Freeview Vs Sky

With people all across the UK looking for ways to save money and cut down on bills, a question on a lot of peoples’ minds is whether it’s worth paying the extra money for pay TV services such as Sky, or sticking with Freeview.

To help you decide, below is a comparison of Freeview and Sky in the areas that matter the most.

Choice of Channels

When it comes to choice of channels, Freeview simply cannot compete with Sky. Whilst Freeview does offer a generous amount of channels, considering the service itself is free (up to 50 TV channels and 24 radio stations), Sky has a much greater choice in every category.

If you’re heavily into sports, then Sky has a host of sports channels in HD, including BT Sports. It also has a range of movie channels, although with the popularity of services like Netflix, these are no longer the draw they once were.

With Freeview, you get access to all the terrestrial channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel4 and Channel 5. In addition to this you get 24-hour news channels and a few other entertainment channels such as Dave and E4.

The decision will really come down to what types of channels you watch and whether the extra cost of Sky is really worth the extra choice for you.


This is a category where Freeview clearly wins. Although you still need to purchase a set top box, the actual service itself is free.

With Sky, you must get a minimum subscription to their entertainment package and adding addition packages, such as sports will bump up the price significantly. You’re also tied into a minimum contract with Sky so if you’re usually not eligible to cancel before 12 months.

Set Top Boxes

This category is debatable. With Freeview, you get a choice of set top boxes to choose from. Some are very basic and others will allow you to pause, rewind and record your favourite programmes.

With Sky, they have one standard Sky+ HD box, that it has to be said is excellent. It’s easy to use and comes with plenty of storage space to record programmes on.

Both must be installed using London aerials.

On-demand Services

When it comes to on-demand services, Sky is at a big advantage since it comes with a range of TV shows and Movies that are available on demand, many of which come as part of the subscription price. Sky also comes with access to all the most popular on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD.

With Freeview, it’s a bit more complicated. The access to on-demand service will depend on whether or not you have a Smart TV. If you do, then you should have access to apps such as Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer.