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Brits spend £33 per month on TV packages

MUMBAI: More than six in ten (62 per cent) households in the UK pay for TV, spending an average of £33 per month. But according to new research from price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com, almost a third (30 per cent) claim it isn’t good value for money.

TV users find that a large proportion of the channels they pay for are completely redundant as more than one in four people (27 per cent) only watch 10 per cent of the channels available to them. On average, households view just a quarter (25 per cent) of the channels they pay for.

One in four (27 per cent) TV fans fork out extra on top of their existing pay TV package for programmes such as films on demand, and one-off sporting events – adding an extra £13 to their monthly TV bills each time they do so. This means, collectively, consumers are shelling out a staggering £275 million per year extra on add ons and upgrades to their existing packages to watch more exclusive TV content.

Meanwhile, more than one in 10 (12 per cent) have thrown money down the drain by forgetting to cancel upgrades to their TV package that they no longer want or use. Sheer absentmindedness could be costing consumers as much as £7.1 million per month.

As TV fans head into winter and the nights close in, one in seven (14 per cent) will find the cost goes up as they increase their spend on add ons or upgrade their package for the winter months by an average of £11 per month, equating to a combined £78 million on entertainment for long nights in.

Families are most likely to pay for TV, with almost three quarters (74 per cent) splashing out on a package costing an average of £34 a month. This is followed by those who live with their partners and shared households with flat or housemates – 59 per cent of both these household types pay for TV. Those who live alone are the least likely to pay for TV, with only 46 per cent doing so.

Of those who don’t pay for TV, almost four in ten (38 per cent) say it’s simply not good value for money, while more than a quarter (27 per cent) cannot afford it. Almost a fifth (19 per cent) 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.

uSwitch.com TV and broadband expert Ewan Taylor-Gibson said, “What’s abundantly clear from our research is that many households are shelling out for packages that don’t best suit their viewing needs. 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.

“The knock-on effect of the introduction of more ‘quad-play’ bundles – incorporating TV, broadband, home phone and mobile in one package – is a glut of paid-for TV choices to keep people occupied during the Christmas season. 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.

“Make sure you regularly review your bill so you can manage your spending and don’t lose track of any upgrades or add-ons to your account. To find the right package make a list of what your household watches, and then hunt for the right deal to suit your individual requirements.”