Finance

The ultimate guide to getting Sports TV for less: How does the new Sky Sports line up compare and where to pick it up the cheapest

Football fans across the country will be gearing up for the start of the Premier League kicking off on August 11 with Arsenal vs Leicester at the Emirates.

If you want to catch the season from the comfort of your own home however, it means investing in a sports package that often comes with a notoriously high price tag.

Sky has however today revamped its Sports line up with the option to buy individual channels which could help cut the cost of supporting from your sofa.

We have done the hard work for you and taken a look at how the new Sky deal really stacks up against rivals plus we have rounded up the cheapest deals to get your sports fix this summer, whether you are a football fanatic or boxing is more your bag.

Premier League: Arsenal opens the season this year against Leicester on 11 August

Die-hard sports fans may feel they can’t do without their sports TV package, but a third of subscribers actually end up watching less than two hours of sport per week, according to research by Freesat.

This is despite paying an average £50.50 for their sports package.

Many of the major sporting events this summer are aired on free channels including Wimbledon Tennis (BBC), The Tour de France (ITV and Eurosport) and The London World Athletics Championships (BBC).

FreeSat has come up with a list of the top sporting events this summer.

Paid for

  • Golf Open Championship held on July 20th – 23rd. Broadcast on Sky Sports.
  • Cricket – England summer cricket tests happening throughout July. Broadcast on Sky Sports.
  • World Athletics Championships on August 4 – 13th. Broadcast on the BBC.
  • Rugby League – Challenge Cup final on August 26. Broadcast on the BBC
  • Formula 1 – British Grand Prix on July 16. Broadcast on Channel 4.
  • Cycling – Tour de France happening until 23rd July. Broadcast by ITV and Eurosport (available for free with Freesat).
  • Tennis – Wimbledon Championships from July 3rd -16th. Broadcast on BBC.

CHEAPEST BUNDLE SPORTS DEALS Broadband, TV and Phone package Monthly cost Set up fee Yearly cost Sky Sports Bundle +Fibre (free £75 prepaid MasterCard) £69.50 for 18 months £39.95 £873.95 Sky Sports Bundle +Broadband Unlimited (free £75 prepaid MasterCard) £73.49 for 18 months £39.95 £921.83 BT Starter +Unlimited Infinity 1+ Weekend Calls (free £80 BT Reward Card) £33.49 for 12 months £69.99 £471.87 NOWTV Sky Sports Pass+Brilliant Broadband Combo £51.90 for 12 months £22 £645.88 Virgin Media Full House Bundle £55 for 12 months £20 £680.00 TalkTalk TV with Fast Broadband and Sky Sports £28.50 for 18 months – £342.00 TalkTalk TV with Faster Fibre and Sky Sports £35 for 18 months – £420.00 Source: Broadband choices, correct as of July 18

What you get

Sky has long been the only option for hard-core sports fans and it still offers the biggest choice of channels (both sports and entertainment) – but it has one of the biggest price tags.

It previously offered a range of channels including Sky Sports 1, 2,3,4,5 plus Sky Sports News HQ, F1 and Xtra.

However from July 18 it has scrapped its original line up in favour of a more themed approach. There will be 10 channels:

  • Sky Sports Main Event
  • Sky Sports Premier League
  • Sky Sports Football
  • Sky Sports Cricket
  • Sky Sports Golf
  • Sky Sports F1
  • Sky Sports Action
  • Sky Sports Arena
  • Sky Sports News

Existing customers will see their channels switched over automatically. They will also let you buy individual channels rather than the whole line up if you want, cutting down on the cost.

These packs will be broken down into Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1 play an Action & Arena pack which will include the Main Event, Action, Arena and News channels.

Choose one of these and you will pay £18 per month, you get two for £22 or 3 for £26.

In terms of actual sporting coverage for every Formula 1 race, England’s Summer Test Series, ICC Champions Trophy, golf Majors as well as the European, PGA Tours and the 2018 Ryder cup, Rugby Union and Rugby League, boxing, darts, NFL and tennis.

