 credit and line rental paid upfront, it works out at £489.94 over the 18-month contract for new customers, equivalent to £27.22/mth. if you pay for the line rental monthly, it's £537.82 all-in, equivalent to £29.88/mth.

More information

BT

BT TV, b'band & calls equiv £29.87/mth plus £50 vch* Incl £5 off for 6 months, plus BT Sport free to stream

BT's also offering a competitive bundle, though it's not quite up there with TalkTalk. You can get BT TV, broadband and calls with its BT TV Essential* package, which is one of the cheapest ways to get BT Sport, as you can watch it on BT's free app and online player (though not on your TV).

On an 18-month contract, it's £10/mth for six months for TV and broadband, then £15/mth for the remaining 12 months. Plus, you'll get a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher on top.

The offer's for newbies only, the offer includes:

  • BT TV Essentials, broadband and calls. This is £10/mth for six months, then £15/mth for 12 months. Details

    Line rental saver option. You must take BT line rental. It costs £15.99/month but later in the sign up process, you can pay upfront for 12 months. This option's £159.84, equivalent to £13.32/mth. It's then £15.99/mth for the remaining six months.

    £35 set-up fee. You'll have to pay £35 for activation and £6.95 p&p for the router.

    Free phone line. If you need a new phone line, it'll be installed free.

Factoring in the £5 off for the first six months, bundle price, line rental paid upfront and the set-up fee, it works out at £537.73 all-in over the 18-month contract, the equivalent of £29.87/mth. If you pay for the line rental monthly, it's £569.77 all-in, equivalent to £31.65/mth.

More information (plus how to get the Sainbury's voucher)

Best buys: For existing customers

Sky often offers deals for existing customers (visit Sky* to see the latest offers), but you may get a better deal by haggling. See our How To Haggle guide for tips on how to blag a better deal.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk TV, b'band & calls £23.39/mth* Cut it to equiv £19.19/mth if you pay line renT upfront

Existing TalkTalk customers can get its Essentials TV* bundle (including basic TV, calls and unlimited broadband) on an 24-month contract for £23.03/month.

You can cut it to £19.19/mth equivalent if you pay for the line rental upfront for the first and second year (a £141 payment). Here's how it stacks up:

TV, calls & broadband for £4.25/mth for the first six months, £8.50/mth for the remaining 18 months. Full details:

Line rental at £15.95/mth or £141/year (equiv £11.75/mth). Line rental's usually £15.95/mth, but when signing up, you can choose to pay £141 upfront for a year. You can choose to pay a years line rental upfront again but the price may not be the same.

There's a small risk it could hike monthly costs. See our TalkTalk help section in case that happens.

Assuming you pay for a year's line rental upfront, it's £460.50 all-in over the 24-month contract for existing customers, the equivalent of £19.19/mth. If you decide to pay line rental monthly the equivalent price is £23.39/mth.

More information

Ask yourself: Do I need every channel?

Freeview

If the answer's 'no', and you're not bothered about getting Premier League matches or hundreds of extra channels on your TV, Freeview may be the best option.

It costs from as little as under £20, with no expensive installation costs. In its basic form you can get around 50 permanent channels, less than other types of one-off digital boxes but sufficient for most.

Some people can't get Freeview because of their location (check at Freeview) 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 their area.

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 & limit

  • Do you want to record programmes?

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.

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

Don't miss out on updates to this guide Get MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Digital TV Deals
If you haven't already

What the * means above

If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment to the site. It's worth noting this means the third party used may be named on any credit agreements.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: BT, Simplify Digital, Sky, TalkTalk, Uswitch, Virgin

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.