Ditch the dodgy TV channels and save up to €679
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

Increasing numbers of people are moving their TV watching to online. Is it time to say goodbye to traditional TV packages?

Does anyone really need 100 TV channels anymore? When was the last time you strayed out of your favourite 20 staples or so? For that matter, do you find that you’re paying for a landline connection that you have no want or need for?

Since the dawn of online TV streaming services such as Netflix less than a decade ago, more and more people have found their TV habits shifting away from traditional live TV watching and more towards on-demand streaming.

Their convenience, accessibility across multiple devices, not to mention the price and contractless nature of online streaming platforms make them a highly attractive option for casual and heavy TV watchers alike.

We’ve reached the point where many people, particularly those under 30 who have grown up as digital natives, are now considering stopping paying for their TV licenses altogether according to a survey carried out by Pure Telecom last year.    

Has traditional TV become so irrelevant that there’s no longer a need for it? Whatever your opinion might be, here at bonkers.ie, we're interested in how much money you could save by cutting out your TV package in favour of online TV services. 

In this article, we look at three different types of TV viewer and investigate the ways in which you could replace your TV package with online streaming options and hopefully save money in the process!  

Light TV watcher

Type of user: Your household likes to have the terrestrial channels to flick on for something to casually watch in the evening, or to keep up with a few local programmes and news shows but you find you don’t watch TV all that often and feel that you’re paying for more channels than you probably need or watch on a regular basis.  

Tripleplay bundles that would suit the light TV watcher right now run at around €85 per month. For example, Vodafone's tripleplay bundle which includes 50 TV channels, 100Mb broadband and unlimited Irish mobile and landline calls.

How to replace your TV package with online streaming:

  1. The first thing you need to do is find either a competitive broadband-only package (or if you still use your landline a lot, a good broadband & home phone package - but for greater savings we advise ditching the home phone too). We recommend Eir's Superfast Broadband & Home Phone package (which is actually cheaper than its broadband-only deal) which will give you unlimited 100Mb broadband and is currently on offer for just €34.99 per month for the first 12 months and €59.99 per month thereafter. There's also a one-off €39.99 activation fee for new customers.    

  2. Sign up to all of your favourite TV channels’ free online players. The RTE Player (RTE One and RTE Two programming), the Virgin Media Player and Channel 4’s online player All 4 are all free to use. You can watch both live TV and catch-up TV on the former two players, and All 4 comes bursting with hundreds of free boxsets that should keep you going.

  3. Get yourself an online streaming media player. We recommend Google’s Chromecast which costs about €40. This is a small device that you plug into the HDMI slot on your TV, turning your set into a smart TV. With it, you can mirror the screen of your laptop or mobile device onto your telly, allowing you to watch your various free online players on your TV set, eliminating the need for a TV package subscription (as far as basic channels are concerned).   

Savings to be made in year one:  

By ditching your tripleplay bundle and moving to the above solution you’d make a saving of over €520 in year one. Not bad at all!

Medium TV watcher

Type of user: In addition to the type of TV watching seen in the above example, you’re into quite a few TV series and various other programmes that you keep up with on a regular basis. If you can’t watch live, you like to record your favourite shows to watch at your leisure and never be out of the loop. You aren’t a stranger to a good series binge either!

The types of tripleplay bundles that would suit the medium TV watcher go for around €94 per month. For our example, we'll reference Virgin Media's tripleplay bundle, which includes Full House TV (100 TV channels), unlimited 250Mb broadband and unlimited calls to Irish landlines and mobiles. 

How to replace your TV package with online streaming:

  1. Again, ditch the tripleplay bundle and sign up to a broadband-only deal. If you want to keep those great Virgin Media speeds we’d advise you to sign up to Virgin Media’s Naked Broadband deal which will give you 250Mb speeds for €54 per month. However, to calculate maximum savings for the purposes of this exercise, we’ll use the aforementioned Eir Superfast Broadband & Home Phone here again as our example.  

  2. As previously explored, sign up to all of your favourite free players to cover your basic channels.

  3. Sign up to an on-demand TV and movie streaming service. We recommend Netflix and Amazon Prime TV for competitive pricing. Netflix’s basic package costs €10.99 per month and you can currently sign up to Amazon Prime Video for €5.99 per month. Both of these services offer a wide range of quality original programming as well as boxsets of your favourite shows to watch at your leisure. Don’t forget that you can cancel these at any time as they are contractless!

  4. Get an online media stream player as above (Google Chromecast for €40) to watch all these services on your TV set.  

Savings to be made in year one:

When you cancel your tripleplay plan, by choosing this more heavy duty solution, you’ll make a saving of €392 (assuming you sign up for both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) in your first year.

