Want to compare TV packages to find the best one for you? On this page, we’ll guide you through the process and show you how to get the best deals…
Which broadband providers offer TV packages?
The best way to check availability is to input your postcode in our postcode checker and we’ll show you what’s on offer in your area.
What TV services are available?
For starters, BT and TalkTalk both offer a YouView TV service. This brings you Freeview down the aerial, but also extra channels, catch-up TV and on-demand programmes delivered over your internet connection.
Virgin Media and Sky work differently, however.
Sky uses a satellite signal to deliver TV, which means you can get it pretty much anywhere in the country.
While Sky broadband isn’t compulsory for Sky TV customers, you do need a broadband connection to use Sky’s catch up TV, on-demand and Sky Store.
You can also get Virgin Media TV without having Virgin Media broadband. Virgin Media TV is only available in the areas covered by the cable network, though.
This is less wide-ranging than with the other suppliers - covering around 70% of the UK, mostly in towns and cities.
The best way to see which providers are available at your address is to use our postcode checker.
Which TV provider is the best?
Choosing a TV provider can be difficult, especially if your family likes to watch a variety of different shows.
To that end, it helps to compare the UK’s major providers to find a TV package that suits you.
As the UK’s biggest TV provider, Sky has the widest choice of channels, blockbuster movies before anyone else, HD channels, plus a library of catch-up and on-demand content to choose from.
Better still, Sky’s TV Q platform lets you watch live and recorded in different rooms and on your smartphone, seamlessly. It’s easy to use, too, and boasts features like voice control, 4k video and Dolby Atmos audio, plus supports popular subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify.
Known mainly for its Sports offering, BT TV packages are some of the most flexible around.
Indeed, starting from around £10 on top of your BT broadband, and you can watch Sky TV channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Sky Witness, Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, Disney, Nickelodeon and more.
Plus, BT’s set-top box (YouView) lets you pause and rewind live TV, as well as record up to 300 hours’ worth of you favourite TV shows to watch whenever you want.
One of the main draws of Virgin TV is that you won’t need a satellite dish. Instead, Virgin streams TV shows through a working broadband connection.
The provider offers around 260 channels, second only in the UK to Sky TV. Unfortunately, despite this hefty offering of channels, Virgin Media’s on-demand content is limited, especially when compared to Sky.
Still, it boasts one of the fastest broadband connections in the UK. So if you want a deal that combines broadband and TV, Virgin Media is well worth a look.
Similar to BT, TalkTalk TV comes with a YouView set-top box, and its TV packages are add-ons to its broadband.
In terms of selection, there’s loads of on-demand content to choose from, including iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My 5 and you can also pay for Netflix directly through your TalkTalk account.
TalkTalk also offers TV Boosts. These are premium channels delivered through your broadband, that you can pay for. Bear in mind, though, you can only get these channels through TalkTalk in standard definition.
NOW TV is an online TV streaming service that lest you watch certain premium Sky channels, without a contract.
To watch NOW TV, you’ll need to get one of it’s TV ‘passes.’ These are:
- Sky Cinema
- Sky Sports
As we say, the great thing about NOW TV is that you don’t have to commit to a contract. Simply choose a pass, and cancel whenever you want.
Don’t need a lot channels? Freeview is the basic, free digital TV platform you can get in the UK.
With Freeview, you’ll get the minimum number of channels you can get on telly – that’s around 70 or so – and it doesn’t require a monthly subscription.
For more information about Freeview, read our comprehensive guide, here.
What channels are available?
Some of the best known and most in-demand entertainment channels include:
- Sky Atlantic - Exclusive to Sky TV and NOW TV customers, Sky Atlantic specialises in high quality TV from the USA.
- MTV - The MTV family of channels - including MTV Rocks, MTV Hits and VH1 blend music videos with reality TV.
- Comedy Central -Mostly American shows, including Friends, Rupaul's Drag Race, The Daily Show and South Park.
- National Geographic - Specialises in documentaries about the natural world and lifestyle shows.
What movie channels are available?
Film fans have a huge choice of channels and on-demand content offering the latest films and classic cinema. Depending on your package these may be fully inclusive, or you'll be able to add them for an extra monthly fee.
You can rent movies on a pay-per-film basis with BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, or you can plump for a subscription to Sky Cinema - putting all 11 Sky Cinema channels at your fingertips.
Sky's Cinema channels are also available with a pay-as-you-go Now TV Movies Pass or with Now Broadband TV bundles.
What sports channels are available?
You no longer have to sign up for BT broadband to get BT Sport. The same goes for Sky Sports, which also allows you to subscribe if you're with another broadband provider.
Sky Sports subscriptions are now available to customers of Virgin Media, BT, Now TV and TalkTalk.
BT Sport is available to Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, EE and Virgin Media customers too.
Alternatively, Now TV's pay-as-you-go Sports passes let you sign up for Sky Sports on a one-day, one-week or one-month basis. Better still, they're available to customers of all providers.
What’s on Sky Sports?
- 128 live Premier League matches every season
- Live coverage of every F1 race
- Domestic and international cricket, including The Ashes
- Golf, including the PGA Tour Gold and the Ryder Cup
- Rugby union
What’s on BT Sport?
- 38 live Premier League matches every season
- Every Champions League and Europa League match
- Aviva Premiership rugby matches
- Action from the MotoGP season