Making ends meet in a world of rising prices can be a tricky balancing act. Unfortunately, telecommunications are just one of many areas in which prices are rising. This can mean taking smaller deals or missing out completely – which is not the way anyone wants to spend their well-earned retirement deals.
Fortunately, with so much out there on the current television and telecommunications landscape, there are deals which get you everything you need at an affordable price. These however can be hard to find – and even harder to decipher. Never fear, Compare TV are here to break down the deals which give you the most bang for your buck.
Changes to TV licences for seniors
One of the biggest and most unfortunate things to happen in recent years for seniors was the changes in the rules surrounding the TV licence exemption for seniors. Currently, anyone over the age of 75 was exempted from having to pay their annual TV licence fee. Recently the government announced it would be rescinding the funding, leaving it up to the BBC to decide whether it or not it would use its own budget to cover the costs.
The BBC decided it was unable to cover the licence exemption out of its own budget other than for people over 75 who claim the pension credit. While this is good for pension credit holders, around 3.7 million pensioners will be unable and will have to pay for their TV licences when the exemption runs out on 1st June 2020.
Unfortunately, this has put extra pressure on an already pressured section of the population. With TV licences costing more than a hundred quid per year, pensioners are going to have to squeeze their budgets even tighter. This means you’ll need to scope out your options as best as possible to find out what you can afford.
Sky TV and Now TV
Although their marketing and business model are different, Sky TV and Now TV are effectively the same company. Now TV is an offshoot of Sky TV, targeted at people who prefer cheaper and more flexible television deals. While Sky TV will give you a far more comprehensive set of options than Now TV, Now TV is definitely more affordable.
While Sky TV is the market leader and has loads of exclusive and syndicated content, Now TV also offers access to the best Sky programming like Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and a range of the network’s original content like the smash hit Chernobyl. Much like Sky itself, Now TV enables you to pick and choose the specific packages you want to watch – which means you pay for what you use and not for what you don’t.
Now TV’s short-term deals are also perfect for pensioners who may be planning on a move in the coming months, while the fact you don’t need to have a satellite dish installed (unlike Sky) is great for people living in apartments, assisted living facilities or anywhere else where a satellite dish may not be that easy to install.
Is there a Seniors or Pensioners Plan?
Neither Sky TV nor Now TV has special discounts for pensioners at present. With the ending of the TV licence subsidy, either or both may step in to offer a deal, but as yet there are no details of whether this will take place or the nature of such a discount. That said, while there are no specific discounts for pensioners, there are some great plans that will suit your needs perfectly.
What is the best deal for seniors?
Both Now TV and Sky TV offer deals which have loads of value – and programming – for seniors. Each Sky TV plan comes with a set-up fee. From there, Sky’s plans are set up on a flexible basis, meaning that there are effectively around 15 different combinations you can take. Sky TV Entertainment, the entry-level plan, is the cheapest plan. Entertainment + Sky Cinema HD will cost a bit more, with Entertainment + Sky On Demand just one pound more. Sports fan? Entertainment + BT Sport will cost the most per month. There’s also a Sky Sports Cricket pass that’s been discounted for the summer’s big events.
Now TV’s deals are less extensive, although they are cheaper and will give you access to much of the same top-quality Sky content including a free 7 day TV trial when available. The cheapest are the Kids Pass and hayu Pass, followed by the Entertainment Pass and the Sky Cinema Pass. The sports packages are a little pricier, with a day pass option, weekly access and monthly access. There’s a mobile only pass as well.
Compare Now TV Plans
Bundle and save: How to bring your overall costs down
Buying in bulk is a great way to save – and telecommunications is no exception. Most of the big television providers will also have their fingers in other pies, including broadband internet and both mobile and home phones. Therefore there’s loads of potential to include other services and save money overall.
