Due to the cost of living crisis, we’re all looking for ways to cut back on non-essentials and save a bit of money on our monthly bills. Almost every household in the world has at least one streaming service, but these platforms seem to be taking the biggest hit when it comes to the cost of living price hikes, with many subscribers pressing the dreaded ‘cancel’ button.
Whether you’re a Netflix user or a Disney+ fan, there are many quick and easy ways to save money on streaming services, including downgrading subscriptions to paying annually rather than monthly. The same can be said for TV packages from Sky TV or its streaming service, NOW TV.
NOW TV is a popular streaming platform owned by Sky. Due to its extensive array of TV series, films, documentaries, sports, channels and more, NOW TV almost acts like a combination of TV and streaming. It has tons of content from multiple channels including Sky TV and Virgin Media.
What makes NOW TV so attractive to its users is its membership options which are similar to TV packages you’d find from Sky – no surprise there, really. There are three NOW TV membership options available: Entertainment, Cinema & Sports. Each one can be bought on its own, within a bundle or can be purchased with add-ons, including Boost and hayu.
To help you decide which NOW TV package is right for you, I’ve looked into each membership option and detailed what you can expect from each one, how much you’ll have to pay and which is the best value for money.
The first NOW TV plan on this list is the NOW Entertainment Membership. Arguably the most standard option, NOW TV Entertainment has access to award-winning and exclusive TV series and boxsets. You can find every series shown on all Sky channels, including new releases like The Staircase, The Flight Attendant and The Time Traveller’s Wife and older series like Game of Thrones, The Affair and The Sopranos.
With NOW Entertainment, it’s not just Sky channels that you get TV shows from. You can also find series from Gold, MTV and Peacock. The price for the NOW Entertainment package starts at £9.99 a month and you’ll get a 7 day free trial if you’re a new subscriber. If you add Boost to your membership plan, this is an extra £5 a month after its 7 day free trial, bringing your total to £14.99 a month – I’ll explain what Boost is and whether you need it or not a bit later. NOW TV doesn’t have a contract length so you can cancel and sign up again whenever you like.
If I’m being honest, this is the NOW TV plan that I’d sign up to. While I do love watching movies, most of what I watch on streaming services are TV shows and I can’t resist the series that are included on NOW TV, like all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones, Westworld, Twin Peaks and Only Fools and Horses. However, if you do enjoy your movies, you won’t get any on this plan so you might want to consider the NOW Cinema membership which is coming up next.
Just like how NOW Entertainment is all about TV, the NOW Cinema Membership is all about films. NOW TV Cinema has over 1000 movies on-demand, including exclusive Sky Original films and new releases. All Sky Cinema channels are included in this plan and you can stream loads of new and old films, including Tenet, Zombieland, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, The Shawshank Redemption, Dune, A Few Good Men and many more. There are a ton of genres covered and you can find the latest documentary films on there too.
The NOW Cinema plan is £9.99 a month (without Boost) and comes with a 7 day free trial. With Boost, you pay an extra £5 a month which takes the grand total to £14.99 a month. As the NOW TV Entertainment and NOW TV Cinema packages are the same price, you can often find good deals on them when you bundle them together (more on this below).
Putting it simply, the Cinema package is a great plan if you love watching films. If you’re not too fussed about movies or you watch them on another streaming platform, this plan might not be for you. I would say that an Entertainment and Cinema bundle would definitely be worth considering and it’s also worth mentioning that NOW TV is the only streaming service that has access to all Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.
The NOW Sports Membership is different to the other two packages as it has more than one sign-up option. Starting off with what you can get from the Sports plan, you get access to all 11 Sky Sports channels which you can watch live or stream on-demand. You can find football, golf, cricket, rugby, boxing, WWE and racing, plus Premier League and Formula One games, races and chat shows.
The great thing about NOW TV Sports is that you can sign up for a one-day or monthly membership. The Day Membership is a one-off payment of £11.99 which gives you access to Sky Sports for 24 hours. This is an especially helpful and cheap option if you’re only interested in seeing one game on a specific day. The Month membership is £33.99 a month (without Boost) and gives you unlimited access to all Sky Sports channels and over 1000 hours of sports highlights and documentaries. With Boost, you can watch all games in full HD and Surround Sound for an extra £5 a month, taking the Month membership total to £38.99 after your free trials.
If you love sports, I’d really recommend taking advantage of the Month Membership. Even with Boost, this Sports package is significantly cheaper than the Sky Sports package from Sky TV – but you can find the best Sky TV deals here if you’re interested. The Day Membership is also really handy to know about and as there’s no contract, you can use it again and again (although you’ll have to pay each time you use it).
NOW TV add-ons: What are they and do I need them?
Now let’s look into the NOW TV add-ons. The one we’ve already spoken about is Boost. Boost is a way to stream ad-free and in full HD. This means if you sign up without Boost, you may have to watch some ads and the resolution and sound quality won’t be as powerful. You can also stream on 3 devices at once. It’s £5 extra a month and can be added on to all packages mentioned above. While it is a nice thing to have and it’s not too much extra, you don’t necessarily need it and I’d suggest removing it if you’re trying to save some money.
The other add-on you can get is hayu. Hayu is a US streaming service for all things reality TV. You can stream over 8,000 episodes of reality series and boxsets, and you can watch them on the same day that they premiere in the US. For example, you can find every season of Keeping Up With The Kardashian and all Real Housewives franchises. You can add hayu onto your Entertainment or Cinema package for just £4.99 a month (7 day free trial is also available). Personally, I love reality TV so would consider adding this on to my NOW TV package. However, I wouldn’t want to add both hayu and Boost together as this would add up to £19.98 which is slightly more than I’m willing to spend on a streaming service.
Which NOW TV package offers the most value?
As I said in my guide to Sky TV packages, it really depends on what you want from NOW TV which will determine which has the most value. However, as I’ve broken down each package and analysed what each offers, I think that the NOW Entertainment package has the best value for money. The majority of us watch streaming services for the TV shows and the Entertainment plan is full of them for just £9.99 - £14.99 a month. While it’s slightly more expensive than Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, NOW Entertainment has quality TV shows that will stay on the platform for a very long time. You can determine this by hovering over a TV show and it’ll say how long it will be streaming for. Overall, the NOW Entertainment plan is my number one choice.
For sports fans, I’d recommend the NOW Sports package. It offers everything from the Sky Sports package at a cheaper price so it’s good value and is definitely worth considering if you watch a lot of sports. The Day option for the Sports plan is what really sets it apart so I’d rank the NOW Sports package as the second best NOW TV option.
Lastly, the NOW Cinema plan is probably the package I’d recommend the least. I just don’t think you need it, especially if you have a Sky Cinema subscription or if you use other streaming services. However, I would consider signing up for it if it’s being offered as a bundle deal with the NOW Entertainment plan.