Due to the increase in streaming platforms, additional channels and thousands of films and TV programmes, there is more content to watch and stream than ever before. But like with all good things, this isn’t without its disadvantages as the cost of living has caused most TV packages to skyrocket in price.
If you’re considering switching TV suppliers or you just fancy seeing what your options are, a popular TV and internet provider you should consider is BT TV (opens in new tab). BT delivers mobile, broadband and TV plans and packages around the UK. Its BT TV service has access to many different live and on-demand channels, apps and other platforms, including Sky.
As some TV packages have gone up in price, I’ve been looking for ways to save money on TV bills. I’ve already covered Sky TV (opens in new tab) and Virgin Media TV (opens in new tab) and now it’s BT TV’s turn. From flexible package plans to contract-free sports channels, here are 5 ways to save money on BT TV.
1. Choose the right BT TV package
Firstly, I always recommend properly looking into what the BT TV package options are before getting out your card. BT TV packages (opens in new tab) come with BT broadband and phone lines as standard. This is because BT TV combines Freeview channels via your aerial with premium channels and on-demand services. If you don’t want to sign up to BT broadband, I’d suggest taking a look at the best Sky TV deals (opens in new tab) for TV-only subscriptions.
There are five BT TV packages (opens in new tab) to choose from: Entertainment, Sport, Big Entertainment, Big Sport and VIP. All BT TV packages come with a £39.99 upfront set-up fee and include Netflix, Sky channels with NOW TV, BT Sport and many other channels.
The Entertainment package has access to a multitude of channels, like all Sky channels (except Cinema and Sports), Peacock, Gold, Comedy Central, MTV, Syfy, National Geographic, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and many more, including your basic cable channels like BBC and ITV. This costs £17 a month on a 24 month contract. The Big Entertainment package is £27 a month for 24 months and comes with Sky Cinema, Sky Originals and more box sets and more movies.
The Sport package is unsurprisingly full of BT Sports channels, like BT Sport 1, 2, 3, BT Sport ESPN and Box Nation. This is the cheapest plan at just £16 a month for 24 months. Big Sport is £41 for 24 months and comes with all 11 Sky Sports channels and Eurosport 1 and 2. Finally, the VIP package is the most expensive at £74 a month and is basically the Big Entertainment and Big Sports package joined together.
So, which should you choose? As always, it’s completely up to you what you want but I think the Big Entertainment package offers the most value. It has loads of films, TV series, kids shows and documentaries, and a huge range of channels at an affordable price compared to other competitors. In my opinion, the VIP package is a little more than I’d be willing to pay for a TV plan – especially if you want to hold on to additional streaming services – and you can find cheaper options for Sports elsewhere. See our BT TV review (opens in new tab) for more.
2. Look for BT TV deals
For broadband, mobile or TV plans, BT has a great range of deals to shop from throughout the year. BT TV deals (opens in new tab) include bundle discounts, gift cards and credits, so make sure to have a look around for deals before you sign up. For example, if you sign up to any TV package right now, you get 6 months of BritBox for free. You can also get top deals on BT TV if you’re already a BT customer which you can find by logging into your account or checking BT emails.
One downside is that if you’re a new customer, you’ll need to check availability in your area before you’ll be shown any specific deals or special offers. This is mainly because BT will need to check that the line speed where you are is fast enough.
3. Sign up to a Flexible BT TV package
If you’re trying to save some extra money and want to keep your TV viewing or streaming fresh, I’d recommend looking into flexible BT TV packages (opens in new tab). Flexible TV and Sport packages from BT TV allow you to change up your channels every 30 days during your contract length. This is applicable on the Entertainment, Sport, Big Entertainment, Big Sport and VIP packages and is a great way to try out different channels, add-on extra apps and switch up your pricing.
Let me give you an idea of what this means. Let’s say you’re enjoying the Entertainment package but you realise that a sports championship you want to watch is only available on the Sports package. By switching over, you still get access to some select entertainment channels but you get to see all the games you want. This is also a good way to downgrade a subscription, for example, if you’re on the Big Entertainment package and you feel it’s getting too expensive or you’re not using any of the exclusive channels, you can downgrade to the Entertainment plan and save £10 a month. While we’ve seen this option offered by some streaming services, like NOW TV and Netflix, it’s rare to find something like this from a TV provider so I’d definitely recommend checking this out.
4. Get BT Sport contract-free
If you don’t want to sign up to BT or you just want to watch a game you can’t find on any other provider or app, you can sign up to BT Sport contract-free. The BT Sport Monthly Pass (opens in new tab) gives you a month of BT Sports for just £25 a month. It lasts the full 30 days and you can watch the BT Sports channels without being locked into a contract and without having to sign up for BT broadband or a full BT TV package. It’s accessible via the BT Sport app or web player, and you can watch both live and on-demand sports channels.
I think this is such a great idea, especially if you want to watch a specific game or competition but don’t want to commit to a plan. You can also view this as a ‘free’ trial where you can try before you sign up for the full BT TV Sports package. This is very similar to the NOW TV Sports membership so head over to our guide on NOW TV packages (opens in new tab) to find out more.
5. Cancel and prioritise streaming
While no one wants to press the ‘cancel’ button, it is something to consider. Putting aside the cost of living crisis for a second, if you’re not using something, you shouldn’t be paying for it! So, if you’re not using BT TV channels, first consider downgrading your TV package or you can cancel it altogether and focus on streaming. Whether you’re a Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime fan, one of these streaming apps will be cheaper each month than a full TV plan so it’s worth considering if you favour streaming and neglect your TV channels.