• Jordan White

Sky Variety vs Original (and other old Sky packages)


If you’re a Sky TV customer, you’ll probably be familiar with the various channel bundles that you can include in your package.


And if you’ve been with Sky for years, you may have signed up to one bundle that no longer exists for new customers.


Sky tends to reinvent their channel bundles every year or two. While this can be great at enticing new customers, it can often leave existing customers confused about just what they’re still paying for. Particularly those who don’t check their account or bills that often.


Let’s take a look at how Sky have changed their packages.


Sky Variety and Sky Original – Ended in 2017


Many customers may still be paying for these bundles. However, both Sky Variety and Sky Original are old packages.


If you signed up to Sky before 2018 on a basic TV package, you would have had Sky Original.


It cost £20 a month and included your mainstream Sky channels including Sky One, Sky Atlantic and Fox. In total you could get 270 channels.


Sky Variety was a mid-range package. You paid £32 a month for the channels included with Sky Original, plus extra entertainment (Discovery), music (MTV) and kids’ channels.


Sky Entertainment – New in 2018


In 2018, Sky replaced Variety and Original with a new bundle called Sky Entertainment.

This cost £20 and included 350 basic channels.


You could then choose add-ons, such as kids’ channels or box sets at £5 per add-on.


But existing customers didn’t have to move over if they were happy with their existing package.


Sky Signature and Sky Ultimate – New in 2020


In 2020, Sky shook things up again and replaced Sky Entertainment with Sky Signature.


Sky Signature is now your current basic Sky TV package. For £30 you get 350 channels plus box sets of popular shows like Game of Thrones.


Sky Ultimate includes a Netflix subscription (worth at £5.99).


What we've seen from Sky is a shift away from very basic packages to essentially bundling up more channels to a more expensive package. So while it may seem like better value for money in terms of price per channel, you have fewer options.


Additional channels like movies and sports can also be added, but will substantially increase your costs.


Confused about what package you’re on?


I don’t blame you. Lots of Sky customers are on old packages paying random amounts (factoring in yearly price rises) for what are now old services. The best example I’ve dealt with was a pensioner who’d been with sky for nearly 10 years and was still paying for Broadband Lite – a service Sky can no longer provide but had still been charging the customer for.


If you’re still on what you believe is Sky Original or Sky Variety, and you’re not in a contract, it’s worth checking if you’re better off switching to one of Sky’s current bundles.


To be honest, if you’re still on Sky Original and paying under £30 a month, you’re actually getting a good deal. That said, Sky has a great reputation for offering deals to those willing to haggle.


Summary


Sky Original was Sky’s basic TV package back in the day. Over the years, it has been replaced with updated versions and costs.


Sky Variety was Sky’s mid-range TV package. But Sky’s Signature package is now essentially a hybrid of Original and Variety, with the option of ‘add-on’ bundles to offer a more bespoke service. If you’re still paying for Sky Variety, you’re probably getting a good deal vs the cost of Sky Signature.






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