The cost

Adding Sky Sports to an existing package will cost £27.50 extra a month, or slightly cheaper at £18 if you have Sky Cinema. This will be frozen for the next year.

If you want to buy individual channels it will cost from £18 a month, £22 if you only want two channels and £26 for three channels.

New customers taking out a bundle deal for 18 months will pay from £69.50 per month with a one off £19.95 set-up fee.

This includes all the sports channels, broadband speeds of up to 34Mbps (25GB cap), the Original TV Bundle (which includes 270 channels) and free evening and weekend calls.

If you want to add anytime calls it will cost you an extra £4 per month and adding the movies package costs another £10.

Truly dedicated fans can also access MUTV, Chelsea TV, LFCTV each costing £7 per month. This does include a SkyQ 1TB box which lets you record three shows and watch a fourth. Plus the Sky Q app means you can stream TV live and watch on demand on your tablet or mobile.

You can get BT Sport on your Sky box if you have BT broadband for £7.50 (£12.50 in HD) per month or £22.99 (£27.50 in HD) per month if you don’t have a BT connection.

Fore: Golf fans could watch Brookes Koepka winning the US Open last month on Sky

BT offers fewer sports channels and a small selection of Premier League games, but it has a dedicated boxing channel and exclusive right to the UEFA Champions League.

It does come with a much lower additional cost than Sky, but if you want to watch sport on your TV you have to sign up to a Fibre package.

Those on it’s cheaper 17Mbps deal can only watch online or via the app, at a cost of £7 per month – it does waive the fee for the first three months though.

What you get

BT offers BT Sport 1,2 and 3 plus Box Nation and ESPN.

Fans can watch all 351 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games with exclusive rights until 2021, plus some games in the Premier League, FA Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup, Ultimate Fighting Championship, MotoGP.

You will get a YouView box, YouView+ or YouView+ Ultra HD box depending on which TV package you take out. All let you pause and rewind and catch up TV but the two beefed up boxes can record as well.

What it costs –

The cheapest add-on is the Starter TV kit with BT Sport. This gives you 80 channels and costs £3.50 per month plus it includes access to the app and online streaming.

If you want to bump up your TV channel options, the Entertainment Plus deal (110 channels) costs £10 and Total Entertainment (141 channels) currently costs £13 (usually £18) – both also come with Sport.

When it comes to wrapping up all of your costs in one contract, the cheapest option including BT Sports costs a total £33.49 per month.

The Starter +Unlimited Infinity 1+ Weekend Calls includes up to 35Mbps speeds, it does come with hefty start up cost though of £69.99.

Sky Sports on BT

BT customers will still be able to buy Sky Sports through their existing package. It currently costs £22 per month and you get Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2.

Under the new Sky revamp you will instead get Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Extra at a cost of £27.50 per month.

Formula 1: Fans can catch the action on Sky’s dedicated F1 channel

Now TV is aimed at those who want access to Sky channels but don’t want to commit to an expensive contract and it is owned by Sky itself.

The benefit is they offer the option to mix and max packages from month to month – but you can’y buy individual sports channels through the off-shoot.

Watch out, while flexible, you will need to remember to cancel your monthly passes or they automatically roll over and you will be charged for the next month.

The sports packages offer the whole Sky Sports packages. It gives you access to 250 box sets on demand. It’s Now TV Roku box lets you pause and rewind TV.

What it costs

There is a 14 day free trial, once that’s up you pay £6.99 per month for a rolling contract.

Add Sky Sports for a day for £6.99, £10.99 for a week or £20 for one month (this is at a 40 per cent discount – usually it costs £33.99).

It does offer a Combo deal with Brillant Broadband at 17Mbps, 92 entertainment channels, pay-as-you-go calls and Sky Sports for £51.90 per month (£56.99 for 39Mbps speeds).

There is a £22 set up fee on a 12 month contract or £44 if you choose for a monthly rolling deal.

To add a calls package it costs £8 for anytime calls or £4 for evening and weekend. It’s an additional £6.99 for the Entertainment pass, £9.99 for Sky Cinema and £2.99 for a Kids Pass.

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