MORE than a million BT customers will see TV and Sport prices hiked by up to £72 a year, the provider has confirmed.
The increase will see the price of BT TV rise by £2 a month (or £24 a year), while BT Sport will increase by £4 a month (or £48 a year).
But as customers could have both packages some will see prices rise by £6 a month – or £72 a year.
Customers currently pay varying amounts for BT TV and BT Sport depending on when they signed up, and affected packages are no longer on sale to new customers.
Those with BT’s flexible TV range, which starts from £12 a month and can be changed every 30 days, are unaffected.
BT wouldn’t confirm exactly how many customers are impacted but its financial results for the year to March 31, 2018 – the last time it published customer numbers – revealed it had 1.74million TV customers.
Anyone unhappy about the increase can either move penalty-free onto a new flexible package – of course, there will likely be a difference in cost and you could end up paying more overall – or they can leave penalty free.
To cancel without charge, you need to notify BT between now and October 31.
BT says it’s been notifying affected customers of the change since the beginning of this month from which point users have been able to ditch packages.
The telecoms firm last increased TV and Sport prices by up to £48 from July 28, 2019.
Meanwhile, its mobile, broadband and home phone prices rose by up to £11.40 year from March 2020.
New and existing BT broadband, line rental and mobile users saw prices frozen for 18 months until 2020, although this wasn’t extended to TV and Sport packages.
But Nick Baker, TV expert at price comparison site Uswitch.com, says lockdown isn’t the best time to increase prices with so many people reliant on their telly and most live sporting events not allowing in fans.
He said: “Price rises are never welcome, but this new hike comes at a time when television is the only way for fans to watch their favourite sports.
“It places more pressure on households at a time when many are feeling the pinch.”
Elsewhere, Sky increased TV prices for millions of customers, also by up to £72 a year from April 1 this year, and from August for users who didn’t see rises in April.
A BT spokesperson said: “To continue investing in a quality viewing experience we’ll be changing the prices of some of our BT TV and BT Sport packages for existing customers by £2 and £4 per month.
“Not all customers are affected, and many will find that our new flexible TV packages offer them a better deal, with the freedom to upgrade, downgrade and add-on content month-to month, while offering a wide selection of the very best TV shows, films and sport.”