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Sky Mobile's free streaming data: pros, cons and how it works

Sky Go logo with a phone and SIM cardVisit

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We review Sky Mobile Watch, their unlimited streaming data benefit, explain what Sky TV apps are covered and look for restrictions. Last updated: 23rd November 2021

Our verdict

Watch is the UK's most generous streaming data scheme
 (4.5/5, excellent)

Sky unlimited streaming banner


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"If you've got Sky TV at home, being able to stream programmes and films from your package on your mobile, without it using your data is worth its weight in gold. The data savings are huge.

If you've ever put off watching videos on your phone because you're worried about paying for the data, having Watch is going to change everything. Commuters and people with children are going to love it.

Sky have finally hit the nail on the head with a benefit that combines their strengths in TV entertainment and good value mobile plans. We think this will fly off the shelves."

Choose a deal: Sky's SIM only plans | Sky's phone contracts

How does Sky Mobile Watch work?

You get unlimited data to stream on Sky TV apps

Sky TV app icons

A huge range of appsFull list of apps

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One of the heaviest activities on your data is video streaming. If you usually stream a lot while you’re out and about it’s usually best to take a large (or even unlimited) data plan.

It’s an unfortunate trade off - money for convenience. But with Sky’s "Watch" benefit, the data you use to stream their TV apps over data signal will not come out of your monthly allowance.

This means you’ll never have to think twice about watching videos while out and about - it’s perfect for commuters, if you’re on a long car journey or if you don’t have broadband at home.

It makes your deal a whole lot more valuable as you’re essentially getting free unlimited data, as well as making your Sky TV package more worth it as you can use it whenever you want.

Useful link: Full terms, conditions and FAQs

All phones, SIMs and tablet plans qualify for it

A Sky Mobile phone and SIM cards

Take a phone contract or SIM only planSee latest offers

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Sky Watch only gets more impressive when you realise it comes as standard on all of Sky’s data plans, even on the very smallest of plans. You can get a 2GB plan and essentially use it to stream without limits.

If you only use these apps and use them a lot, you’ll be getting an insane amount of value. Here's the current cheapest SIM only plan you can unlimited streaming data on Sky TV apps with on Sky Mobile:

Sky Mobile's phone contracts are typically the cheapest per month when using our phone price comparison tool here. And they've got a wide range of iPhone, Samsung and other Android models.

Bear in mind their “SWAP24” contracts last 36 months and their “SWAP12” contracts last 24 months. You’ll also have to pass a credit check to get on their phone contracts.

Choose a product: SIM only plans | Phone contracts

Which Sky TV apps does it work with?

The Sky Go app is the one you’ll most likely use

Sky Go app

Stream Live TV and On Demand all you likeMore about Sky Go

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The SkyGo app is the one we’d argue will be used the most out of all their apps. It comes with every Sky TV package at no added cost. It’s also the one that would otherwise eat the most data.

You can get access to up to 73 different Sky channels on your phone (or other devices), as well as on hundreds of On Demand programmes, kids channels and sports highlights.

The most popular channels are all there: Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. So are all the Sky Sports channels. Plus you get all 11 Sky Cinema channels and their nine kids channels too (see all info here).

Sky Watch lets you take the wide catalog of programmes you love watching at home with you to use on the go. All this and it won’t cost you a penny extra (though ads may use your data). It's a huge benefit.

Useful link: Everything you get with the Sky Go app

Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and other apps are included too

Sky Cinema app

Get the latest films on your mobileSee latest prices

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If your TV package includes the more premium Sky channels, you can also use them on your Sky Mobile without it coming out of your data allowance.

We’ve confirmed with Sky that Virgin Media customers that have Sky Sports and Sky Cinema in their TV package can also stream on Sky Apps for free when joining Sky Mobile.

In case you didn’t know Virgin Media customers can download and log into Sky’s apps with their Virgin ID (as long as they’re included in their Virgin package).

You'll not only get TV programs, but you’ll also be able to access news, sports video highlights and many other features.

Useful link: Sky Cinema packages | Sky Sports packages

You can also stream the Sky Kids app without using data

Sky Kids app

Keep the kids busy on long journeysMore about Sky Kids

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Sky Mobile Watch really shines for parents wanting to keep their kids occupied on long journeys. You can let them stream kid-friendly shows without needing to worry about data.

It’s a really nice addition to an already great feature (you'll need to have it in your TV package though, see latest costs here). Sky help to take one of the many worries off a parent’s mind.

For more grown-up children, it’s reassuring to know they can’t accidentally rack up huge extra costs without you knowing (at least in for Sky TV streaming).

You can also set spending caps on every Sky Mobile phone or SIM plan which only adds to the fact that you can really avoid paying more than you want to accidentally.

Choose a product: SIM only plans | Phone contracts

How much data does it save you?

Video streaming can really eat up your data

Screenshot of Sky's press release

Sky tell you how much you’ve saved with Sky WatchRead press release

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While things like filesharing are more intensive, video streaming is one great way to tear through your data allowance. So how much are the savings worth with Sky Watch?

Sky have made predictions (which we think are realistic) which show how massive your savings could be. Here’s their predictions for how much an average streaming session would use up:

An episode of Game of Thrones (63 mins): 1.4GB
A full Premier League match (120 mins): 2.7GB
One episode of Friends (23 mins): 500MB
A full-length film, e.g. Love Simon: (110 mins): 2.5GB
A full F1 race (125 mins): 2.9GB

For the smallest of these you’d be using up about 15GB of data if you watched one episode a day for a month, if you watched an average length film a day it’d be something like 60GB (more than Sky’s biggest offer).

