With the return of the Premier League and the announcement of autumn and winter television programming schedules, digital TV providers are offering some very attractive incentives to win over new customers. We examine the deals on offer and find out which TV package will provide the best value for you.
Just in case we needed a reminder that our so-called “summer” was skidding to a halt, Brown Thomas has begun decking the halls of its Grafton Street store with Christmas decorations! There’s still 127 shopping days left until December 25th, but it seems winter is closing in earlier than ever.
But with the dark autumn and winter nights comes an excuse for long, cosy evenings in front of the TV!
Whether it’s the new football season or the need to escape the wall-to-wall Premier League coverage with a Game of Thrones binge that’s your idea of a good night’s viewing, now is a great time to consider switching TV provider. Sky and UPC have some extremely competitive offers available.
€100 cashback and free TV for a month
Since August 13th, Sky has been offering €20 cashback and free digital TV for a month to new customers that sign up online, or on bonkers.ie. Just when we thought the offer was expiring, Sky decided to extend it until August 21st (that’s this Friday, folks!) and increase the cashback sum to a cool €100.
If you switch to Sky before Saturday, you’ll receive your €100 as a cheque within 60 days of activating your Sky TV viewing card. And you’ll also get a month’s worth of Sky TV for free to boot!
The good news for Game of Thrones, Sopranos and Wire addicts is that this package includes Sky Atlantic, which is home to those blockbuster shows, and plenty of others too.
Once your month of free viewing has passed, Sky’s TV package will cost you €29 a month. But don’t forget that your €100 cashback will cover over three months’ worth of bills.
If you’ve been swept up in the football frenzy that has accompanied the return of the Premier League and want to add Sky Sports to your Sky TV package, you can do so and still get your €100 cashback. However, this deal doesn’t include free TV for a month but rather a reduced rate of €49 per month.
What will I pay with Sky?
Now, let’s do the sums.
If you switch to Sky TV (excluding Sky Sports) before the end of Friday, August 21st, you’ll pay €349 for your first year (including a one-off installation charge of €30). But with your €100 cashback factored in, that amount falls to €249.
If you add Sky Sports into the mix, you’ll pay €518 (including installation) for a year.
Free TV for a year and Setanta Sports for 2 months
UPC has also put together a very attractive TV offer to guide us through winter.
If you sign up with UPC before September 30th, you’ll get free TV for a whole year, as well as Setanta Sports for free for two months.
Setanta’s channels are pretty fantastic for sports fans, including BT Sports 1 and 2, ESPN and the new home to Champions League football, BT Sports Europe. Once your two free months of Setanta Sports has passed, you’ll pay €21 a month for the package.
If you want to add Sky Sports to your UPC plan, just so you don’t miss a minute of the football this season, it’ll cost you €40 a month to do so.
Contract length and installation fees
It’s important to note that Sky contracts run for 12 months, while UPC requires your loyalty for 18 months. So, if you do sign up for free TV for a year, you’ll be committed to paying €30 a month for 6 months.
Another difference to note is that UPC charges no installation fees.
What will I pay with UPC?
Now, let me grab my calculator.
By signing up to UPC, you’ll pay a total of €180 over 18 months, excluding Setanta and Sky Sports.
If you choose to stick with Setanta after your two free months have elapsed, you’ll pay a total of €516 for the duration of your UPC contract. Adding Sky Sports to this will cost an additional €720.
Are there any other offers?
Yes! You can get digital TV with Eircom too, but only if you sign up as part of a bundle that includes broadband and phone services.
Eircom’s TV, broadband and phone package offers over 50 channels and eFibre connection speeds of up to 100 Mbps for €30 a month for 6 months. It'll cost you €73 a month thereafter.
Since Eircom requires an 18-month commitment, you’ll pay a total of €1,056 over the course of your contract. Adding Sky Sports to this will cost an extra €30 a month.
If you can’t live without Sky Sports, the Sky offer might be the one for you. With Sky, you’ll pay an average of €43.17 a month for 12 months for digital TV with Sky Sports. With UPC, digital TV plus Sky Sports works out at €50 a month on average for 18 months.
However, if you don’t need all that sport in your life, UPC’s basic digital TV offer will see you pay an average of just €10 a month for 18 months, while Sky will work out at about €20.75 a month for a year.
Whichever camp you’re in, both Sky and UPC are going to great lengths to win over new customers before autumn arrives. The battle between Sky and UPC for our TV-viewing eyes rages on, but the real winner here is the customer.