How to watch sport on TV for less

Cut the cost of watching sport

Updated: 
How to watch sport on TV for less

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.

Compare broadband, phone and TV deals with Broadband Choices

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.

Compare broadband, phone and TV deals with Broadband Choices

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

More on TV

Get paid to watch TV!

Could your smart TV be infected by hackers?

Netflix advertises for full time TV-watcher: ideal for couch potatoes

Price of Sky TV to rise by 'up to' 10%

Money-saving websites

Money-saving websites


Virgin Media To Soon Offer Access To Sky Sports On Cable