What's the cheapest way to get Sky Sports?

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I want to watch the football, but I'm on a bit of a budget - what's the cheapest way to get Sky Sports? Which provider sells it at the lowest price?

Oliver M, via email

Sky Sports is the go-to service for fans of footie, cricket, rugby, and golf alike - but heaven knows it ain't cheap, and all the options get a bit complicated. Whatever way you get it, you'll be adding upwards of £20 onto your bill every month.

So what's the lowest cost, simplest way to get Sky Sports on your TV? In this guide, we'll have a trawl through all the available packages. But first, bear in mind throughout this guide that prices change fairly regularly - providers often launch special offers that can change the landscape considerable. While one provider might usually be cheapest, it only takes a good special offer to change that.

The best way to see the most accurate and up to date pricing is to use our comparison tool. Simply enter your postcode into the box below to see all the deals you can get at your home:

With those caveats properly defined, lets go into the cheapest ways you can usually get Sky Sports.

With TV and broadband: Sky or TalkTalk

The cheapest way to get Sky TV is usually through Sky or TalkTalk.

Sky lets you add on its sports channels to any TV package. You can choose between packs of one, two or three Sky Sports channels, or get them all if you want to watch everything. So if you only want Premier League, for example, you can just sign up to the appropriately-named Sky Sports Premier League - that's likely the cheapest way to watch on TV.

If you do want the full Sky Sports suite though, TalkTalk TV with Sky Sports is very cheap indeed. Unlike Sky, you can't get a TV package on its own - only bundled in with broadband and home phone. That's not too much of a problem if you want broadband too, of course.

TalkTalk TV works through flexible 'boosts' - what that means is that you get a few channels as standard (mainly Freeview) and subscribe to rolling monthly packs of others as needed. Sky Sports is one of these boosts - for an additional monthly fee, you get the full Sky Sports experience.

Costs can add up if you add lots of other boosts on top of Sky Sports, but generally speaking, it's a reliably cheap way to get full Sky Sports with TV and broadband.

Alternatively, you can sign up to a NOW TV Sky Sports Pass, which you can watch through the YouView box you get with TalkTalk TV. It's technically cheaper than the TalkTalk Boost, costing a whopping 1p less per month (a 12p saving across the whole year!) - but most importantly, it has the advantage of letting you watch your sports from anywhere. You just need to get the app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

It's also worth mentioning that NOW TV's Combo deals - broadband, home phone, a TV box, and a Sports Pass - are TalkTalk's closest rival here. Depending on when you look, it could well be the cheaper option.

Without pay TV: NOW TV

NOW TV logo

Don't want a pay TV package at all? Your cheapest option for Sky Sports is to get a NOW TV Sports Pass.

You can choose between a day, week or month pass to all channels, and watch on the app via TV boxes, smart TVs, web browsers, smartphones, games consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and more.

Adding Sky Sports onto an existing pay-TV package is usually cheaper - at least with Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and BT (if you're happy with only two channels). However, a NOW TV Pass is the way to go if you've no interest in pay-TV at all, or if you can't add Sky Sports directly onto your current system - such as EE TV.

Mobile only

The Sky Sports Mobile TV app is actually the cheapest way to get Sky Sports full stop - though it's not necessarily the best.

A subscription to the app, which lets you watch live games and events, is ridiculously cheap: £5.99 a month for the basic pack (including Sky Sports Action, Arena, Premier League, and News channels), or £10.99 a month to get all the specialist channels as well.

There are some serious limitations here, of course. For starters, you can only watch it on your smartphone or tablet - you can't even cast or AirPlay it to your telly - and only a select number of devices even support it.

On the other hand, if you're happy to only watch sports on a mobile or tablet, it's amazing value.

A Red Entertainment plan from Vodafone will even let you grab a year's subscription for free. That's something to bear in mind if you're in need of a new mobile deal.

With TV only: Sky

Sky logo

If you want just a TV package with Sky Sports attached, the cheapest way to do that is through Sky.

It costs £22 a month to add two Sky Sports channels onto Sky TV; £26 a month to add three; or £28 a month to add the whole lot. You can chop and change which channels you subscribe to every single month, if you like.

Since Sky's base TV package costs £20 a month (plus setup costs), you can get the whole lot for £48 - or £38 a month if you only want, say, Premier League matches.

If you want Sky Cinema too, you can get the two services together at a rather nice discount - around a tenner or so.

Bear in mind, however, that this is the cheapest way to get Sky Sports without broadband included. Oddly enough, you can shave a hefty amount off your bill by going for a broadband plus TV bundle from another provider. You'll have to sacrifice those 300+ channels and top-notch Sky Q tech, but it does work out cheaper.

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