Buh-bye free-to-air?

I’ve been wondering how long free-to-air TV can persist in the face of the Internet and the increasing availability of other forms of media.

We have 4 large TVs here each with surround sound and most with digital pictures either native or thru set top boxes. We also have for computers with tv access… two of which now have large LCD screens and HDTV capability. Yet we rarely watch them as TV’s!

We have satellite TV with Foxtel… yet rarely watch anything on there either. We all watch DVD’s from time to time, but much of our ‘free time’ is spent reading old fashioned books… or surfing… or playing games (in the case of the wife and kids anyway).

In the UK we used to watch a lot of TV… evenings and weekends especially… but it can’t be we watch less because the weather is so much better here. We are ‘indoors’ as much as in the UK in the winter but still don’t turn the box only I can think is that the other forms of media have made watching mind numbing middle of the road dross so much harder to bear and so we just don’t tune in.

Since the free-to-air is financed by advertising revenue… you have to ask what their future will be if (when??) digital media becomes so prevalent that advertisers stop paying! I suppose revenue some will still be paid to niche producers who create programming for the pay-TV channels… but for the rest? I think they’ll be going down the chutes in the next decade or so.

The BBC in the UK might be an exception… it is government funded… but for the rest?? Methinks destiny is calling.

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