Heavy TV watcher (Sports Fan Edition)

Type of user: You watch a lot of TV but your main focus when it comes to sitting down in front of the TV set is definitely sport! Having access to all the latest games, competitions and tournaments is of paramount importance to you and you don’t mind paying a little extra to get what you want.

Super sports fans, of course, would want to be signed up to a tripleplay bundle that includes access to premium sports channels, which can be quite expensive, coming up to around €132 per month. For our example, we'll reference Sky's tripleplay bundle which includes 50 TV channels, Sky Sports, 100Mb unlimited broadband and anytime calls to Irish landlines costing €132 per month.  

How to replace your TV package with online streaming:

  1. As in the other cases above, at this point we'd say ditch your tripleplay bundle and sign up to a broadband-only deal. The great thing about Eir's Superfast Broadband & Home Phone package is that it includes free access to Eir Sport (a seven channel sports package) and costs just €34.99 per month for the first 12 months.

  2. As above, sign up to all of your favourite free online players to cover all of your basic channels.

  3. Get a Google Chromecast for €40 to cast all of your players onto your TV and invest in a NOW TV box to plug into your TV for €25. NOW TV is a contractless online streaming service from Sky. It offers three separate TV packages or “passes” which you can dip in and out of at will. There’s the Entertainment Pass (includes over 250 TV boxsets and 10 live TV channels) which costs €15 per month, the Sky Cinema (all of Sky Cinema’s channels and access to over 1000 on-demand movies) also for €15 per month and the Sky Sports Pass (access to all Sky Sports channels). The Sky Sports Pass has three access price points; €10 for a day pass, €15 for a week pass and €50 for a month pass. With that last pass in mind, here are two options you could take:

    1. For the more casual sports fan, let’s say you sign up for a year’s worth of the Entertainment Pass to cover your TV and 12 weeks of the Sports Pass spread over the year (you choose when to use those weekly passes).

    2. For the ultimate sports fans, cover your TV package with a year’s worth of Entertainment passes and a year’s worth of Sports passes to make sure you never miss another important match!

Savings to be made in year one:

Option A: By switching from your Sky tripleplay plan to option A, you’ll make a saving of €679 over the course of your first year!

Option B: For those diehard sports fans, you’ll still save a total of €259 if you switch over to option B which includes year-round access to Sky Sports via NOW TV.  

Heavy TV watcher (Movie Buff Edition)

Type of user: when it comes to TV watching, you’re a total movie buff and you want access to all of the latest movies as soon as possible, preferring to watch movies over TV shows wherever possible.   

Tripleplay packages suitable for movie buffs would want to include access to premium movie channels, which again, can end up being quite expensive on a monthly basis, coming in at around €120. For our example, we'll reference Sky's tripleplay bundle which includes 50 TV channels, Sky Cinema, unlimited 100Mb broadband and free anytime calls to Irish and Northern Irish landlines costing €121 per month.

How to replace your TV package with online streaming:

  1. As above, cancel your tripleplay bundle and sign up to a broadband only deal. Eir's Superfast Broadband & Home Phone deal fits the bill nicely.

  2. If you’re still looking for basic TV channels in addition to a killer movie package, make sure to sign up to all of your favourite free online players.

  3. Invest in a Google Chromecast (€40) and a NOW TV box (€25) as discussed above.

  4. Sign up to your online streaming service of choice. For this example, we’re going with a year’s subscription to Amazon Prime Video (€5.99 per month), Netflix (€10.99 per month) and NOW TV’s Cinema Pass (€15 per month) to cover all our bases where movies are concerned.   

Savings to be made in year one:

By cancelling that expensive tripleplay bundle and going with the above movie-centric option you’ll make a huge saving of €511 in your first year!

Is it really time to say goodbye to broadband, phone and TV bundles?

As we can see from the above investigation, there are definitely some real savings to be made by switching your TV viewing habits to focus more on online viewing.

Keep in mind however, that by cancelling your tripleplay bundle you’re also bidding goodbye to your landline privileges, and there is a certain amount of fiddliness when it comes to setting up online players and various smart devices like the Chromecast and the NOW TV box. You also, for the most part, will no longer have easy access to live TV across a broader range of channels.

That being said, the benefits of contractless services like Netflix et al. are certainly not to be scoffed at. There are far fewer ads to sit through and if you feel you aren’t getting the benefit out of your subscription, you can cancel at any time with no questions asked. You also have the freedom of on-demand viewing. Being able to watch what you want, when you want, certainly has its charms!   

Ready to sign up to a broadband-only deal? 

If you think you're ready to ditch your telly package and sign up to a broadband-only deal you can compare packages and providers and switch on bonkers.ie right now!

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