TalkTalk, the broadband, phone and TV provider, is offering a new deal for sports fans, with a lower-cost bundle that combines TalkTalks’ TV hub and a subscription to the NOW Sports streaming membership.
As part of this bundle, subscribers will get the company’s Android-TV-based Freeview and streaming box, as well as a monthly subscription to NOW Sports (which includes all of Sky’s sports channels – with live and on-demand content), as well as NOW Boost – which upgrades the video resolution to Full HD (1080p).
Normally, this combination would cost £45.99/month (£5 for the TV Hub, £34.99 for NOW Sports and £6 for NOW Boost) – but for a limited time, TalkTalk is offering the bundle for £30/month.
Furthermore, TalkTalk is waiving the upfront setup fee which new subscribers sometimes have to pay – £25.
There are a few caveats, however. First, this deal is only available to new TalkTalk Full Fibre broadband customers.
Furthermore, as is usually the case with broadband and pay-TV companies – you have to sign a 12-month contract, and won’t be able to cancel your subscription during that time (plus, your broadband contract may be longer than 12 months – depending on which plan you opt for).
So, is this a good deal? I checked and compared the full details – so see more below.
TalkTalk’s TV Plans Explained
Somewhat confusingly, TalkTalk has three separate TV offers, with two different boxes – one for “regular” (Fibre To The Cabinet) customers, and one for Full Fibre customers (who are the ones eligible for the new NOW Sports offer).
They all accompany the company’s broadband plans, so you can’t sign up for TalkTalk TV without being a TalkTalk Broadband customer.
TalkTalk TV Option 1: The Netgem Box
In 2021, TalkTalk launched a 4K TV box from Netgem, which replaced TalkTalk’s previous TV offer – a YouView box.
The 4K Netgem box from TalkTalk includes a variety of streaming apps (including Amazon’s Prime Video, Netflix, ITVX and more), and – by connecting an aerial – it can also be used as a Freeview box, with recordings possible via an optional USB stick.
This is first and foremost a streaming box, so it needs to connect to your broadband via WiFi. Then, you can use its streaming apps and on-demand players.
The Netgem box from TalkTalk costs £5/month (following a price increase late last year)
Do note that you’re not getting any TV content subscriptions included in the price – so you’re basically paying for the box and its software – but you can add NOW’s memberships on top.
TalkTalk TV Option 2: The Android TV Hub
In 2022, TalkTalk launched another TV box – the TalkTalk TV Hub which is a 4K / Dolby Atmos Android TV-powered box.
The Android TV Hub supports Freeview (when you connect an aerial), Freeview Play (via broadband), as well as thousands of apps that are currently available on the Google Play Store – from the big streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and more – to smaller, niche apps and services.
The Android TV box also has built-in Chromecast support – so you can “cast” videos and streaming services from your phones – even some that don’t have a native app on the box.
Unlike the Netgem box, TalkTalk is only offering the Android TV Box to broadband customers with Full Fibre plans – so it’s not available to all customers.
The Android TV Box normally costs £5/month at launch, with a one-off £25 setup fee (which is waived with the current limited-time offer).
TalkTalk TV Option 3: Netflix + Broadband
If you don’t need a TV box from TalkTalk (or even if you do, but want another bundle), the company also has a Netflix + Broadband Bundle.
It offers the company’s fibre broadband service along with a Standard Netflix subscription (which you can upgrade to Premium) – all under one bill, and at a small discount.
The bundle, which usually requires a 24-month contract, is available with two of TalkTalk’s fibre products: Fibre65 (with an average speed of 67Mbs), and Fibre35 (With an average speed of 38Mbs).
Both packages include the Netflix Standard subscription, which on its own costs £10.99/month, and lets you watch on up to 2 screens at the same time, in Full HD (1080p).
You can upgrade to Netflix Premium, which includes 4K content, for an additional £5/month.
TalkTalk TV’s NOW Sports Offer
From now until May 25, TalkTalk is offering a bundle that includes:
- The Android TV Hub (Normally £5/month)
- NOW Sports (Normally £34.99/month)
- NOW Boost (Normally £6/month)
The bundle costs £30/month, without any upfront fees, for 12 months.
NOW (formerly known as NOW TV) is Sky’s long-running no-contract streaming service – a cheaper TV platform that gives you flexible packages (“memberships” of content), that can be watched on a large variety of streaming devices – including, of course, TalkTalk’s Android TV box.
NOW Sky Sports is almost identical to Sky Sports on Sky, with unlimited access to all 11 Sky Sports channels – 400+ live football games including the biggest Premiere league matches, plus access to every F1 race (live, and some on-demand sports content).
NOW Boost is a separate add-on that adds Full HD (1080p) video quality, Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, no adverts (for on-demand content. You’ll still see adverts on Sky’s live channels), and the ability to stream on up to 3 devices at the same time (instead of just one).
Specifically for sports, NOW Boost also adds the ability to watch content in 50 frames per second – which gives a smoother picture when you watch sporting events.
It’s worth noting that NOW doesn’t support 4K/UHD content at all (even with Boost) – therefore you won’t be getting any of the Ultra HD sports content, even though TalkTalks’ box does technically support 4K.
As you can see, this bundle would normally cost £45.99/month (though Boost is free with every NOW membership you take on TalkTalk) – so at £30/month, you will save some money.
However, by signing a 12-month contract for the TV part (along with a 12-18-24 month contract for the broadband) – you’re giving away your flexibility.
Furthermore, while NOW Sports’ “official” price is £34.99/month if you sign up to it directly via NOW – you can often find discounts. Just last month, for example, NOW Sports was offered for £21.99/month (without NOW Boost, though).
The bottom line? If you’re planning to join TalkTalk for any of its broadband offers, AND you’re an avid sports fan and you’re planning to watch Sky Sports anyway for the next 12 months – then TalkTalk’s offer could be beneficial for you.
But if you’re willing to do some work and look for dedicated deals every few months – then a cord-cutting route, with a standalone streaming device you only pay for once – will almost always be the cheaper option.