How to find the best broadband and TV deal

July 28th, 2022
How to find the best broadband and TV deal

What is a broadband and TV deal?

Many internet service providers offer bundles which enable you to mix and match services to achieve a single contract with multiple offerings from one company. These often work out cheaper than paying for each service separately and also provide convenience, knowing that all of your services are with the same supplier should anything go wrong.

There are many different bundles to choose from such as broadband and telephone, broadband and TV, broadband, telephone and TV and you could even choose (with some suppliers) to include your energy bills as well.

A broadband and TV bundle is a deal that incorporates your home internet and television channels into a package. This may deliver you a Freeview type service or you could opt for a more comprehensive offering which includes sports, films and streaming services.

Who are TV and broadband bundles designed for?

This particular bundle option is very popular with people who enjoy watching television on demand, having a wide selection of channels and programmes to choose from and want the guarantee that their broadband will be able to cope with their television demands, for example if they are particularly keen on streaming live sports or films which are data-heavy applications.

Bundling services is designed for people who like the simplicity of having one contract and monthly payment for multiple services as this can make budgeting easier for them, and also means that should any issues arise with any aspect of the service, there is only one supplier to deal with rather than needing to identify which service has the issue in order to start to resolve it.

Often, broadband suppliers will offer generous incentives and freebies to encourage customers to take out a bundle and the value of these offerings can make a good deal even more attractive. This is provided that you are happy to tie in for the minimum contract period and to either accept a higher price or switch to a different deal or supplier at the end of the contract period.

It is important not to be dazzled by the freebies and end up tied into a contract that you will struggle to afford. If you do end up in such a situation and need advice, Citizen’s Advice [1] will be able to talk you through your options and there are a number of debt charities such as StepChange [2] who are a debt charity delivering debt management services and solutions to help you get your finances back on track.

How do you choose a broadband and television bundle?

When choosing a broadband deal, it is important to determine up front what is important to you. If you enjoy watching the regular channels that you can get on Freeview, then you probably don’t need to pay out for a bundled deal if it includes channels that you wouldn’t watch anyway.

If, however, you are a sports fan or have particular channels in mind that you want to watch, then you should ensure that the broadband and tv deals that you are comparing include the channels that are important to you. As an example, the channel Sky Atlantic is only available via Sky so if this particular channel were important to you, then it would limit your options to either taking out a bundled TV and broadband deal with Sky or maintaining a separate Sky TV contract.

Many broadband providers will incorporate streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix into their offerings, so if you already subscribe to any of these services (or plan to take out a subscription in the near future), then it is worth seeing whether bundling them into your broadband deal will offer better value for money than maintaining them as separate subscriptions.

It is important when considering buying a broadband bundle that you carefully balance the cost of the service with what you will get for it, and compare whether taking out a contract for the bundle will be cheaper than keeping your services separate. You should also consider whether you are happy to take out a contract for at least 12 months which is standard for broadband packages or whether you would prefer to be able to suspend your streaming services at will, saving money when you don’t plan to use them and reinstating them when you do.

What are my options

The Free Price Compare broadband comparison tool is designed to save you time and money by comparing the currently available broadband deals on the market. By setting a few parameters, you will be able to see your options and filter and sort them according to the criteria that matter most to you.

The tool allows you to select the minimum acceptable broadband download speed that you require, the contract length most appropriate to your personal circumstances and to select which telephone and television options to include in the quotes. You can then filter according to our recommendations, the cost, contract duration or usage to be able to compare the top options based on your individual search parameters.

Our tool is designed to aid you in selecting the most appropriate deal for your situation; however, we always recommend that you read the small print of any contract before selecting a deal, to ensure that you are comfortable with the monthly fee, any setup fees, minimum download speeds, any data usage caps that may apply and the cancellation policy should you wish to switch supplier or deal before the end of the contract.

If you are unsure about budgeting for a long-term contract, or are aware that your situation may change, then you may wish to seek advice from the Money Advice Service [3] before proceeding with taking out any contract, as they will be able to support you with advice on budgeting, financial planning and point you in the direction of any grants or benefits that you may be entitled to in order to help with managing your household bills and finances.

What are the best deals in broadband right now?

As we briefly explained above, it is impossible to state which broadband offering represents the best value overall as every individual requires something slightly different from their broadband deals so it is a very subjective matter and one which should be approached on an equally individual basis, determining what is important to you then comparing the costs of bundling the required options together versus maintaining them as separate contracts.

Some broadband deals are only available to customers in certain areas due to cabling requirements (for example, Virgin Media use their own cabling network to deliver their broadband services and this network is only available for about 55% of the UK’s population at present) and others offer broadband speeds that simply aren’t necessary for the average user, meaning that whilst the deal may represent excellent value for money overall, if you aren’t going to benefit from what it offers, then it will likely not represent value for money to you personally.

When you are considering your broadband deals and TV requirements, it is essential that you are comfortable that you have selected the option which represents best value for you in terms of convenience, price, and quality. If you know that you will use a service such as Disney + on a regular and ongoing basis, then bundling it into your tv and broadband deals can be a very sensible decision as it guards against the service increasing in price during your contract term as well as offering the convenience of only one bill each month and one supplier to deal with should any issues arise.

What should I look out for when considering a TV and broadband bundle?

There are many benefits to taking out a broadband bundle, as described above; however, there are some considerations that you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line.

  • If you only want to use a streaming service for short periods, for example, during the school holidays or to watch a particular boxset or film, then it is likely to be cheaper to pay for it separately as and when you need it rather than incorporating it into a contract which is likely to last 12 months or more.
  • If you are likely to be moving house in the near future, then it is easier to switch a broadband-only service to a new home than a bundled deal. This is because you may not have the same network access at your new property and would require a different setup to deliver the service that you require.
  • A deal may look like such excellent value based on its offerings, or the incentives offered by the supplier could tempt you into taking out a contract for services that you would not fully exploit, meaning that you could end up overpaying for television channels or broadband speed that you do not need.
  • You may not be able to get the broadband speeds that you need and the television channels or services that you want from the same supplier. This means that you would either need to maintain two separate contracts or accept a compromise (slower broadband or reduced television channels) in order to have the convenience of one contract.
  • Bundling your television and broadband services into one contract could limit your options so even if you are tempted by the convenience of one supplier and one monthly payment, it is still wise to compare broadband only and broadband and television deals to make sure that the option that you choose delivers everything that you need for a price you are willing to pay.
  • Many deals on broadband offer even better value based on increasing the number of services that you bundle so adding your landline into a broadband deal as well as TV could offer better value for money than a TV and broadband deal alone. Even if you don’t plan to use your landline, it is still worth comparing the costs as most landline deals are pay as you go so it will not cost you any more to have a landline included than not.
  • Some television services, especially those that are satellite-based or require hard wiring into the home, will require an engineer home visit to set them up and this often comes at an additional cost, so always check what the setup fee of any deal is before you agree to it. If you are in rented accommodation, it is important to check with your landlord before taking out services that may impact the building fabric of the property.

Summary

Bundling your broadband services is a great way of managing your budget. It delivers the convenience of only dealing with one supplier and can allow you access to television and streaming services at a lower monthly cost than buying them separately.

However, with so much choice available, you should remember that the broadband best deal is the one that meets your needs at the most affordable price.

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