Cable TV: A Buyers Guide


More and more people are moving away from free TV services – Freeview or Freesat – and towards pay TV packages, whether as a standalone deal or as part of a bundle with broadband and home phone service included. But as there are so many different offers available it can be hard to choose which one is right for you, in this guide we talk you through the options available and offer tips on how to save on cable TV deals.

Things to consider
Before you start your search for a cable TV package there are a few key things you need to consider:
What channels/shows do you typically watch: Are you someone who enjoys the thrill of live sport and want to see more? Are you someone who wants to see more of the latest films or do simply want a bit more choice in what to watch of an evening? By pin-pointing the type of TV you watch you’ll be able to narrow down the choice that’s out there and see which provider is offering a deal that suits your needs.

Price: There are huge variations in price depending on which package and which provider you choose, some of the more basic packages can cost as little as £15 a month, but if you want the complete bundle from Sky, which includes sports, films and TV box sets on demand you’ll be looking at paying more than £50 a month.

Do you want a bundle deal: As well as getting more TV channels, all the major cable TV providers also offer a bundle service that combines your TV, broadband and phone service into a single package. This service offers greater convenience and can be cheaper than having three separate deals, but you may find yourself needing to sign up to a long contract (typically 18months).

Compare Providers
As previously mentioned it can be tough to decide which provider to choose given the sheer amount of deals available but by pin-pointing what you want and trying to match this with what’s on offer; even if you’re just after a basic package you should be able to find something to suit you. Comparing providers will help you get the package you want for the best possible price; and using a comparison website will further narrow down the choice available, as you‘ll be able to search for deals based on the amount of channels offered, download limits, contract length and how much you’ll be paying every month.

Saving on your deal
If you’re an existing customer with the likes of Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk etc. you can save on your current deal, especially if your contract is close to running out, by calling your provider and bartering for a better deal. Following these few simple steps could save you £100s:
- Before you call your current provider you should find out the price you’re looking to match/beat. The major providers are in constant competition with each other to offer the best deal so by noting the best deal your provider is offering to new customers, you have a price to aim for.
- If you’re coming to the end of your contract then the chips are stacked in your favour, as the last thing your provider will want is to lose you to a rival. So if you’ve called and asked for a price match and a deal hasn’t been forthcoming tell them you’re thinking of leaving. You will then be put through to disconnections; the purpose of this department is to keep your business and they have the power to offer the deals to do so.
- If you’re nonplussed with the deal you’ve been offered and you’ve told your provider you’re thinking of leaving, they may call your bluff and say they’ll disconnect you. Fortunately there is a way out, all you need to do is say I need to check with my husband/wife/partner etc first I’ll call you back. If this happens to you don’t be put off, just because it was a no first time round doesn’t mean to say it won’t be a yes next time, so wait a week and have another go.