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Cheaper Alternatives to Sky TV

Has watching satellite TV become too expensive? Well, take a look at some cheaper alternatives to Sky TV and find out what happens to your Sky equipment when you cancel.

Cheaper Alternatives to Sky TV

The best Sky alternatives covered below are:

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Video
  • Now TV
  • Britbox
  • Disney +
  • Apple TV+
  • Hayu
  • Premier Sports
  • Mubi
  • Freeview/Freesat
  • TV Player

I was an avid Sky fan for over 15 years. And let’s be honest, up until around 5 years ago, there were few alternatives. You could stick to freeview, with around 30 channels. Or you could pay for Sky and receive 100’s of channels with the best movies and sports.

But near the end of my Sky subscription, I realised I was getting far less than I used to. Many of the events I used to watch were now pay-per-view and a lot of football and cricket had moved over to BT Sport. And yet, I was paying more.

But before you leave Sky, why not see if you can negotiate a better deal. I used to do this every year and would often get 50% off from my contract. Find out about negotiating a better deal.

And don’t forget, you can exchange your Nectar points for movies from the Sky Store, starting at just over 1000 points.

Nectar points at Sky Store

But if you’ve made up your mind about leaving, then there are some important things you need to know…

Can I keep my Sky box and equipment if I cancel?

Yes, you can keep all your equipment including your satellite dish if you decide to cancel your Sky subscription. And as long as you’re out of contract, you won’t have to pay anything. The only exception is if you leased your Sky Q box.

If you’re still tied-in to a contract, you’ll need to pay whatever is owed. For example, if you pay £40 per month and have 2 months remaining, you will need to pay Sky £80.

Can I still use my Sky box if I cancel my subscription?

Yes and no. You will still have access to the free-to-view channels but your Sky box will no longer be able to record and store programmes. And you will no longer have access to any of the shows you’ve recorded either.

Selling your Sky box

If you decide that without the recording function, your Sky box will just end up as an annoying box in the corner of the room, then why not sell it? There’s a big market for 2nd hand boxes, but how much you’ll get depends mainly on the age and memory size. eBay is a good place to try, or Facebook Marketplace if you don’t want to pay any fees.


Cheaper alternatives to Sky

Now, there are plenty options out there if you’re looking for an alternative to Sky, and the good news is that they’re all cheaper. Which is best for you depends on your viewing needs.

First of all, have a think about what it is that you watch the most. If television series are your thing, then there are plenty of options to choose from. Movies are a little harder to come-by, but each of these Sky alternatives still has a good, if limited selection. Sport is where it becomes a little tricky. However, Sky no longer dominates the market like it once did, so there are still options for sports fans.

If you find that it’s sports that you’re spending to. much on, take a look at my post on how to watch Sky Sports without a subscription.

Do I need a Smart TV?

The majority of Sky alternatives can be viewed through an app. For the majority of us, that isn’t a problem as we have Smart TV’s in our home. In fact, it’s getting increasingly harder to find a TV that isn’t ‘Smart’.

You’ll find that the majority of the apps below will have been downloaded before you even bought your TV. If they aren’t, then you can often download them through your TV provider’s app store.

If you’re unable to download an app, there are several other options to consider.

You could purchase a TV stick, which will slot into a USB slot. The one that I linked to, although made for NowTV, will also allow other apps such as Disney+, YouTube, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. It also includes a month’s Nov TV entertainment pass.

If you don’t have a USB slot, you could opt for a NowTV box instead, which will plug into an HDMI input.

Do I need an internet connection?

Unfortunately, all of the options below (excluding Freeview) will require a stable internet connection. We’re not talking super fast here, with most basic broadband connections being able to handle streaming comfortably… as long as there aren’t a number of people connected at once.

The plus side is, at least you won’t need a dish at the side of your house, or loads of cables running through your rooms. In fact, you won’t even need a TV aerial.

The best alternatives

With all the above figured, it’s time to choose the best option for you.

Netflix

Top of the pile is Netflix. Not only does Netflix provide you with classic TV series and movies, but they also produce their own shows. Stranger Things anyone?

The system is a joy to use, especially when watching TV series. With a push of a button, you can skip the opening intros and you don’t have to watch the closing credits either before the next episode starts.

There are 3 packages you can pay for, which means that you shouldn’t end up paying for more than you use.

BasicStandardPremium
Monthly cost£5.99£9.99£13.99
HD availableNoYesYes
Ultra HD availableNoNoYes
Number of screens at
the same time
124
Cancel at any timeYesYesYes


The only downside is that you sometimes have to be quick to watch your favourite shows. Some programmes are only available for a limited time, so you need to bear that in mind.

As a family of 5, we quite happily subscribe to the basic package without issue. Of course, if you have the latest Ultra HD television, then the expensive package may be more suitable.

