Sky TV customers could be hit with price hikes of up to £30/year after the provider has confirmed the new charges users face from September.
The TV giant posted on its website in June that subscribers locked into a minimum contract term – generally anyone within the first year of their contract – would see prices rise by up to 10% from 1 September (see our Digital TV Deals guide for the best offers).
At the time, it wouldn't tell us exactly which subscribers were affected as it said it wanted to outline the price changes to its customers first.
However it's now confirmed existing customers will be hit with the following price rises from 1 September:
- Sky Movies – £16.50/month, up from £16/month.
- The Variety Bundle – £28/month, up from £27/month.
- The Family Bundle – £33/month, up from £32/month.
- Sky Sports – £24.50/month, up from £22/month. Unlike the other packages listed here, Sky Sports must be purchased alongside an existing TV Pack. The lowest price for Sky TV with Sky Sports is £43.50/month (£21.50 + £22). This will increase to £46/month (£21.50 + £24.50) from 1 September.
New customers joining Sky before 1 September will be given a two month grace period where they will only pay the higher price 60 days after their contract begins. Anyone who joins after 1 September will pay the new, higher prices.
Sky says its original bundle, broadband and line rental prices are not affected by the increases to its TV package costs.
Can I leave my contract penalty free?
If you're mid-contract, you won't be able to leave Sky penalty free as Sky says its terms and conditions allow it to raise prices once within a 12 month minimum contract term up to a maximum of 10%.
Anyone coming up to the end of their contract can give 31 days' notice before the end of their contract to cancel penalty free. If you're out of contract you can also give Sky 31 days' notice to cancel your subscription without being charged.
As the price rise only affects standalone TV packages and not landline or internet deals, regulator Ofcom's ruling allowing customers who signed up on 23 January 2014 onwards to leave their contract penalty free if a provider ups prices mid-term and hadn't warned you about the rise when you took out the contract, doesn't apply in this case.
I'm on the same package as someone else I know. Why is my price increasing by more?
If you're on the same bundle as your neighbour or family member, the actual price increase may differ. MoneySavingExpert.com has seen an example of this where a daughter has been told her Family Bundle is to increase by £1.50/month, while her mother's Family Bundle is to increase by £1/month.
Sky says this is because some customers may have had a "legacy discount", but they are now all being bought in line with the same standard price.
A Sky spokesperson says: "Some customers have benefitted a discount dating back to when we changed our TV packages in 2011. As the discount period comes to an end, they will see a higher price rise to bring their bill into line with the standard price."
The spokesperson adds: "We're investing record amounts to bring our customers even more unmissable TV at home, on demand and on the go. We work hard to keep any increases to a minimum. And our Sky Sports customers can currently take advantage of our great value, market-leading offer of two years free broadband."