Features Ed Blog: TV Subscription Services

Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov © tv subscription services

We have now officially got too many TV subscription services.

Living in a tree-lined hollow in rural Fife, we need a signal booster just to get the 5 main channels.

It probably says something about my age, that I consider there to be really only 5 proper channels – and I’m still not sure if the 5th counts or not! It’s still the newcomer to me!

So we turned to the internet for TV, especially during the pandemic. And it feels like a saving – £5.99 here, £7.99 there – surely it can’t add up to the price of a full satellite or cable package.

But after reading this week’s Finance page by Stephanie Hawthorne about subs services, I’m wondering if it’s time to take a closer look!

I remember back when the folks behind the Brit Awards used to be a music subscription service, sending CDs out in the post to you.

And if memory serves correct, Netflix used to be a mail service, too, sending out DVDs in the last days of the movie rental. All seemed like good ideas, but all cost me more than I could afford.

As children of the 80s, my wife and I remember the joy of getting taken to the local video rental shop on the occasional Saturday.

My wife watched enough different movies to be invaluable at pub quizzes, while I just took out Star Wars over and over again!

The genius thing, I guess, is that they’re so easy to sign up for.

There’s no trip to Blockbuster, although that used to be an event in itself.

Plus they’ve all got two or three flagship shows that make you want to sign up! And then it’s a question of finding the time to unsubscribe.

Food to your door

tv subscription services


We haven’t subscribed to any of the food services, but I’ve heard good reports! Everything you need for something tasty and nothing more.

I don’t cook as much as I used to, and certainly rely on some of the same old recipes. It’s not hard to find new recipes – there are loads of great ones in our mag, especially!

But I’ve got into a bit of a groove going round the shops. Sometimes it seems like the first time you try a few new recipes, you’re buying loads of herbs and spices that you’ll only use a pinch of!

So we might give one of those a try. A farm near where I grew up in Devon was one of the first to offer food boxes, where you could order a weekly delivery of whatever was in season on the farm. It was revolutionary at the time.

Too much to handle

But, as Stephanie says, the number of services you’re signed up to can accrue stealthily.

And that’s where I’m at. Time for a good spring clean of my finances! Especially as the price for each service can often increase by a pound or two every year. It soon mounts up.

So thanks as ever to the fab advice on the Finance page!

Honestly, I learn something useful every time I read it.

Pick up some more tips in the Finance section of the website.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.