Pros: Easy to use, lots original content and a great back-catalogue.

Cons: Space is limited at Netflix, so favourite programmes can be removed.

Cancelling Netflix

Because you aren’t tied into a contract, you can cancel at any time.

  • Sign in to Netflix.
  • Click on the arrow at the top right corner of the page, next to your profile name.
  • Select the ‘Account’ section.
  • Under ‘Membership and billing’ click the ‘cancel membership’.
  • Click ‘Finish cancellation’ to confirm you want to cancel.


Amazon Video

Amazon Video

Amazon video is included with your Prime membership and is often overlooked by many people. Currently, Prime will cost £7.99 per month or £5.99 if you just want the Video membership. Alternatively, you can take out an annual subscription to Prime for a discounted rate of £79.99.

Like Netflix, Amazon has access to plenty of classic shows and movies as well as their own exclusive content. Amazon has also recently started to show a limited number of English Premier League football games too.

Although the number of shows are limited compared to Netflix, it’s still worth looking at if you have Prime membership. There are also plenty of extra movies available, but you will need to pay to rent or own these.

Amazon does come with one frustration though… some of the movies and shows require you to pay extra to watch. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending 20 minutes searching through the listings, finding that gem and then realise they want £6 for it.

Pros: Good value with all the other Prime benefits, some original content.

Cons: Too many of the movies require you to pay extra.

Money saving tip: Students can purchase Prime for just £39 per year.

Cancelling Amazon Prime or Video

If you have a monthly subscription, you can cancel anytime by following these steps.

  • On Amazon.co.uk, log into your account and navigate to the top right corner of the page.
  • Click ‘Account & Lists’.
  • Click on ‘Your Prime Membership’ from the dropdown menu. 
  • Click ‘End Membership and Benefits’.


NowTV

You may be aware that NowTV is actually owned by Sky, so you might not automatically think of it as a suitable alternative. However, the beauty of NowTV is that it offers almost all the same content without you being fixed to a long contract.

NowTV uses entertainment passes. So, you choose a pass for a month, pay your money, sit back and watch. There are even day passes available for sports fans. This can be far cheaper if you only want to watch your favourite team, rather than paying for a month long subscription.

NowTV entertainment passes

Pros: No contract, very similar to Sky.

Cons: Limit your entertainment passes, otherwise it works out more expensive than Sky. Some passes auto-renew, so you need to cancel

Money Saving tip: There are also plenty of discounts available for NowTV passes too, so it’s possible to get an even better deal. You can even exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchers for 3 times their value for NowTV, which is a great bargain.

Cancelling NowTV

  • Go to the my account button near the top right of any page on the website
  • Select ‘my passes’ from the list then click the cancel pass button next to the appropriate pass.
  • Remember each pass type needs to be cancelled separately.


Britbox

Britbox

BritBox brings you some British TV classics thanks to a collaboration between ITV and BBC. And recently, Channel 4 have also got onboard. For £5.99 per month, you can watch old shows like Dr. Who, Love Island, The Office and the Inbetweeners.

But is it really worth £5.99 per month? It depends on how much you miss the shows you used to watch. And although Channel 4 have provided their shows, you can watch all theirs for free on their own streaming service.

Personally, I would be surprised if there is enough content there to keep people subscribing. Especially when all the programmes were originally available for free.

Pros: Loads of content with plenty of classic shows.

Cons: Nothing original, some of the content available for free elsewhere.

Cancelling your BritBox subscription

  • Log in to your account at BritBox.com, and go to your Account (click your name in the top right)
  • Click on “Account details”
  • Click on the “Subscription” tab
  • Click “Cancel Subscription” in the ‘Your Plan’ area.


Disney+

Disney+

This is the newest subscription service to hit the UK and, unsurprisingly, provides you with all your favourite Disney films. But not only that, it includes Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

With a similar interface to Netflix, this an easy app to use with a large range of movies – plenty for the kids to watch. There are TV series there too, such as The Simpsons, Star Wars; Mandalorian and High School Musical (if that’s your thing).

Original content is a little limited at the moment, although more is being released as I type.

You can subscribe for £5.99 per month or get a 15% discount if you opt to subscribe for the whole year and pay £59.99.

Pros: Great movies and a selection of new content. Easy to use system.

Cons: Limited. Once you’ve watched your favourite movies, might be little else to come back to.

Cancelling your Disney+ Subscription

If you only have a monthly subscription, then follow the steps below to cancel anytime.

  • Sign into your account at disneyplus.com
  • Click ‘Profile’ on the top right corner.
  • Select the account option next to subscription, then click on ‘billing options’.
  • To continue with the cancellation, click ‘cancel subscription’.


