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Breaking the TV, Broadband and HomePhone Bundle Can Save Consumers Cash

Press Release   •   Mar 15, 2014 00:00 GMT

- One in five ‘top-up’ traditional bundle with paid-for internet streaming services at cost of additional £120 per year
- Two fifths waste cash on unlimited broadband capacity they don’t need
- Overall spend on bundles tops £3billion nationally


A joint report issued by Post Office and Freeview1 reveals that consumers are spending more and consuming more when it comes to their TV, home phone and broadband bundles, due to significant changes in the way home entertainment content is accessed.

Vision and Value 2014 - an examination of TV, broadband and home phone usage among consumers who choose to bundle the services - found that monthly spending on bundles has increased by £1 since 2013, costing each household an average of £50 per month2. This equates to an overall national spend of £3.3billion3.

The report has also found that almost one in five UK bundle users (19 per cent) is spending an additional £10 per month4 on online TV subscriptions. Over half (55 per cent) are using services such as Netflix and LoveFilm in addition to, and not in place of, existing paid-for TV channel packages. Just 18 per cent use these services as a total replacement for a traditional TV package.

Supersizing continues in the broadband choices being made with two fifths of bundle users in the UK (39 per cent) now signed up to unlimited broadband download capacity, a four per cent increase on 2013 (35 per cent). However, only one in twenty of the overall households (6 per cent) would ever exceed 41GB per month and nearly two thirds (62 per cent) have no idea how much they actually use. Almost a third of respondents (29 per cent) do not know what capacity they are paying for.

Streaming TV shows and movies is the eighth most popular use for broadband in 2014; an activity which uses a relatively minimal download speed of 7Mbps for Super HD quality viewing5. Similarly, browsing the internet, checking emails and social networking remain the most popular online activities in three quarters of households (77 per cent), requiring a base speed of just 5Mbps. Despite this, UK households are paying for an average speed of 32Mbps, which is over six times higher than they need.

There is some good news for consumers. The cost of TV ‘wastage’ – the amount spent on paid-for channels that are going unwatched – has decreased since last year. With the cost of TV entertainment within a bundle averaging at £22 per month in 2014, households are spending £184.80 per annum on unwatched TV channels – a reduction of £14.526 per household. However, this still equates to over £965million7 wasted every year.

Hugh Stacey, Post Office HomePhone and Broadband, said: “The Vision and Value report has once again highlighted the importance of understanding the needs of your household when it comes to choosing the right TV, home phone and broadband package. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Even though consumers are accessing greater levels of content online, most households require just a sixth of the capacity that they are paying for.”

Guy North, Marketing Communications Director at Freeview adds: “Although an increasing number of consumers are putting their hands in their pockets to pay for additional online streaming services, there is still a considerable amount of cash wasted on paid-for TV channels which go unwatched. People should regularly asses their viewing habits to ensure they are getting value for money from their TV service.”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk
Tel
: 0207 250 2534


  1. Research was conducted by Opinium between 10 January and 15 January 2014 amongst 3,063 UK adults (18+) who have a combined broadband, TV subscription package
  2. Not including call costs
  3. 21% (proportion of homes that have a triple pay bundle of fixed voice, broadband and multichannel TV, Ofcom Communications Market Report 2013 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr13/2013_UK_CMR.pdf) of 26.4m (number of UK households, ONS Families and Households bulletin, 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2013/stb-families.html) = 5,544,000 households x £50 per month (average monthly spend for those that subscribe to home phone, broadband and TV excluding Sky Sports and Movies in 2014) = £277,200,000 x 12 months = £3,326,400,000 = £3.3billion
  4. Figure based on LoveFilm Instant and LoveFilm by Post monthly cost at £9.99 (www.lovefilm.co.uk)
  5. According to Netflix guidelines (https://support.netflix.com/en/node/306)
  6. £199.32 in 2013. 5 hours of TV are watched per day, with 3.5 hours spent watching free-to-air channels, meaning 70 per cent of TV viewing is on free-to-air channels. 70 per cent of £22 (average monthly cost of TV part of bundle deal, excluding Sky Sports and Movies in 2014) = £15.40. Annual cost per household in 2014 = £15.40 x 12 months = £184.80. £199.32 - £184.80 = £14.52
  7. 21% (proportion of homes that have a triple pay bundle of fixed voice, broadband and multichannel TV, Ofcom Communications Market Report 2013 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr13/2013_UK_CMR.pdf) of 26.4m (number of UK households, ONS Families and Households bulletin, 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2013/stb-families.html) = 5,544,000 households x £14.52 wasted per month = 80,498,880 x 12 months = 965,986,560 = 965million

About Post Office:

Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches. It is also one of the fastest growing financial services companies and is developing its online and telephony services.

It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

It serves around 18 million customers a week and a third of all small businesses. 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office. For many rural communities the post office is the only retail outlet. Post offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk.

About Post Office HomePhone and Broadband packages:

Post Office offers HomePhone and Broadband packages, which include free evening and weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.

Post Office HomePhone:

- Line rental including weekend calls from just £12 a month

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Essential

- £8.15 per month plus £12 line rental

- 10GB monthly usage

- Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Premium

- £12.80 per month plus £12 line rental

- Unlimited monthly downloads

- Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

About Freeview:

Freeview is a subscription-free TV service providing over 50 digital TV channels, including ten HD channels (when using an HD TV or HD set top box/recorder). Freeview+ allows viewers to pause, record and rewind live TV.

Freeview is managed by DTV Services Ltd, a company owned and run by its five shareholders - BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, ITV and Arqiva.

www.freeview.co.uk

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media.  Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.

If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes. 611 2970.