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Pay TV has Ruined Television


I don't know about in other countries but in Australia I am of the opinion that Pay TV has ruined television. Specifically television programming on free to air TV.

Prior to the wide spread adoptance of Pay TV programming on free to air TV viewing consisted of Breakfast , Daytime, Kids, Prime Time, Late Night then station close.

There was the Friday and Sunday Night Movie as well as Saturday morning cartoons to look forward to every week. Then there was prime time viewing each day where you could generally rely on your top rating sitcoms followed by perhaps one hour episodes of your favorite drama.

News was always at 6pm followed by some current affairs show. Sports were always televised, mostly on the weekend during the day, with those channels not showing sport putting on a couple of afternoon movies.

When a series of anything ended it ended until the new series became available, making way for something else to take its place in the mean time. We also had ratings periods followed by the 'off season' where all the quirky new stuff would get a look in for its chance to transition to a ratings period winner.

Pay TV programming schedules seem to have killed all that. On Pay TV you get episode after episode of a series shown one after the other on the same day. You get programs on demand and whole channels devoted to cartoons, music, drama, movies, documentary, news and sports.

Consequently free to air television appears to have adopted the Pay TV programming model. Now when a series of anything ends they just rerun it straight away. You can see repeats of a series running before or after new episodes of the same series. You can literally watch up to two hours of your favorite half hour sitcom all in a row, each episode a repeat with maybe one being the latest series.

Or, since free to air TV expanded into more channels, TV stations also run repeats of programs on their secondary channels too - all in a row. There is no real Sunday Night Movie anymore. There doesn't seem to be a ratings period or off season. Free to air channels just seem to stick to reruns of series all the time. Or at least when they don't have a new season to show.

Not just reruns of current series either. Now you can watch rerun after rerun of your favorite 1980's or 90's series too - during the daytime or very late at night.

Whatever they did to television it's just so hard to follow programming schedules. There's no specific time to look forward to something new because those slots are nearly always filled with reruns of something you saw as a rerun just last month.

Consequently, although I watch quite a bit of TV in the evening, I've stopped looking too much at program guides to see what I might like to watch. I pretty much watch the best of what I can find on the night. Often it becomes background noise to whatever it is I'm working on on my laptop.

There are the occasional shows that I'll watch out for – but only if they're first run shows. I don't like watching repeats, if I've seen an episode more than twice in the same year. Nothing is that good that I'll watch it over and over. I don't even do that with movies on DVD's that I own.

Television just isn't what it used to be and there's no way I'd pay for television just to get more of the same stupid programming.

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