Useful link: Get a Sky Mobile plan

Are there any restrictions to Sky Mobile Watch?

A Sky TV subscription is necessary (obviously)

Sky Q box and television

It works with any Sky TV packageSee TV packages

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To clear up any misunderstandings, Sky aren’t giving away a subscription with their mobile deals. You’ll need a separate Sky TV subscription to stream on their apps.

The programs you can stream on your phone are the ones included in your Sky TV package. You’re not getting anything extra for being on their mobile network.

You can still use some Sky TV apps without using up data even if you don’t have a subscription, but only on their free apps (like news).

Virgin Media TV customers with Sky Cinema and Sky Sports in their package will benefit by joining up with Sky Mobile and using the relevant apps.

So what do they get out of it? Well, the fact that this benefit is so good makes Sky TV seem more appealing. This draws people in a keeps them loyal by being both Sky TV and Mobile customers.

Useful link: See all Sky's TV packages and upgrade options

You have to have some data left over to benefit

My Sky App data management

50MB minimum required to stream for freeRead full terms

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A big limitation to Sky Watch is that you’ll need at least 50MB left over for it to work. Anything below that and it will begin to use your data and you’ll have to buy more (or take from your Piggybank).

Rather than Sky being tricky, we'd say this is more to do with "Net Neutrality" principles, which say companies supplying internet services shouldn't treat the data they send you differently based on what you're using it for.

To be fair, 50MB is a very low amount, so it’s basically them saying if you’re running out of regular data you should also run out of Sky Watch data.

In order to get more data you’ll have to purchase data add-ons 1GB at a time. You can do this up to five times per account per month. It can get pretty pricey to do this so it’s best to keep on top of your usage (see prices here).


Useful link: Read Sky's terms and conditions for Watch

Only a certain amount of devices can be registered on one account

Sky register devices

You can register only a certain amount of devicesHow to manage devices

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While your data is unlimited while using these apps, what’s not unlimited is how many devices can be registered to watch on Sky apps without data usage at any one time.

At the moment you can register two separate devices on Sky Go and stream on both of them at the same time, where on Sky Go Extra you can register four but still only stream on two at once.

This is the biggest limitation on Sky Mobile Watch, as you’ll never be able to get more than two family members using the service at any one time. For that you’d have to sign up twice, which takes away the point.

Useful link: How to manage your registered devices

Roaming: Sky Mobile Watch will soon no longer work in the EU

Sky Go EU streaming banner

The rules will soon changeSee when it’ll change

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Sky are unfortunately changing their rules so that you’ll no longer be able to benefit from the scheme while abroad. Until then you can continue to benefit from free streaming in any of these countries.

There’s no issues with viewing rights, as Sky say you can stream all TV services for now. But we can assume that the changing situation has made Sky unable to justify continuing to provide this benefit abroad.

You also don’t get free streaming EU. All streaming will be charged at the usual per MB rate. Add high data intensity streaming plus high rates and you’ll be paying a lot. Check rates per country here.

For now, enjoy the benefit while you can if you’re going abroad. There shouldn’t be any issues of streaming quality, but this will depend on what network you connect to.

Useful link: Sky's guide to streaming in the EU

Similar schemes

VOXI’s Endless Video is by far the best of the lot

VOXI Endless Video banner

Stream selected apps as much as you likeRead full terms

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VOXI’s unique selling point is undoubtedly the free data Endless Video streaming you get on most of their plans.

They let you stream on a variety of selected apps without eating your data usage. Notably they cover Youtube, Amazon Prime and Netflix, giving them a leg up over Sky who only offer it on their own apps.

Only VOXI’s cheapest plan doesn’t offer Endless Video. Here are the best current deals that do:

Not only do they offer it on a more varied selection of apps, but their plans tend to be cheaper than Sky as well. However, Sky have an advantage of their own as they offer theirs on all plans where VOXI don’t.

Also bear in mind VOXI’s Endless Video doesn’t cover Youtube ads and they don’t guarantee that ads will be covered on other apps. They also don’t offer it while roaming anymore, while Sky do for the meantime.

Useful link: Read our review of VOXI

EE's Video Data Pass a more expensive option

EE Swappable Benefits banner

Choose one as a Swappable BenefitHow they work

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There’s a very similar unlimited data streaming benefit with EE, but it’s only a premium option. Either you join on their more expensive plans and choose it as a Swappable Benefit or pay for it monthly.

Choose a Video Pass as a Swappable Benefit with these plans:

This pass covers a massive list of streaming services - it used to be the only one to cover Youtube before VOXI, but is still the only one to cover iPlayer. If you have data leftover you can stream as much as you like.

It’s more flexible as it covers more apps and apps that aren’t only from one network. But you’re paying a lot to even get the option, added to the fact that EE’s plans are almost always more expensive than Sky’s.

Useful link: EE's guide to their Video Data Pass

Three no longer offer their Go Binge scheme

Expired stampThree's similar Go Binge scheme

Used to offer a wide variety of channelsRead how it works

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Three have pulled their Go Binge scheme, meaning there’s one less such scheme on the market (read our guide to them all here).

It used to edge out Sky TV by offering free streaming on Netflix and some channels on the TVPlayer app that Sky simply didn’t offer. They also used to offer unlimited music streaming data included for Apple Music.

It was a great service, but with it gone it leaves Sky with even fewer competitors to challenge their unique benefit.

Useful link: Read our review of Go Binge

Other Sky Mobile guides