CHOICE membership

Free to air television



Exactly. ABC iView and SBS on Demand provide a wealth of good programming, via the Net, and it’s free.


I just switch off and do productive things like learning stuff and broadening my knowledge. Why waste time on that rubbish!


I think there is a real psychology to it? - years ago I was glued to the set every night - series, sport, news … didn’t see anything wrong with it. It’s coming up to a decade since I toned it down and nearly 6 years since I went cold turkey and I have enormous feelings of weltschmerz whenever I happen to catch a glimpse of a show, either at a pub or someone elses place. I think it really draws people in, all types of people, and it takes a good break to see it for what it is.

As an aside, where I live (remote/outback) we see lots of tourists - its peaking tourist season now-ish - all the vans and campers and winnebago-style mobile homes - amazing how many have television or sat dishes. Here, where we probably have nearly the darkest skies in the country and you can light a campfire almost anywhere, people watch tele? Sometimes I feel like telling them they made a mistake leaving home, because they brought with them what they needed to escape from …


I won’t subscribe to pay TV on principal, though I do miss the live coverage of Formula 1, The one hour highlights on channel 1 on Monday nights are an insult…We do watch some AFL on 73 but mainly watch some good shows on ABC and SBS…We record to watch at leisure


I agree with the general sentiment that there’s a diminishing amount of worthwhile things to watch on free-to-air TV (and also the one about not wanting to give Murdoch money). But I’m not as distressed about it as many other people on this thread seem to be.

The fact is that FTA TV requires advertising to pay for it and advertising requires “eyeballs” to justify paying for airtime. This worked when FTA was the only game in town. Nowadays, as kids become employed consumers they’re finding more and more interesting things to do on The Internet. This includes “TV like” things such-as YouTube, and NetFlix as well as other media offerings like social networks and video games.

They used to claim the drop in viewership was purely due to piracy (which is only partially true) and this was a problem that could be “solved” with better anti-piracy measures (Which has never been true). Ultimately people took their attention elsewhere, where they had better control over where/when/how they consumed content (and what that content was).

I don’t see this as a lamentable thing. I’m surprised how the licensed FTA model is still going as good as it still is, frankly. Personally I’m happy watching TV shows when/where I want (e.g. on the bus as I go to/from work) and without any uninteresting ads (Pet peeves: nappy and car ads) and this is all legal.


I find quite enough TV to satisfy me on ABC and SBS. I record the occasional film and rare commercial programme, then I’m able to whiz through those annoying ads. They fill in on those nights when there are only repeats or programmes that don’t interest me.


Your local library may give you access to Kanopy, a video streaming platform for public libraries which has a large selection of indie movies, classic cinema, festival, educational documentaries, kids, etc, over 30,000 in the collection, streaming free with your valid library card.

My pick for when I next have time is “Lion” a 2016 Oscar nomination for 6 Academy awards.


Wow, Kanopy sounds great. Thanks for the tip @pennycarrier :slight_smile:


I agree with those who say that paying doesn’t really improve the quality. We do have Foxtel Sports mainly for the Formula One and Netflix for adult children.
My husband and I rarely watch tv but are fairly religious about Friday night crime on the ABC and maybe the weekend. Wednesday nights we will watch some ABC comedy. The only other channel we watch is SBS and even then the change to the ad policy limits that. Most nights the tv doesn’t go on. My adult child doesn’t watch tv either.

There was a time when I would not have believed you had you told me that would happen. I get my news online.


I had a friend drop by who had missed an episode of ‘Masterchef’ from earlier in the week. I don’t watch it but pulled it up for them on the Tenplay catch-up app. That had a running time of 53 minutes for the programme plus about 6 minutes for the (non-skippable) ads that were inserted at four points. Yet looking at the TV guide for when the show was on it ran for 75 minutes. Which is a lot of extra promotional and advertising material for those watching live. That was one of the major reasons I started to give up watching.


I am the same. The only FTA television I watch is on ABC or SBS. You need to contact the free to air stations and let them know that you and your friends are disgusted with the reality shows being force fed to us and that you have switched off entirely. If enough people complain then they may get the message although I doubt it. Reality TV, especially shows like the Bachelor/ette, Love Island and Married at first sight, just reinforces the idea that to be worthwhile you need to be beautiful and have a great body. Intelligence is sorely missing from the contestants.


UNreality TV, as I like to call it, has no appeal to me whatsoever. It disturbs me when I hear how popular that sort of show is… people must have too much time on their hands!


I haven’t watched much if any TV in the last decade or two. I’m too busy writing angry comments on websites!

That said, my wife still watches the thing - and for some reason enjoys some of these ‘reality’ shows. Looking from the outside, I cannot see the entertainment in watching people be humiliated, embarrassed, arrested or whatever else they are showing now.


It’s free. Quality is a happy bonus.


I haven’t watched free to air or pay tv for years, although we do now pay for Stan and Netflix, but that’s mainly for the Mrs and our teenage boys. Some of the exclusive content is getting me watching again though, but not a lot of it. Can’t stand reality tv shows. The fix is simple. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it. Problem solved. Other people do like them, so why take away what they like to see? I’m sure we all have shows we enjoy watching that others would rather didn’t exist. No one’s forcing them to watch something that I like.


We only watch the ABC or SBS and there are plenty of good programmes on. If not, we read.


Our local library stock a good supply of DVD movies and CD music. They also take written requests new material. Support your local library.


That’s an interesting observation on catch-up TV apps, it’s something that I’ve noticed as well. There seems to be less ads and there is the benefit of choosing your show for the mood at the time. On the downside, in the past some of the ads playing on catch-up apps can be even more repetitive than live TV as the same ad plays over and over.

Personally, I think it would be great if consumers had more options. When it comes to the traditional networks, a small fee to access ad-free content along with a more reasonable approach to the number of ads shown would be appreciated. There are some shows in the past where the ad time is a longer duration than the program itself. Big players like Foxtel once attracted customers with the lure of zero or minimal ads, nowadays I notice at friend’s houses who have the service that ads seem to take up as much airtime as the traditional networks. If they’re showing so many ads, why can’t Foxtel make the content cheaper or put together more customisable packages?


You have partly answered your own question. It comes to heritage and culture.

Fox = Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp
tel = Telstra
Foxtel ~ the most aggressive business tactics of each, combined. ka-ching.


:smile: It seems I have