Apple TV+

apple tv+

Not to be outdone by Disney, Apple has also added a + sign to their TV offering. For once though, Apple is cheaper with its product and a monthly subscription will cost £4.99 per month.

Apple is focusing on plenty of its own, original TV content. Shows include Greyhound starring Tom Hanks, The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell and See with Jason Momoa.

There’s also a choice of children’s TV shows and movies to choose from – although not quite as impressive as Netflix.

Pros: Some of the best TV shows available. Cheaper than its main competitors. 7 day free trial.

Cons: Limited content when it comes to movies.

Cancelling Apple TV+

There are plenty of ways to cancel your subscription.

On your iPhone or iPad

  • Open the Settings app. 
  • Tap your name.
  • Tap Subscriptions.

On your Mac

  • Open the App Store app.
  • Click the sign-in button  or your name at the bottom of the sidebar.
  • Click  View Information at the top of the window. You might be asked to sign in.
  • On the page that appears, scroll until you see Subscriptions, then click Manage.
  • Click Edit next to the subscription that you want.
  • Click Cancel Subscription.


Hayu

Hayu

If you’re a fan of reality TV, then this is the option for you. If not, scroll on down!

Hayu has thousands of episodes from shows such as The Real Housewives, The Kardashians, plus plenty of true crime programmes. And at £4.99 per month, it’s the cheapest option on this list. I would like to write more about it, but reality TV isn’t my thing.

Pros: Cheaper than the rest, many hours of reality TV.

Cons: Limited content for most people.

Cancelling Hayu

  • Visit your account page on the Hayu website.
  • Click cancel subscription.

Premier Sports

Premier Sports subscription

As I touched on above, it’s difficult to find a decent alternative to Sky when it comes to sports. If you’re a sports fan with a Sky subscription, you’re probably already aware of Premier Sports as it will be included in your package.

Premier Sports provides access to a lot of football across the globe, including Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Scottish games. Plus, there is plenty of boxing, rugby and hockey.

The service is spread across 4 channels and subscription costs start at £9.99 per month. You can watch either through NowTV or on the Premier Sports website.

Pros: Plenty of different sports available

Cons: Doesn’t include the most popular sporting events. Limited devices that you can watch from.

Cancelling Premier Sports

  •  Visit here to login via the “My Account” section and follow the instructions.

Mubi

Mubi movie streaming service

Mubi is a streaming service that focuses purely on movies. We’re not talking about the latest blockbusters, but lesser-known films. Unfortunately, the the Mubi servers have limited room, so there are only 30 movies you can watch each day. However, this list changes every 24 hours.

Mubi is available on most devices and you can download movies onto your tablet or phone to watch at a later date. There’s even a 7-day trial if you fancy trying it out. A subscription to Mubi will cost £9.99 per month.

Pros: Constantly changing movies to watch. Available on most devices.

Cons: Limited choice of movies – aimed more towards film buffs.

Cancelling Mubi



Freeview/Freesat

freeview play


Freeview has come a long way over the last 20+ years. No longer is it restricted to just 4 channels that finish at midnight. In fact, Freeview has access to over 70 TV and radio channels.

According to the Freeview website, over 95% of the nation’s favourite TV is available on their service. And the best thing is… it’s all free. Well, except for the TV Licence that is.

On top of all this, Freeview Play has over 20,000 hours of on demand content available.

Pros: A cheap option with plenty of content

Cons: The biggest and best shows (including sport) are only available elsewhere.

Cancelling Freeview

Just turn it off! No fees and no contract.

TVPlayer

TVPlayer

If you like the idea of Freeview but you’re a little concerned that there aren’t enough channels for you, you could try TVPlayer. For £6.99 per month, TVPlayer gives you access to all the free to view channels, plus an extra 10 premium channels. These include Discovery, TLC, History, and Lifetime.

Pros: A little extra on top of basic TV.

Cons: Expensive for what you receive. Get far more from the other services.

Cancelling TVPlayer

On a laptop, PC, tablet or mobile device:



Which is the best alternative to Sky TV?

That really depends on what you’re after.

The best all-rounder for the money is Netflix. Plenty for all the family. This is also mine and my family’s favourite.

Best for kids is Disney+. Lots of shows and kids love to watch the same movies again and again.

For sports fans, the only real option is NowTV… although Amazon Prime is looking like a possible contender.

And the best thing is that all these Sky alternatives allow new customers a free trial. This will really help you decide which is the best option for you.

And of course, there’s nothing from stopping you from choosing more than one of the above options. It will still be far cheaper than a monthly subscription to Sky!

*Please note that this post does contain affiliate links.

FAQs

Can I still record on Sky without a subscription?

No. Once you cancel your subscription, you lose all recording capabilities.

What channels do I get if I cancel Sky?

You will have access to all the free-to-air channels. These include BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and many others.


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