Brits failing to get value for money from pay-TV packages
Joseph O'Halloran
| 03 December 2014
Despite paying on average almost 400 a year for pay-TV packages, UK viewers are barely scratching the surface of the bundles they have bought says research from

The survey from the price comparison and switching service found that on average households view just a quarter of the channels they pay for, with just over a quarter (27%) of British viewers watching fewer that a tenth of the channels they have available. Nearly a third of viewers regard their packages as not delivering good value for money.

Overall, more than three-fifths of UK households pay for TV, spending an average of 33 per month. Families were the biggest TV spenders, paying 408 a year for their TV package, plus an additional 156 a year on add-ons and upgrades to their existing deal. One in seven (14%) who pay for TV will upgrade their package during the winter months.

Encouragingly, over a quarter (27%) of TV fans fork out extra on top of their existing pay-TV package for programmes such as video on-demand (VOD) and one-off sporting events, adding an extra 13 to their monthly TV bills each time they do so. This means, collectively, consumers are paying 275 million per year extra on add-ons and upgrades to their existing packages to watch more exclusive TV content. Yet more than a tenth of viewers forget to cancel upgrades to TV packages, something that calculates could be costing 7.1 million per month.

Of those who don't pay for TV, almost two-fifths (38%) say it's simply not good value for money, while more than a quarter (27%) cannot afford it. Almost a fifth (19%) of those who choose not to pay for a TV package once had a subscription, but cancelled because they either didn't get enough use out of it or because the cost was too high.

"What's abundantly clear from our research is that many households are shelling out for packages that don't best suit their viewing needs," said Ewan Taylor-Gibson, TV and broadband expert at "Sometimes it makes sense to buy add-ons, rather than upgrading your whole package; but if you're buying box office films every week and you watch nothing else, for example, you'd be better off with a film-streaming service instead ... Whether you only watch films or documentaries, you're a sports fanatic, or you just want to keep your kids entertained, with a bit of research there are plenty of opportunities to find the right deal for you."