Making ends meet in a world of rising prices can be a tricky balancing act. Internet access and entertainment are just two of many areas where prices are rising. When you’ve got the time to properly enjoy some great TV, you’ll want to get it at the best possible price.
Luckily, with so many options out there for both television and internet, there are deals which get you everything you need at an affordable price. These can be hard to find – and sometimes even harder to decipher. We’re here to find you the deals that give you the most bang for your buck.
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.
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. Previously, anyone over the age of 75 was exempt from having to pay their annual TV licence fee. In 2020, the government announced it would be dropping 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 means-tested pension benefit. While this is good news for pension benefit holders, around 3.7 million pensioners will now have to pay for their TV licences. As of February 2021, the BBC had indefinitely extended the deadline for over-75s to pay for a licence, but it will eventually be required.
Unfortunately, this has put extra financial pressure on an already pressured section of the population. With TV licences costing £159 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.
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 add-what-you-need basis, meaning that there are lots of combinations you can take.
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
- 7-day free trial
- Service Only Plan
- 8 Content Genres
- Service Only Plan
- 1 Content Genres
- 7-day free trial of NOW Boost
- Service Only Plan
- 1 Content Genres
Now TV – Sky’s Streaming Alternative
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.
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. The Sky Signature package, which you can get on an 18-month contract, costs £42 per month – this will get you over 300 channels, including the best Sky has to offer like Sky Atlantic, Gold, Sky One, Sky Two, Discovery and Fox.
Want faster internet? This package comes with fast 59 Mbps fibre internet, more than fast enough for everything from browsing to streaming – it’s fast enough to easily avoid delays or buffering. There’s a one-off connection fee to add into the budget, as there is for almost all broadband services.
From there, you can build your own bundle depending on your budget and what’s important to you – whether it be movies, sports or even the world of Disney.
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?
You’ll get access to a pay-as-you-talk home phone line as standard with your Sky broadband service, and you’ll be able to keep your existing phone number so it’s easy to keep in touch with friends and family.
Streaming Sky 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 full online functionality. Sky TV’s streaming service is called Sky Go. It is offered free to all Sky TV customers, and as the name suggests, lets you watch pretty much all of your Sky content on the go. If you want to download shows to watch later you can upgrade to Sky Go Extra for a small monthly fee.
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, like 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 their 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 have an excellent range of entertainment options including movies, box sets, news, documentaries, sport and much more.
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 that represents great value for seniors.