That the media in the country and others, especially now free-to-air TV, are getting creamed doesn’t surprise me. That TV3 is essentially being given away (or closed) having apparently been separated from the still lucrative radio doesn’t surprise me.
Blame the broadcast model, the pain of noisy advertising and the rush to bottom in taste by chasing the few remaining people who won’t change the habits of a lifetime.
What does surprise me is just how fast it is changing.
It was only in 2012 that I dropped the connection to the free to air TV. That was almost an accident – as I described in a rant at the time:-
So nearly two months ago we moved out of the larger rental we’d had for the last 3 years back into my old apartment in a flurry of concrete dust from polishing concrete and cursing from fitting storage. But I still haven’t bothered with connecting up broadcast TV. Why would I want to bother? Broadcast TV is largely mindless and endlessly frustrating.
It is really hard to think why it will ever make its way up my nearly infinite list of tasks to the point that I actually do it. And I’d have to confess on this Labour weekend that is because I’m always short of time outside of work..
It wasn’t until the end of last year, 18 months after moving into another apartment with a working aerial, that we went out to get a freeview box to attach to the old TV.
Connected it up – got every available channel.
Our television went on to the free to air broadcasts for a few hours. I managed to watch the news. Then without even really talking about it between us, the freeview box never again got used. Well – that was a waste of money.
The problem is that the content was (to put it politely) drivel. Everything that I said back in 2012 was still applicable – but worse. It was a bit of nostalgia trip remembering when I had Sky – and I see that they have issues as well..
So back to my original point. Why would I want to revert to broadcast TV? What does it give me? This is my rough list looking at local TV (with Sky comments in brackets).
- Mindless repeated ads with the sound mixing frequencies pushed to irritate me (and that includes Sky). All of the bullshit put out by the ad agencies is crap. They damn well mix them to be intrusive and loud.
- Programs that are never ever on when you want to watch it in your busy time schedule (Sky is as bad).
- Mindless TV reality shows that I never want to watch (with Sky it is endless drivel ‘documentaries’ about military conflicts of no interest or value).
- TV News and Current affairs that is rarely worth watching (Sky has a few channels worth watching – but I’d like to pay for them individually – like BBC or Al Jazzerra(which they don’t offer from memory)).
- Irritating media celebrities, Te Radar comes to mind, doing travel commercials (the infomercial content is pretty high on Sky as well).
- Shows, movies and documentaries that are repeated far too often (especially on Sky).
Ok there are a few things of real interest on TV as Brian Edwards pointed out today in “When Hone met Rachel – Now that was a surprise!“, and I agree with him that was definitely worth watching. Both Hone Harawira and Rachel Smalley were impressive.
But consider that I saw it on my iPad was the result of recommendation by someone whose opinion I value. I didn’t have to wade through the mindless drivel that broadcast TV has becoming to find a gem. Moreover, I did it strictly on my time schedule and using a direct link to the video page.
We pay for Netflix, Lightbox, Neon and Spotify. Have subscriptions to various newspapers and magazines worldwide and even a few locally.
I’d still like to buy a subscription to a few local news and current affairs consolidations on a app for my phone. But that has been constant request since 2012…
I’d pay to have the news and current affairs programs from all NZ channels available as a service. There are usually at least 5 minutes that I want to watch in the news each night. But there is no way that I want to go back to watching bloody ads and not being able to discard the sports and other dross.
Doesn’t seem likely to happen. I may have to be content listening to bits of RNZ on skullcandy when I’m biking to and from work, and the pile of smaller news style sites.
But what really worries me is just how fast this has been. Sure I feel some sympathy for the employees caught up in it. But that really isn’t the major focus of my concern (that was all obvious where it was heading back in 2012). Consider the last part of my rant in 2012.
I’m a pretty typical near the bleeding edge techie – I use what works. Where I go, you typically find the others follow over the following decades. And I’m so relieved that alternatives are available that I doubt that the aerial will ever go back in. The day of mass marketing via broadcast is nearly over. The internet provides point-to-point delivery and media organisation should stop pissing around and develop a way of delivering content that way.
Well it didn’t take decades. So the really really important question arises.
I think that old age is starting to make me fall back into the pack. I’ve never been in the pack. Should I be worried?
…and yes to the critic in the other room – as far as I’m concerned it really is all about me 😈