Monday 19 November 2018

Customers face €60 hike in Sky broadband and TV costs

Price increases 'now becoming an annual event' for householders

On offer: ‘Games of Thrones’ is one of the hit shows on Sky, while the link between Sky and BT means more Premier League matches for subscribers from the summer
On offer: ‘Games of Thrones’ is one of the hit shows on Sky, while the link between Sky and BT means more Premier League matches for subscribers from the summer
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Television and broadband prices are to rise next month. Sky Ireland is to increase its broadband and TV prices with some customers to see the costs of their package rising by up to €60 a year for those affected.

It comes after Virgin Media said the cost of its broadband would rise by €42 a year from January 14.

The latest increases come after a string of energy companies put up their tariffs, in a move that has made it more expensive to run a home.

Figures released this week by AA Ireland found that households are paying out €350 extra a year to run their homes than last year.

The average homeowner is now paying €16,374 to keep things ticking over, compared with €16,006 in 2017.

Now Sky Ireland said subscribers will have to pay more, with the price hikes mainly affecting legacy broadband contracts.

A spokesperson said the average bill will rise by €31 a year but stressed that only 40pc of customers will be affected by the price change.

The company's Broadband Unlimited product will increase by €48 a year.

Sky claimed this will bring the price closer to what Sky Fibre customers pay and insisted the cost will be competitive compared with other broadband providers, including Eir and Vodafone.

Many Sky packages are not affected by the increase.

The Multiscreen and Q Multiscreen TV packages will be €18 more expensive a year from December. Sky argued that it needed to raise its prices to its content, products and services.

"From December 1 we will be making some changes to our TV and broadband pricing. Whenever we review our pricing we work hard to keep any rises to a minimum," Sky Ireland said.

"At Sky, we want to give every customer the very best and we're continually working to improve our content, products and services. To do this, we do need to review our prices occasionally as per our terms and conditions."

But Switcher.ie managing director Eoin Clarke said price increases in the broadband and TV market are becoming an annual event.

"With these increases happening every 12 months from a large number of providers, consumers will soon find it difficult to afford these services and can't be blamed if they look to move away," he said.

He said customers would have 30 days from the date they were notified of the price rise to cancel their contract penalty free, as the price rises are a breach of the existing terms and conditions.

"If you're a customer impacted by this, or any other price rise in the broadband and TV market, it's worthwhile checking to see if you can save money by getting a better deal," he said.

Mr Clarke advised consumers to contact their current provider to discuss their options or they can switch to a new provider and avail of a new customer discount.

This time last year, both Sky and Vodafone raised prices by similar amounts.

Last month, Sky said its sports subscribers would be able to get BT Sport as part of their package from next summer. Previously, Eir Sport acted as the platform in which BT Sport channels were accessible here.

Sky and BT have come together to agree an exclusive distribution partnership in Ireland which will deliver Sky Sports and BT Sport through a single Sky TV subscription.

Both Vodafone and Eir said they have no immediate plans for price rises.

Meanwhile, this country ranked as the ninth most expensive country in Europe for broadband, according to a report from Cable.co.uk.

The data showed Ireland's average cost of broadband per month of €57.23 is almost €43 more expensive than the country with the cheapest broadband in Europe.

Irish Independent

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