If you’re paying a premium for sports television channels – now could be the time to rethink your package, experts have warned.
That’s because while the Premier League can only be viewed through premium channels such as BT Sport and Sky, this summer’s events – comprising of Tour de France and the Wimbledon Championships – won’t cost a penny extra to watch, as they’re available on free-to-air TV.
According to Freesat, sporting fans are paying as much as £50.50 a month to stay up to date on matches every single month – but with the biggest events of the summer being broadcast live on the BBC and ITV – why pay for a service you don’t actually need?
Last summer, every single one of the 250 most watched sporting programmes on Sky was broadcast on free-to-air channels, with Euro 2016, The Olympics, The Rugby Six Nations and Wimbledon dominating the top of the list.
Nevertheless, hundreds of households continued to pay for extra – and expensive – access, which one in 10 admitted they never uses at all.
Do you pay extra for sports channels?
In a Freesat poll, a quarter of sports TV customers said that they only watch football – but with the Premier League not returning until August 12, those on BT and Sky will be getting little value for money for more than two months.
That’s an average of £100 per household.
When Freesat asked pay-TV customers what sporting events they were most looking forward to this summer, the top three were all events due to be aired on standard channels – Wimbledon Tennis, the British Grand Prix and the World Athletics Championships.
Freesat spokesperson Jennifer Elworthy said: “With most of the big summer sporting events shown on free TV channels there’s no need to waste hundreds of pounds on unused sports subscriptions.
“Cutting back on pay TV might even help to fund a summer holiday instead.”
How to watch this summer’s sports for free
Freesat is urging Brits to reconsider their packages – as they could end up losing hundreds of pounds – for no reason at all.
Here’s a list of what’s taking place this summer – and how you can watch it (without a fancy TV deal):
- Women’s European Football Championships, 10 June – 10 July: Channel 4
- Wimbledon Championships, 3 July – 16 July: BBC
- Tour de France, 1 July – 23 July: ITV and Eurosport
- Formula 1, British Grand Prix, 16 July, Channel 4
- World Athletics Championships, 4 August to 13 August: BBC
- Ascot Races, 20 June to 24 June: BBC
- Rugby League – Challenge Cup final, 26 August: BBC
The game I want to watch is not accessible for free
While a number of this year’s biggest sporting events will be broadcast on channels one to four, there are admittedly some that won’t be, like for instance the Golf Open Championships and the Rugby Union England v Australia summer tests.
These matches are all to be broadcast on Sky Sports – which comes at a £49.50 a month cost for new Sky Bundle customers – and an extra £27.50 per month to existing Sky customers.
That’s a lot of cash for one – or at best three – sports in three months.
If you want to watch these games, one alternative households could consider is NowTV.
This is actually a Sky TV product – but instead of signing up for a 12 month contract, you buy passes – for instance a 24 hour, one week or one month pass. These start at £6.99 – but right now there’s a bundle deal with free movies or entertainment thrown in when you make a purchase.
The advantage with NowTV is that you won’t be tied in a contract and won’t have to pay for anything you don’t want.
But, you will need to invest in a one off NowTV box which costs £14.99 – most of the time you’ll get a few free passes thrown in when you buy a box.
Alternatively haggle, haggle, haggle. If you are set on Sky or it works out cheaper – based on your usage – the trick is in the haggling. Don’t be afraid to bargain the price you want to pay – it’ll save you hundreds in the long run. Need help, here’s our guide at how to haggle – and win.