The colder weather means that many of us are choosing to curl up in front of the TV rather than head out into freezing temperatures, and that means our entertainment options will be brought into sharper focus. The question is, are you paying too much for your TV and broadband package? Chances are, you could be…
Research from Freesat has revealed that the cost of popular TV packages with Sky and Virgin has risen at around five times the rate of UK wages since 2008: the cost of a Sky package has risen by 76% in the last seven years and a typical Virgin package has increased by 63%, while over the same period, average UK wages have grown by just 14%.
The figures speak for themselves. A basic Sky package would have set you back £17 in December 2008 but the equivalent package today would cost £30, and it's a similar picture for Virgin, with the equivalent deal rising from £11 to £17 – and that's before the recently-announced price rise comes into effect.
Given the price rises, it's perhaps no wonder that 42% of survey respondents felt that they were being taken advantage of by price hikes, while 45% thought that the reasons offered for hikes were unclear. Furthermore, many of Sky and Virgin's most popular channels and TV shows can be found on free or low-cost subscription services, so many consumers could be paying far more than they need to.
"The price of TV packages has increased drastically in the last decade and is becoming unaffordable for many families," commented Freesat spokesperson Jennifer Elworthy. "People should no longer feel that they need to part with hundreds of pounds each year to watch great entertainment. We know that 99% of the most popular programmes watched on Sky last year were available on free-to-view channels – that stat alone speaks volumes."
These days, many people turn to streaming services or freeview channels to get their entertainment fix, and these could well be cost-effective options. However, it's important to consider all the options thoroughly, as many people get extra services from their TV package.
For example, many combined packages include things like phone line rental, broadband, a data allowance and even free phone calls, and if you're on an introductory offer, the savings could be marked. But, if you're coming to the end of an initial contract and think you could be paying over the odds if you stay with your current provider, don't be afraid to switch. Use our search tool to compare the options available, and see if you can get a cheaper deal.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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