How to watch sport on TV for less

How to watch sport on TV for less

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%We show you how to watch what you want on Sky Sports for less.

With the new English Premier League football season starting, many fans will be looking forward to weekends in front of Sky Sports.

But whatever sport you love to watch, here are a few quick pointers that could help you cut the cost of your TV fix.

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Pay as you go

Pay as you go can be a much better way to go if you only watch certain events. If you are only interested in certain football matches or Ashes tests, for example, this is ideal.

Sky offers NOW TV, a pay-as-you-go service for its movie, entertainment and sports channels. You can watch NOW TV through most computers, smartphones and consoles or on a NOW TV box, which costs £9.99.

You can buy a 24-hour 'Sky Sports Day Pass' through NOW TV which covers all the Sky Sports channels. These are currently on offer at a reduced price of £6.99 per day. You can also buy a bundle of day passes with a NOW TV box. Two passes and the box currently costs £19.99 or five and the box is £34.99, meaning the cost of the passes equates to a fiver apiece.

Or if that's not enough, NOW TV has just launched a week-long pass. For £10.99 you can get all seven Sky Sports channels for seven days, including the brand new Sky Sports News HQ. But Sky says this offer is only available for a limited time.

Check out cashback websites Top Cashback and Quidco as they usually have offers on NOW TV.

Take it with you

If you constantly have to drag yourself away from the telly, how about downloading the Sky Sports app for your smartphone or tablet?

Sky Sports Mobile TV is available on iOS and Android for £4.99 a month. This gives you Sky Sports 1 and 2 as well as Sky Sports News HQ. For £9.99 a month, you get these plus Sky Sports 3, 4, 5, F1 and Sky News.

But before you get too app happy, we should warn you that the reviews haven't been all that complimentary in terms of its quality and reliability.

In short, the service seems pretty slow and cuts off during major events. And based on previous reviews, it's a good idea to doublecheck if the Android app is compatible with your device. That said, it has worked well for some.

If you want to have a trial first, you can get the basic app for six months if you sign up for one of Vodafone's Red 4G plans with an added entertainment pack.

Cut down your channels

If you only like a few sports, it's worth investigating cutting back the number of channels you pay for.

Sky Sports 1 and 2 focus primarily on English Premier League and Football League matches, cricket, European rugby union and rugby league.

Sky Sports 3 and 4 broadcast the likes of golf, tennis and WWE. However, if you want the Champions League and La Liga matches you'll now generally need to stump up for a full package so you get Sky Sports 5. The same applies to F1.

With Virgin Media you can just sign up to Sky Sports 1 or Sky Sports 2 or all the channels.

With BT TV you can just sign up to Sky Sports 1 or Sky Sports 2 or a bundle of 1, 2 and 5. BT doesn't offer the whole range of Sky Sports channels, although it has its own sports channels which of course feature its own exclusive Premier League football and domestic rugby union matches.

These companies are a little more favourable than Sky and TalkTalk who require you to add a full Sky Sports bundle. Here are what the costs look like for just a few channels.
PackageTalkTalk Essentials TVBT TV Essentials + Infinity 1+ Weekend Calls with Sky Sports 1 or 2BT TV Essentials + Infinity 1+ Weekend Calls with Sky Sports
Speed and usageUp to 16MB, truly unlimitedUp to 38MB, 20GBUp to 38MB, 20GB
CallsEvening and weekend calls to UK landlines includedWeekend calls includedWeekend calls included
Contract length181818
Monthly costsUpfront: £5

Sky Sports offer cost: £15

Sky Sports ongoing cost: £30

Initial monthly cost: £19.25

Package offer monthly cost: £4.25

Ongoing monthly cost: £38.50
Upfront: £55.95

Sky Sports offer cost: £15.50

Initial monthly cost: £10

Ongoing monthly cost: £20
Upfront: £55.95

Sky Sports offer cost: £21

Initial monthly cost: £10

Ongoing monthly cost: £20
Monthly line rental£15.95£15.99£15.99
First year cost (including line rental)£600.65£613.83£679.83

Cheapest deals for the lot

So you've mulled it over and decided you want the lot. Here are the cheapest deals currently available now to new customers.
PackageSky The Sports Bundle + Broadband Lite + Talk WeekendsVirgin Media Big Kahuna with Sky Sports 1 or Sky Sports 2 (pay monthly for 12 months)Virgin Media Big Jahuna Sports Bundle (pay upfront, for 10 months of sport)Virgin Media Big Kahuna with Sky Sports Collection (pay monthly- 12 months)
Speed and usageUp to 17MB, 2GBUp to 152MB, unlimitedUp to 152MB, unlimitedUp to 152MB, unlimited
CallsWeekend calls includedWeekend calls includedWeekend calls includedWeekend calls included
Contract length12181818
Monthly costsUpfront: £31.95

Initial monthly cost: £34.50

Ongoing monthly cost: £46

No upfront cost

Sky Sports offer cost: £17

Initial monthly cost: £35

Ongoing monthly cost: £45
Upfront: £150

Sky Sports offer cost: £150

Initial monthly cost: £41.75

Ongoing monthly cost: £71
No upfront cost

Initial monthly cost: £60

Ongoing monthly cost: £71
Monthly line rental£15.40£15.99£15.99£15.99
First year cost (including line rental)£555.75£815.88£842.88£911.88

But the good news for all customers is that Sky Sports 5 will be automatically be added to current packages. Bear in mind that Sky's base package costs that bit more because it offers a lot more than Virgin. Also, if you're considering Virgin, make sure you're in a compatible area first.

