If you are looking for the cheapest “triple play bundle” of TV , Broadband and Home Phone there are usually some good deals available from both Sky and Virgin Media . These two companies are the two biggest digital TV subscription providers in Ireland. January is a good time to look because the providers usually have special offers on. The start of a new year is also a good time to look for cheaper packages for the year ahead.
Firstly – apologies if you don’t live in an area covered by Virgin Media – because this comparison is not going to be any use to you. Virgin Media (previously UPC) provide their TV , broadband and phone services via their own cable network – which is available in Dublin, Cork City, Galway City, Limerick City and many areas of County Dublin.
Sky provide their TV via satellite dishes and their broadband and phone via the national telephone network. Sky Fibre is only available in some areas of the country – but it should be available in all the places where Virgin Media is available.
So – how do Virgin Media and Sky Ireland compare on price – and what do you get for your money?
We did a comparison of the deals on offer in mid January 2017 from Sky Ireland and Virgin Media Ireland. We looked at packages with unlimited broadband, inclusive anytime phone calls and TV with around 50 channels.
We found a deal from from Sky on Switcher.ie including fibre broadband with speeds upto 100Mb (where available) , unlimited data and free calls to landlines all day as well as 55 TV channels. The total cost of this in year one would be €678. (€56.50 a month for 12 months then €92 per month)
We found a very similar package on Virgin Media – with broadband with speeds upto 240Mb , Unlimited data, free calls to Irish landlines 24 hours a day and 50 TV channels on their Horizon box. The price is €85 per month with the first 6 months at just €35 a month. Total cost in the first year: €720. More Here
The Sky bundle is €42 cheaper in year one than the deal from Virgin Media. But if you join Virgin through Switcher.ie you get a €50 gift card – so it works out slightly cheaper over the first 12 months.
What are the differences between the Virgin Media and Sky bundles ?
Broadband :The speed on the Virgin Media deal is faster , upto 240Mb compared to a maximum of upto 100Mb with Sky. Sky uses the same phone lines as Eir/vodafone while Virgin use their own cable network . The Virgin speeds should be better in the majority of cases.
TV: The difference in TV channels is negligible. The main differences we could see is that with Sky you get Sky Atlantic and with Virgin you get a few more of the HD channels , Film 4 and Discovery. Virgin throw in FREE Netflix for 6 months.
Phone – Both bundles include anytime calls to Irish landlines.
With Virgin you also get 400 minutes per month of calls to landlines in 22 countries and USA mobiles.
With Sky you get unlimited free calls to landlines in the UK, USA and 18 other countries – which could come in very handy if you have friends or relatives overseas.
Overall there is not too much difference :- Sky works out at just €42 cheaper in the first year than Virgin Media . The contract is for 12 months – so you can always switch again if there is a better offer.
These prices were correct on Jan 23rd 2017.
You can go for an upgrade with Sky to the “Variety” package with 103 channels – for an extra €144 in year one . ( Total €822 ) If you want to see the full range of Sky TV and broadband bundles – you can see them here and order online.
An upgrade with Virgin Media to their “Full House” TV with 100 channels would work out at €780 in the first year. This beats the almost equivalent Sky bundle on price by €42 over 12 months. You can find out more about Virgin Media TV and broadband deals and even order your bundle online at Switcher.ie
You might also want to take a look at our comparison of Broadband and Phone bundles where Pure Telecom come out as the cheapest option .