Sky TV offers a number of deals with broadband included that save you money. As with Sky’s TV offerings, you can pick and choose according to what you’re interested in. Perhaps the best deal is the Sky Broadband Essential and Sky Entertainment package, which you can get on an 18-month deal. This will get you the Sky Entertainment package, which has the best Sky has to offer including Sky Atlantic, Gold, Sky One, Sky Two, Discovery and Fox.
Want faster internet? The Sky Broadband Essential and Sky Entertainment package is great value but the internet is available at a speed of 11MBPS, which may hamper you when streaming at peak hours. For an extra fee per month, you can boost that speed to 59MBPS, which is super fast and will see you avoid delays or buffering. Both plans involve a connection fee.
Now TV also offer broadband bundles which will help save Seniors a bunch. By signing up to Now TV broadband, they’ll throw in the Now TV Entertainment package at a discounted rate. The cost of the plan will depend on the speed. The first is called Brilliant Broadband at an average of 11MBPS. This is an OK speed for most internet usage, but for streaming and watching box sets you’ll probably need something a little faster.
Fab Fibre is the next step up at 36MBPS, while the fastest available is Super Fibre which comes in at speeds of 63MBPS. Unless you’re playing video games or if you have a big household with large internet usage, the Fab Fibre will probably be quick enough for your usage requirements. Each deal comes with an activation fee and a delivery fee.
What about data limits?
Another thing to consider is data limits. Some providers will slow your service when you reach your monthly download limit – while others will charge you a pretty penny for every megabyte you download over the limit. Fortunately, both Sky TV and Now TV’s broadband offerings avoid this. All their broadband plans are offered on an unlimited basis – which means no unfortunate surprises should you have a busy month downloading.
What about phone calls?
Bundling in phone calls is also a great way to save. Sky TV offer a number of bundles with ‘Anytime Calls’, which includes all your daytime, evening and weekend calls. For the Entertainment TV plus Broadband Essential plus Anytime Calls package, the prices rise for improvements in internet speed and TV options. Now TV also offer Anytime Calls. These are free for the first year if you include broadband.
Can I take it on the go?
These days we do plenty of our television watching from on the road. Fortunately, both Now TV and Sky TV come with excellent functionality. Whether you sign up for a full plan or for mobile usage only, you’ll have access on your devices. You can register up to six devices and watch on two at once, with all of the major operating systems and devices enabled. You can get a mobile-only Now TV Sky Sports pass for a monthly fee, which is great if you like catching up on your favourite sport on the go.
Sky TV’s mobile component is Sky Go. While Sky Go is not available without taking a full Sky TV deal, Sky Go is offered free to all Sky TV customers. It lets you watch pretty much all of your Sky content on the go. Want to download to watch later? Upgrade to Sky Go Extra for a small monthly fee. Like Now TV, you can register up to six devices and watch two at once with Sky Go Extra, or one with Sky Go.
What else should I consider when signing up?
Working out which provider is right for you basically comes down to a list of your own priorities. How much do you want to spend? What do you want to watch? Do you want to bundle? By considering these questions and of course asking anyone else in the house, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the type of deal that’s right for you.
There are of course other aspects to consider which can be easily forgotten when signing up. A major one is being able to contact your provider if something isn’t working – or even simply to ask a question about a possible upgrade. One major benefit of Sky TV and Now TV is that they are renowned for the customer service. With the same communications centre as Now TV, Sky have attracted the fewest complaints for customer service of any of the big UK providers according to Ofcom.
Are these plans right for you?
As with any choices you make for your home, the first step is knowing just what you want out of your telecommunications provider. But with both Sky TV and Now TV, you’ll have an excellent range of programming options including movies, box sets, news, documentaries, sport and much more. You’ll also be able to bundle in your internet and phone as well.
Sky comes with a lot more than Now TV, which perhaps explains why it’s more expensive. However, Sky does offer great value for money, particularly when bundling. Now TV is a cheaper option which gets you much of the same programming offered by Sky. At a time when budgets are getting tighter and with greater uncertainty in the TV market, Sky and Now TV’s move towards embracing cheaper deals – while not sacrificing on content – is a welcome change.