Out of contract? Haggle!

If you're out of a fixed-term contract with one of the above companies, you could turn on the charm and try to haggle your way to a better deal.

The key here is timing. The best place to be is at or near the end of your contract so that you can bag a "retention deal". When you're at this stage, providers are desperate to keep you as a customer so you can have a little bit of fun with it.

Tell them that you're seriously considering leaving the provider and with their increased power, may be able to give you perks or a discount. The most important thing is to be polite.

Just don't attempt this halfway through the first year of your contract as you won't get very far.

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How do you save money on your TV viewing? Let us know in the Comments below.

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Money-saving websites
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How to watch sport on TV for less

This website brings travellers together with people offering a huge variety of places to stay in 190 countries. The spaces range from an air bed in someone's lounge, to a luxury holiday home, so you can search for something to suit your needs and price range.

Before you travel, you need to sign up, search the site for accommodation, contact the host, and if they approve you can book their space. It means, for example, you can book a two bedroom flat in London for £80 a night - which is cheaper per person than a hostel - and much more pleasant.

This service connects people looking for a lift with drivers offering them. In the UK it is only operating in London at the moment - but it is expanding.

The service works through a smartphone app. When you're out and about you can use the app to find a driver in your area, hail them at the push of a button, and track their progress in reaching you.

The rates start at £3 plus 32p per minute for travel under 11mph and £1.75 per mile if you're driving faster. The flat fares include Heathrow to West London for £30 - which is significantly cheaper than a traditional taxi. The service was seen as such a dangerous competitor to London's black cabs that they staged a protest in June.

This is a free shopping app, which lets you scan barcodes when you're shopping, and the app will do a price comparison for the same products in local shops and on websites. You can even buy it online through the app.

It will also let you scan products you have at home and find the cheapest local (or online) stockist.

This started life as a flight search website, and has expanded to include car hire and hotels too. It draws together the advertised flight prices from over 1,000 airlines and travel agents and displays them in one place to save you the legwork.

It isn't perfect, because it relies on the information provided by the agents, so if the agent is tweaking the headline rate and then reverts to a higher price when you enquire, you'll waste a bit of time with the agents. It's therefore worth checking reviews on the cheapest agents that come up before you go any further. The prices drawn direct from the airlines, meanwhile, tend to be accurate.

This is a clever site which is designed to help you get a cheap deal on It has a few features, which you can use together to make sure you always get a good deal from the site.

The first is the price history charts, which show how the price has changed over time, and how the current price compares. If the price is comparatively low you can just buy at that price. Alternatively, if it has risen recently, you can set a price alert, where you input a price you would be happy to pay, and you will receive an alert when the price drops to this level.

If you use a lot of data on your smartphone, onavo extend will help you dramatically cut the data you get through.

It is a compression app, which works in the background on services like sending and receiving emails, checking maps and browsing the web, and ensures it all uses less data (although it doesn't work on things like Skype or streaming video). It works by ensuring that before any data is sent to your device, it goes through the company's servers and is compressed.

It can cut the amount of data you use by up to 50%, which can help you keep within data limits and save you a fortune. It will also monitor how much data you actually use which will help you pick the most cost-effective plan.

When you call 0800 numbers from your mobile it's not free, and it's usually not counted as part of your monthly inclusive minutes, so you'll be charged extra for the call.

If you install the free 0800 Wizard app, you type in the 0800 number, and it will automatically re-route your call to an 01, 02 or 03 number instead. These cost the same as a standard local call, so will be part of your monthly package. If you don't have any minutes left it will be charged as a standard geographic number.

This website is designed to let you shop around without leaving your home. You can use it in whatever way suits you best. For the dedicated bargain-hunter, you can input everything you want to buy, find the supermarket where each item is cheapest, and spend the absolute minimum.

For those who need a bit more convenience, you can fill your trolley as normal through the site (and use the swap and save button to see if you can save by buying a different size or brand). A basket icon on the right hand side of the screen will show you the cost of the same shop at alternative supermarkets, so you can switch the whole lot over at the click of a button. And there's even a vouchers button you can use before you checkout to see if you can save more. The site claims that you'll save an average of £17 every time you shop using the site.

There are lots of voucher apps and websites out there, but one which is worth a look is vouchercloud. Whether you're shopping, eating out, going to the cinema or going for a drink with friends, you can use the location function of this app to find the best deals on offer near to where you are. 
This site has been around for a while, but remains a vital tool. You can search for the cheapest petrol in your area - or the area you are visiting - so you can pay less for your fuel without going out of your way. It's free to sign up and you get 20 free searches a week. There's also a PetrolPrices Pro app, so you can check prices when you're on the road.

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