I can remember the day our family got a TV. We were one of the first in the entire neighbourhood and on occasions like the Moon Landing, we were all allowed out for the day and when I walked up the hill to get home, my living room was filled with about 30 other people. We marvelled at what was happening and praised television for giving us the opportunity to watch it. And I’m sure you have many stories just like mine. However we’ve come so incredibly far since that day and something that was once freely available has become limited, shrouded in money. And if we look at the evolution of television we have to ask ourselves, why on earth are we still paying for television?
For so long, television was completely free. We had a set few channels – in Australia there was ABC, SBS, Channel Ten, Channel Seven and Channel Nine. It was enough – it was exciting, we had variety and it meant that we didn’t spend all day long plugged beside a radio and reading a multitude of books. But at some point, the advertisements during shows became too long and the variety wasn’t enough. And so pay TV evolved.
For so long it was also advertisement free. It gave us so many channels to choose from. However, over the last decade or so, pay TV has become worth a whole lot less – yet for some strange reason, we’re still paying a whole lot more.
To sign up for Foxtel on the minimum package it’s $25 – after you pay a $150 set up and installation fee. This pack is the basic one and gives you about 20-30 channels, but is still full of advertising. New online streaming service Netflix starts from $8.99 per month and is completely ad free, meaning you can watch your shows completely without interruption.
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However, rumour has it that Netflix are going to also introduce advertising before too long. According to B&T magazine, Netflix have said to the accusations that they would be running advertising but not as most of us presume. “They are trailers for Netflix originals. As you know, we test hundreds of improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that”.
So if even the cheaper, streaming services are doing it too, is there even any merit in paying for television?
If there is, it comes down to one thing – selfishness and greed. We want to watch the latest shows, so we’ll pay to have them made available to us instead of waiting the time before it becomes available in Australia following the states. We also want to have variety, because we are so poor at entertaining ourselves in fruitful ways now. Instead of reading, children would rather turn on a TV. Instead of playing outside, kids would rather watch TV.
If we think about things logically, our hunt for entertainment and selfish, unproductive and antisocial activities is costing us a lot more than is necessary. So the question is, are you one of these people?
The truth is that I am, and after writing this and thinking about things logically, I really don’t know why!
Tell us today, do you pay for TV? What service do you use and how often do you feel that you get your value? Share your thoughts in the comments below…