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Student Accommodation

Best digital TV package deals 2024

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For the times when you're binging shows to avoid uni work, it's super important to get the best deals on TV packages. Here are our top picks...

Happy woman beside yellow tv

Credit: jamesteohart (background), WAYHOME studio (foreground) – Shutterstock

With the rise of online streaming services, the cost of paid TV subscriptions has dropped hugely. Whether you're into your sport, movies or boxset binges, paying for live TV channels is still really popular (especially in shared student houses).

We've reviewed and compared the best TV package deals currently available, shown below. And, as an added bonus, we'll also throw in a few money-saving tips along the way.

For the best value, most of the TV packages here are bundled with broadband. If you have an existing broadband contract you can usually get TV only by browsing the provider's website.

Best TV and broadband packages

Compare TV package deals

ProviderBroadbandContractEffective Monthly CostWebsite
Virgin Media
Virgin Bigger Bundle
264 Mbps 18
Inc. fees
Visit »
Sky TV
Sky Stream
36 Mbps
(Costs extra)
£26 Inc. fees Visit »
TalkTalk logo
TalkTalk Fast Broadband + TV
11 Mbps 18
£28.34 Inc. fees Visit »
BT TV bundle
BT TV + Sport
£40.41 Inc. fees & reward Visit »

Digital TV package reviews

Virgin Media

Virgin Media

Bigger bundle

Virgin now only offer TV if you take it out as a bundle with their fibre broadband and line rental.

Get this deal »


Package details

  • Channels: 190+
  • TV box: Record, pause and rewind
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Extra: BT Sport, Sky One, 264Mbps broadband
  • Advertised cost: £36pm
  • Effective cost: £36pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £648

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 18 months: £648
  • Upfront costs: FREE
  • Calculation: (£648) / 18 = £36pm

Visit Virgin TV »

↑ Comparison table

Sky TV

Sky TV

Sky Stream

Sky Stream is quite different from the other TV packages on the list, as it’s essentially a streaming site for TV.

With it, you get to stream Sky TV, Netflix, and Freeview TV over your WiFi. If you’re already paying for Netflix, you can add it to your account to avoid paying twice.

The regular subscription gives you access to over 30,000 shows. For an extra monthly fee, you can upgrade your package to include the likes of Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sports and Sky Kids.

However, the standard streaming package doesn’t include broadband like some others on this list. You can get a subscription that includes both Sky Stream and broadband, but it’s an 18-month contract starting at £39 per month.

Get this deal »


Package details

  • Channels: 150+
  • Contract: 1 month
  • Extra: Netflix and Freeview TV
  • Advertised cost: £26pm
  • Effective cost: £26pm
  • 12 month cost: £312

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV for 12 months: £312
  • Upfront costs: Free
  • Calculation: (£312) / 12 = £26pm

Visit Sky »

↑ Comparison table


TalkTalktalktalk logo

TalkTalk TV, broadband and entertainment boost

This has 30 extra entertainment channels (inc. Sky) beamed from a smart recording TV box. Broadband’s included.

Get this deal »


Package details

  • Channels: 80+
  • TV box: Record (180hrs), pause/rewind
  • Average broadband speed: 11 Mbps
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Advertised cost: £26.95pm
  • Effective cost: £28.34pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £510.10

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 18 months: £485.10
  • Upfront costs: £25
  • Calculation: (£485.10 + £25) / 18 = £28.34

Visit TalkTalk »

↑ Comparison table




BT TV offers a “flexible” package where you can pick and choose between different packages depending on your needs. You can change them every month, so the idea is that you don’t have to pay for something if you’re not planning to watch it.

It includes a Now and Netflix subscription. The downside is that you have to take out broadband with BT to get access to BT TV.

Get this deal »


Package details

  • Channels: 170+
  • TV box: Record, pause/rewind
  • Average broadband speed: 67 Mbps
  • Contract: 24 months
  • Extra: Now & Netflix (Netflix isn’t included in the Sports package)
  • Advertised cost: £39.99pm (broadband and Sports package – other packages may be more expensive)
  • Effective cost: £40.41pm (see below)
  • Lifetime cost: £969.75

Effective cost breakdown

  • TV & broadband for 24 months: £959.76
  • Upfront costs: £9.99
  • Calculation: (£959.76 + £9.99) / 24 = £40.41pm

Visit BT »

↑ Comparison table


Is it worth getting a paid TV package?

tv on cabinet

Most recent TVs will already have Freeview channels included. But, if you have an older television, you can get a Freeview box on Amazon. With Freeview, you can access over 70 channels – including some in HD – and the boxes can be bought for around £25. After that initial cost, viewing is free (hence the name…).

If it’s movies you’re into, online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime (get six months free here) may satisfy your cravings for less money.

But if you have specific interests, such as live sport, paying for a TV package can open you up to over 300 live channels. Just review all the channels you’re getting before committing to a lengthy contract and weigh up the value for you.

If it’s sport you’re after, check out our guide to watching football for free.

Do you need to pay for a TV Licence?

The answer is: probably. Even though you’re paying a monthly subscription for your TV package, this doesn’t include the cost of a TV Licence. You’ll likely need to buy this separately.

They cost around £160 for the year and can be bought online. If you have a licence but don’t watch live TV during the summer months, you can apply for a refund.

But, if you’re savvy, you might not actually need one. You just need to take advantage of this TV Licence loophole.

How does TV package installation work?

Getting set up with a TV package is usually pretty easy. After confirming that they can supply your address, your provider will send you a set-top box that you can connect to your TV.

However, if your house hasn’t had cable or satellite services before, installation can be more complex. It could require an engineer to visit for an extra cost. You’ll also need to get permission from your landlord.

After installation, you’ll pay the advertised monthly fee for the length of the contract. However, if you find you’re not watching all the channels, you can sometimes rework the contract.

Moving out soon? Find out how to get your full deposit back.

How to get cheaper TV package deals

Here are some quick ways to save money on your paid TV package:

  • Only sign up for the channels you need
  • Pay upfront
  • Select paperless billing
  • Bundle with broadband and line rental
  • Watch out for price hikes (switch!)
  • Always haggle at the end of the contract
  • Seek out hidden charges when comparing (think about the ‘effective monthly cost’).

You can cut down your monthly bills even further by finding the best deals on energy and gas suppliers. Have a read of our guide to find out how.

Jake Butler

WRITTEN BY Jake Butler

Jake joined Save the Student in 2010 and is the COO. As an expert across student finance, Jake has appeared on The BBC, The Guardian, Which?, ITV, Channel 5 and many other outlets. He particularly enjoys sharing tips on saving money and making extra money with opportunities like paid surveys and part-time jobs.
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