Digital TV Guides

Digital TV and kids

Digital TV and kids

Updated: Friday 6 February, 2009


If you want to occupy the children with educational and entertaining programming, then digital TV offers channels just for kids that will keep little ones and slightly bigger ones out of trouble on rainy days.

Every Digital TV package available, from Freeview to subscription has a range of options, so we’ve broken each provider and package down to show you exactly what’s available and the age range they’re best suited for.

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Kids TV from Sky

Adding the Kids “mix” to your TV package gives you access to 17 children’s channels, ranging from Baby TV, a 24-hour channel for parents and babies up to three years old, to Trouble, a channel providing comedy and drama for teens.

It has a selection of dedicated cartoon channels and also features the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

The Sky Kids mix is a good choice for families with teenagers as well as younger children as it offers something for all age ranges and can be bought as part of a package including any of the other mixes.

Sky’s pricing depends on how many mixes you take; it costs £16 a month for one mix, going up by £1 for each additional mix you add. The See Speak Surf bundle comes with all six mixes.

More information on Sky

Kids TV from Virgin Media

Virgin Media's kid’s selection varies depending on which size TV package you take. The Size:XL package, which costs a total of £30.50 a month, including a Virgin Media home phone, offers 19 children’s channels. These include favourites Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, as well as 24-hour cartoon channels and Trouble for any teenagers in the house. You get a total of 162 channels with the Size:XL package.

The next size down, the Size:L package reduces the number of channels down to eight, covering Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CBBC, CBeebies, CITV and Nickelodeon. The Size:L package costs a total of £20 a month and includes a Virgin Media phone (which must be taken) and offers a total of 99 channels.

Virgin Media's cheapest TV package is the Size:M package which costs a total of £11 and includes a phone line (which must be taken) but offers only those kid’s channels that you would get with Freeview: CBBC, CBeebies and CITV. The full package offers the same 45 channels as Freeview, along with a couple of extras like Virgin Central and pay-per-view on-demand.

Customers on any of the Virgin TV packages also have the option of paying an additional £5 a month for Disney Cinemagic, showing Disney movies and cartoons, or £3.50 a month for Baby TV, aimed at under-threes and their parents.

More information on Virgin Media

Kids TV from BT Vision

BT’s digital TV service, BT Vision is essentially a free service for BT Total Broadband customers who, after having the extra equipment installed, can use their broadband connection to receive the Freeview channels available in their area and access pay-per-view programming. It also offers subscription packages on a month-by-month basis.

The BT Vision kid’s package is £6.85 a month and you can opt out whenever you want. For this price you get access to all of the children’s programmes that are normally pay-per-view at 47p per episode for a 24 hour rental. These cover pre-school and cartoons, showing everything from Bob the Builder to SpongeBob SquarePants. In addition to the kid’s package, you do get the Freeview children’s channels CBBC, CBeebies and CITV.

You can also add the Music package for £6.85 a month, the Sports package at £4.89 a month, or the Films package for £4.89 a month.

Because the packages run on a monthly basis, you can simply subscribe for the duration of a particular series, or during the kid’s holiday time, if you want.

More information on BT Vision


Freeview is by far the cheapest way to access Digital TV and for a one-off payment of as little £20 you can get a set-top box which will give you access to over 40 channels. At the moment, Freeview offers CBBC, CBeebies and CITV children’s programming.

More channels are in the pipeline and customers can rescan their set-top box whenever they want to see if more have been added to the Freeview spectrum. Check our guide to rescanning your Freeview box

More information on Freeview

Something for the grown-ups

Now that you’ve sorted out the kids, why not check out the best packages for films or sports.

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