08:26 26 June 2013
Even if the Great British Summer disappoints again this year, there's plenty of sport on TV to pass the rainy days. From Wimbledon to the British Grand Prix, here's how you can catch the best parts of the action without paying over the odds.
Wimbledon (June 24 - July 7)
The Beeb has all the coverage of the year's biggest tennis tournament once again, showing matches on BBC One, BBC Two and their HD counterparts. 10 live streams will also be available to watch on your desktop, tablet, smartphone and internet TV.
Aside from the cost of your licence fee, it'll be free to watch Wimbledon on TV on Freeview. Sky and Virgin Media subscribers will also be able to watch at no extra charge. If you want to stream the matches on your tablet, smartphone or computer then you'll need a decent mobile internet or broadband connection.
Tour de France (June 29 - July 21)
ITV4 will be covering the world's best-known cycling race live from Porto-Vecchio to Champs-Elysees, kicking off on June 29. You'll be able to watch for free on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.
British Grand Prix (June 30)
The British GP will be screened both on the BBC for free and on Sky for Sky Sports subscribers.
Paying for coverage on Sky will arguably get you the most comprehensive coverage. If you're an F1 nut and love all the build-up and analysis, it might be worth paying for Sky.
You can get Sky Sports for £21 a month when you take Sky's entertainment package at £21.50 a month. Alternatively, you can get 24 hours' access to all six Sky Sports channels (including Formula 1) on Sky's NOW TV service for £9.99 - contract free.
NOW TV is streamed to your laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone or Xbox over your broadband. All of which can be hooked up to your TV to watch as you would any other race. You can learn more about the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass here.
Virgin Media customers can add Sky Sports (including Sky Sports F1) to their subscription package for £25.75 a month. Combined with the basic TV package you'll have to pay £39.75, and there's an installation charge of £49.95.
You should also be aware that you can only get Virgin Media TV in cabled areas, so use the coverage checker on its website first.
However, if you just want to see the main event and you're not too fussed on all the build-up and analysis - the BBC's coverage is great for free.
The Ashes (July 10 - August 25)
Sky has created a channel especially for cricket-lovers this year, which will just offer coverage of The Ashes. Sky Sports Ashes HD will essentially replace Sky Sports 2 HD for the month, and won't cost Sky Sports subscribers anything extra.
Depending on how much you want to watch, subscribing to Sky Sports for £42.50 a month will actually be the cheaper option here, because a month's worth of cricket coverage on NOW TV would be very costly at £9.99 per 24 hours.
Again you can also get this and the other Sky Sports channels via Virgin Media for £39.75 a month.
There's nowhere to watch The Ashes for free but you can of course listen to the BBC's radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio 4 without charge.
IAAF World Championships (August 10 - 18)
If you're into your athletics then you'll be pleased to know you will be able to watch extensive coverage on the BBC this year, for free, via Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media. Schedules are yet to be announced.
If you're streaming the action online
If you're planning on streaming sport online via NOW TV, on via the BBC, you'll need a connection of at least 2 or 3Mbps to make sure your viewing isn't interrupted by buffering - you can read more about that here.
Our broadband speed checker will tell you how fast your current connection is, and if you think it's time to switch to something faster, our broadband comparison service will show you the best of what's currently on offer.
If you're still in contract with your current provider you may have to pay a termination fee to leave, or simply carry on paying the monthly bill until the contract expires. Ask for a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) from your provider as taking this to your new provider will make the transition smoother.
Lastly, while connection speed is important, be aware of download limits too. Streaming an hour's worth of video will download between 400 and 700MB of data, so if you have a download limit of just 2GB you're going to eat it up pretty fast.
Exceed your agreed limit and your provider will likely charge you for it. On my tariff, for example, BT charges £5 per 1GB over and above your limit.
There are plenty of tariffs which offer unlimited downloads though, so you needn't worry about exceeding your limits and being charged.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.
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