Sky set to increase price of Sports and four other packages
Broadcaster Sky is to increase the cost of its sports, movie and high-definition packages.
The higher prices on different Sky packages will apply from the start of December, the Irish Independent has learned.
The rises will apply at a time of the year when people tend to watch more television.
The Sky Sports package will rise by €2.50 a month to €40, with a rise of €2 a month in the cost of its HD (high-definition) package.
This means Sky Sports will be €30 more expensive over a year.
The Sky Cinema package will cost €29 a month, a rise of €1 a month, with the Top Tier option rising by €2.50 a month to €49. The Multiscreen television package will rise by €1 to €16 a month, a spokesman for Sky confirmed.
Customers who have all of the add-ons could end up paying an extra €66 per year.
There is no change in the Original and Variety deals.
The higher prices represent a rise of around 3pc.
Both Eir and Virgin pushed up the cost of bundles that include TV at the start of the year.
Sky said the standard pricing of each package will cost the same price or less with Sky as its competitors after the increases.
"In addition, we currently have a Sky Sports offer of €20 per month for 12 months for customers looking to upgrade to the Sky Sports pack," the spokesman said.
Sky raised its prices last December on its original, Variety, Sports, Top Tier and Movies options by similar amounts.
The spokesman added: "Over the coming weeks, some Sky customers in Ireland will be receiving notification of changes to their monthly bill.
"There are no price changes for many of our customers, including those on the Sky basic packs - Original and Variety bundles."
The company said customers taking Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, HD and/or Multiscreen and some broadband customers will see some price changes.
It stressed that it has added a huge amount of value to these packs over the last 12 months and continues to make them bigger and better.
Sky Sports will be showing 43 more Premier League games than last year, with 159 live games, including Saturday 3pm kick-offs for the first time only to Irish customers, all of the Old Firm derbies, rugby from the Pro12, ERCC and autumn internationals, every golf major and the Ryder Cup and live GAA fixtures.
Customers of Sky have 30 days from the issue of notices to them about the price hikes to change provider or downgrade to a different bundle without being penalised, experts said.
Managing director of Switcher.ie Eoin Clarke said price rises such as this are now almost an annual occurrence across the broadband and TV markets.
"While these hikes may be small, if customers have all of the add-ons, it could end up costing them an additional €66 per year," he said.
If customers are unhappy with price rises from any provider, they should take the time to look around and see if they can find a better deal elsewhere, he added.