Since Sky and Virgin Media started offering full “quadruple play” packages, there has been an increase in the number of suppliers competing to join in. BT started competing with these two when it started offering TV services in May 2013 and joined the likes of Tiscali UK (Now TalkTalk) in offering competitively priced products.
There are many reasons why people may buy a complete TV, Broadband and Phone Line package which we ill look into during this article. We will also look at the current pricing for package deals and look at the differences between each supplier.
If you intend to purchase home broadband and a TV package too then it is definitely worth considering a package deal to save by buying them together. Companies such as BT Broadband and Sky will offer a significant discount on their broadband package if it is bought in conjunction with one of their TV packages. The main reason they do so is that they will be saving money on admin fees as the package is put through as one sale rather than two separate deals. They will also want to offer you an incentive to take up their package and so reduced broadband costs is seen as a reason to simply add it on to your order. Often it can cost as little as £5 per month to ‘bolt on’ a broadband package.
On top of the discount for buying a complete package with a broadband supplier, there is often some kind of reward for buying a larger package. This is something that Sky Broadband will offer, with things such as Televisions and Games Consoles from suppliers such as LG and Microsoft respectively.
On top of that, you may also be offered a cash reward with prepaid cards through a partnership with Mastercard. Often this can be as much as £150 which can be a few months off your package. These reward cards may, however, take some time to be sent over so bear that in mind if you are looking for a quick reward.
The bigger the package, the bigger the cashback you are likely to receive. Cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback offer a percentage per sale or lump sum depending what package you sign up to. As an example, if you were to sign up to the largest package on Sky through Quidco you would receive a cashback of £160. For Virgin Media, you could get up to £125 cashback. Again these cashback amounts may take a few months to be sent across to you, but it is something that you should always factor into the costs of the lifetime of the broadband package.
Packaged deals allow you to access the most premium content the company has to offer. For example, Sky has premium Sports and Films available on its complete package which you don’t get on its smaller packages. If you sign up for these complete packages you will get the premium content for less if you sign up for the broadband as well.
This premium content is available through on-demand services such as the Box Set bundles on Sky. With this package, you can access a number of TV series on demand at anytime you wish. The same applies to Virgin Media packages, where they have a range of TV shows and Films to be accessed when you like and also where you like.
The more complete packages also come with access to their content on mobile devices on the move so if you go away and don’t have access to your TV you can view it through their app where you have a stable broadband or mobile connection.
Generally, if you sign up for a complete package, it will come with their best broadband offering, often even for free. Fibre broadband gives you the ability to watch the content they supply at high speeds which are often important if you are watching through high resolutions devices such as 4k TV’s.
Virgin Media supply fibre to the majority of the UK and as such they will offer fibre as standard and often with speeds of up to 200mb per second. EE also will offer a fibre package with its TV as standard, especially when you buy the complete package.
Due to the competition in the “quadruple play” sector, it is often beneficial to barter your deal with the broadband supplier. The bigger the package, the more leverage you will have with the supplier. The Big suppliers will compete on pricing for their packages as they look to gain you as a customer. A lot of the complete packages often provide the same content with just a few small differences. Therefore you can check the prices on similar packages before going to other suppliers to see if they can beat it.
The same applies if you are an existing customer coming to the end of your contract. This is when the best deals are often gained as you can threaten to leave to join another supplier. This threat is often enough to tempt the supplier into offering you some of the best deals around, often even better than those available to new customers.
Be sure to check what broadband speeds are available in your area before contacting your supplier to barter.
Below are the prices that each of the major suppliers offer for their complete packages.
Sky Complete Bundle- Currently available for £62 per month. This deal comes with a free LG 32” TV, Lenovo Laptop or £150 reward.
Virgin Media VIP package- This is Virgin Media’s complete package which is available for £85 per month. The main reason for the increased cost is the high-speed broadband with no traffic management at 200mbps
TalkTalk has an introductory offer for £28.50 per month which is considerably cheaper than the other two suppliers, however, they are unable to offer the advanced hardware or premium content that the other two can.