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Freesat says Britons want to cut TV costs

Pay TV subscriptions - one in five want out

One in five want their pay TV subscriptions to end

One in five want their pay TV subscriptions to end

One in five current pay TV subscribers are paying for a digital TV contract when they’d like it to end, according to research carried out by Freesat, the free-to-view digital TV service from the BBC and ITV.

Of those questioned who were not currently paying a TV subscription, more than half (61%) said they would be increasingly wary of getting tied into pay TV contracts. 

The Freesat-commissioned research also found that non-TV-subscribers regard pay TV as six times less important to them than a broadband connection. 

Freesat research into TV costs

The Freesat TV study suggests that inertia may be partly to blame for people remaining in TV contracts despite wanting them to end. Freesat suggests that Britons may use the New Year to reassess monthly contracts, such as TV subscriptions, along with other financial commitments to reduce their outgoings.

According to its calculations the minimum overall cost for five years with a Sky or Virgin TV service would exceed £1000. It compares this to the cost of its own subscription-free service which it claims will cost you £115 for life, presumably based on satellite dish installation and a basic Freesat set-top box. 

Freesat’s research surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults in September 2010.

Freeview vs Freesat

If you don’t want to be tied into paying a monthly fee for a TV service, Freesat from the BBC and ITV is not your only option. Freeview also offers a digital TV service via a standard TV aerial for the one-off cost of a Freeview set-top box.

Prices for Which? Best Buy Freeview HD set-top boxes – which let you watch high definition programmes if you have a compatible TV – start from around £100. Find out whether Freeview and Freesat is best for you in the free Which? guide to free digital TV services.

Which type of TV service is best?

TV services such as Freeview or Freesat are a cheaper way of watching digital TV, but there’s more than just cost to consider when working out what type of TV service would be best for you. If you want access to a wider range of channels, premium sport and film services, or are interested in bundling your TV service with broadband or phone, you may need to look at a subscription service. 

If you aren’t sure what is best for you, our free guide to free TV and pay TV services takes you through what to consider.

Useful links

  • Got an opinion on this story? Make your thoughts known on Which? Conversation
  • Upgrade an existing TV to Freeview or Freesat with a set-top box
  • Find out what Which? really thinks of the top TV brands
  • Get the perfect TV, phone and broadband package with the help of our bundles review

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