Now TV to offer flexible broadband

tv channels

SKY have entered the market for flexible broadband deals, via their Now TV service, with prices starting from £9.99 a month for broadband and one of their monthly TV passes, plus £17.99 line rental.

Each no contract triple play deal comes with an updated Now TV box and broadband hub, free of charge, although users will face a setup fee of at least £40.

The deals go on sale "in early July", with all but the Kids Pass deals being offered at a reduced price for the first 12 months.

Sky say the Now TV Combo is the first ever no contract triple play bundle in the UK - although the independent ISP TenTel could be said to have beaten them to it in February with their take on triple play.

The packages

The price of each Now TV Combo depends first on which of their monthly TV passes we pick:

Pass Price
Now TV Entertainment Pass £6.99
Now TV Sky Movies Pass £9.99
Now TV Sky Sports Pass £33.99
Now TV Kids Pass £2.99

There's a full explanation of each of these passes - and the other options available with the Sports pass - in our full guide to Now TV, here.

Then we need to pick from three cutesily named broadband packages - which include, rather usually for no contract broadband, two fibre deals:

Package Broadband Standard price Line rental
Now TV Brilliant Broadband Unlimited
Up to 17Mb
£8 £17.99
Now TV Fab Fibre Unlimited
Up to 38Mb
£18 £17.99
Now TV Super Fibre Unlimited
Up to 76Mb
£26 £17.99

To mark the launch of the bundles, however, anyone looking at getting the entertainment, movies or sports passes with standard or up to 38Mb broadband will pay £5 less than they might expect for the first 12 months.

Those looking at getting up to 76Mb broadband with one of those three packages will save £8 off the expected price.

We've included the details of each combo at the bottom of the page, but for now, here's what adding Brilliant Broadband to each of the TV Passes looks like:

Package Combo Price Line rental Total monthly price
Now TV Entertainment Pass
+ Brilliant Broadband
£9.99 £17.99 £27.98
Now TV Sky Cinema Pass
+ Brilliant Broadband
£12.99 £17.99 £30.98
Now TV Sky Sports Pass
+ Brilliant Broadband
£33.99 £17.99 £54.98
Now TV Kids Pass
+ Brilliant Broadband
£10.99 £17.99 £28.98

From that table - and from what we can make out from the information we've been given - the Kids Pass isn't included. While it only costs £2.99 a month on its own, getting it in a triple play bundle will cost more than getting the Entertainment Pass with broadband.

Then there are the one-off setup fees: £40 for standard broadband, and £50 for fibre.

Line rental

The sharp eyed may have noticed that line rental from Now TV is £17.99 - while standard line rental from Sky, who own Now TV, is £17.40 a month.

It's also more expensive than any provider other than BT and Virgin Media - and although we are now into price rise season, Sky usually wait until around September to announce any increases to their phone and broadband.

Apart from that detail, the phone service mirrors Sky's:

As well as the no contract option, however, Now TV have mentioned a 12-month Saver deal on the broadband and landline - although beyond doing away with the need to pay a setup fee there's no more detail as yet.

The kit

Existing Now TV subscribers may feel a little aggrieved to hear there's a new version of the Now TV box, which Combo customers will get, with a broadband hub, free of charge - not even having to pay for postage as is usually the case.

The usual Now TV box is a stripped down Roku 3 streaming box. A fully functional Roku offers pretty much every streaming and on demand service it's possible to get in the UK, and costs around £99, but the Now TV version has a much more limited range of services and costs just £14.99.

Rather than adding to the streaming services, the Smart Box has become more like a standard set top box, now featuring the ability to show 60 free-to-air channels via the TV aerial, 15 of which are available in HD.

Those who don't want to sign up to a Combo but fancy upgrading their existing box will be able to do so when the box is made available to buy separately, for £39.99.

The broadband hub being offered looks remarkably similar to the current Sky Broadband hub, which we look at in more detail here.

Flexible triple play

We mentioned above that Sky say this is the first no contract triple play deal in the UK - and that there's another provider who already claim to be offering flexible triple play.

In January this year, TenTel began to offer their customers Roku sticks and boxes at a discount - and said that as they were offering TV of a sort, they were therefore a triple play provider.

When they started offering the devices, their head of marketing, David Riley, said of the decision, "we pride ourselves on listening to what our customers want... the message was loud and clear: they wanted to watch TV."

He didn't mean linear TV. TenTel's short term contracts - which we look at here - suit students and other frequent movers, who want streaming services.

With the fully functional Roku boxes, TenTel are offering access to all three of the UK's biggest on demand content providers, as well as catch-up TV from all four terrestrial broadcasters. It's as close to TV without being traditional TV as we can get.

Whether they or Now TV count as the true first no contract triple play provider depends on our definition of triple play - but for a lot of cord cutters and so-called cord-nevers, who've grown up viewing almost everything on demand, TenTel have a good case.

The full list of Now TV Combos

Combo TV Pass Broadband Combo price Line rental Total price
sky Entertainment Pass Brilliant Broadband £6.99 £8 £9.99 £17.99 £27.98
Fab Fibre £6.99 £18 £12.99 £37.98
Super Fibre £6.99 £26 £24.99 £42.98
sky Sky Cinema Pass Brilliant Broadband £9.99 £8 £12.99 £17.99 £30.98
Fab Fibre £9.99 £18 £22.99 £40.98
Super Fibre £9.99 £26 £27.99 £45.98
sky Sky Sports Pass Brilliant Broadband £33.99 £8 £36.99 £17.99 £27.98
Fab Fibre £33.99 £18 £46.99 £64.98
Super Fibre £33.99 £26 £51.99 £69.98
sky Kids Pass Brilliant Broadband £2.99 £8 £10.99 £17.99 £28.98
Fab Fibre £2.99 £18 £20.99 £38.98
Super Fibre £2.99 £26 £28.99 £43.98

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