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If you want access to subscription-based television channels such as Sky Atlantic or other such channels which are not covered by your TV license, you need to pay extra. These channels provide a lot more content options. As of 2012, 54% of British households had subscribed to some form of paid television.
The key providers of paid TV are BT TV, Sky TV, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media TV. Typically a paid TV contract is for a period of between 12 to 18 months. If you cancel your contract before its term, you may have to pay a penalty.
Virgin offers a Virgin Media Bundle Big Easy for £10 for six months. This plan includes 60 plus channels, such as Dave, Film 4, and 5 USA, and 10 HD channels like BBC One/Two/Four HD among others. This plan also provides 500 GB space for its TiVo service, which allows to pause, rewind or record live TV up to 250 hours (standard TV). Additionally this deal also provides up to 50 MB of broadband and unlimited weekend calls to select numbers such as UK landlines, Virgin mobile numbers, etc.
Sky offers a complete bundle at £54.75 per month for 12 months. This bundle includes more than 80 entertainment channels, 6 Sky Sports channels, 11 Sky Movies channels, 240 free-to-air channels and more than 70 HD channels. The plan includes a storage capacity of up to 185 hours of standard TV.
As you can see between the two deals, the second deal offers a lot of more channels. Your choice of plan will depend on how many members are there in your household, their age groups, their interests, etc. You should shop around for different deals and choose the one that is most appropriate for your needs.
Paid television is an additional cost over and above TV license fees. Based on your choice of channels, paid television can cost anywhere between £10 to above £100 every month. You can better manage this expense if you restrict your channel choices only to what is essential. If you opt to bundle broadband, TV and phone from the same service provider, you can get more monthly savings.
Use our household budget calculator to see how paid television expense relates to your overall household finances.