Life without Satellite or Cable TV

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This month our contract with Sky a UK satellite TV provider comes to an end. We have now decided to cancel and although I am a huge TV fan, I am excited for life after Satellite TV.

Before the broadband and On Demand explosion the only way to watch a lot of good TV seemed to be through Satellite and Cable, but sadly for those in that business those days are over. I think Satellite and Cable TV is no longer a must have and that it is a convenience purchase more than anything now.

Lots of options

We live in a world now where there are so many boxes and sticks you can plug in to your TV to access a range of content with no subscription required. There are also a range of TVs which have internet, streaming and On Demand built in and then there is the old fashioned way of just putting a HDMI cable in to your laptop to connect it to the TV, which works just as well for the cost of a few pounds for a cable on Amazon.

I am a subscriber to Netflix, which I can watch on the TV and not only this but I can watch a host of On Demand services from various channels as well through the TV. So although I will lose out on some programmes and content, I have enough so I won’t get bored. Then if all else fails there is always Freeview if I want to watch TV in the traditional way again, which is something I rarely do these days.

For those that are less scrupulous than I, I am sure there are many non-legal ways out there on the Internet as well to watch other content you normally have to pay to view. Not only this but most streaming platforms security is weak so allows many log-ins at the same time from one account, so friends and family can share accounts so that not everyone has to pay for it.

A bit of work

I enjoy the features Sky has like live pause, record and series link but these features aren’t enough to keep me and by doing a bit of work myself I can get round these issues. I just have to wait to watch things On Demand and make sure I watch things in a certain time period before they disappear from the On Demand service.

So my advice this week is – if you want to save money, try living without Satellite or Cable, I think you will be surprised how much TV you will continue to watch and how little you will pay.

How important is the channel a programme broadcasts on?

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The main number that programme makers tout when finding a channel for their programme is – the number of homes the channel is available in. My question this week is – Does this number matter?

I think the number of homes a channel is available in is just a vanity number. The number of homes or reach is more to do with the Satellite, cable or digital company than the popularity of your channel.

Popular

Don’t get me wrong potential is important and if your programme is popular or becomes popular, you want to mamixmise that by being available in as many homes as possible but if your programme isn’t popular it doesn’t matter how many homes it is in. I think if you have a large potential viewerbase and low actual viewing numbers then it reflects worse on the programme, than if it was on a platform with a smaller reach.

Like the rest of the world, TV is driven more and more by data these days but the key data always will be related to how many people are watching and engaging with your programme. If a programme has a strong viewership then that is the only number TV companies will use, it is only when this number isn’t as strong as it should be that other stats get banded about.

Talked about

You know the programmes that are truly being watched, as these are the programmes that are being talked about. People talking about your programme are the best commodity you can find. If people are talking about your programme, people will find it, regardless of what platform it is on.

I think it is lazy just to expect people to watch a programme because it is on a big platform. Every programme maker and TV Company should be focused on getting eyeballs on their product, because that is the only way to grow your audience or to make a programme bigger.

As a programme maker you never know when a network is going to cancel your show or not renew a contract, so you have to at all times keep your perceived programme value high. To keep your value high you need a loyal fanbase that will follow you regardless of what network you are on and campaign on your behalf. For the big players TV is a supply and demand market, so make sure you never lose focus on the demand for your programme.