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Old 29th November 2014, 15:25   #1
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Default Why do we pay for TV?

Given that 25-40% of showtime is filled with advertisements, and the remaining showtime is filled with subtle (and not so subtle) advertisements, product placements and references - why in the world do we PAY to watch TV ?

I feel sick to the stomach whenever I watch a cricket match on TV as they switch to playing advertisements for the slightest of reasons. Ball lost? Play ad. Someone hurt? Play ad. Replacement gloves? Play ad. Baller still walking back? Roll-up/Roll-in ads. Baller running in? Digitally convert the playground into a billboard.

I want to watch the match for all the little details that happen on the ground between two balls of an over or between overs. If I only wanted to watch the action between when the ball leaves the baller's hand to it being hit, I might as well watch highlights.

Advertisements are the main reason why I don't watch sports or TV anymore. I do occasionally catch up on tennis (online only) but otherwise I barely ever switch the TV on myself.

I don't understand how people tolerate such insults of time, their money and eyeballs by repeatedly paying for garbage.

We went without TV for a year and didn't miss it at all - we have a connection now with barely any channels, but we plan to get rid of it - this time forever.

So, back to my question: Don't the channel guys make enough with adverts? Why do we pay ridiculous amounts of money for every individual channel (try selecting channels A-la-carte)? Shouldn't the adverts bring in enough revenue to pay everyone right from the TV connection provider to the channels themselves?

I've had better experiences watching "free" channels in the Doordarshan network - fewer ads, less aggression and violence, lesser sensationalism, and some very decent discussions on Rajya/Loksabha channels (when not showing action from upper/lower houses of the parliament)
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Old 29th November 2014, 16:47   #2
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

I would say, it is more of consumerism at work here. How many are willing to shift to the free DTH service offered by DD? We all want to have each & every channel available on the planet to beamed on to our TV. We want choices & we are spoilt for choices and this comes at a price. Its a choice we have isnt it?

Coming to your question - do channels made enough? I am not competent enough to talk about it, but its no small task running a broadcasting operations and this will cost money. More than that, a major part of the fee what you pay goes to the private DTH operator (I think) and not completely to the TV channel. With such huge investments by the DTH operator, this is his means to earn back his investments & of course profits
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Old 29th November 2014, 17:05   #3
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

You're paying the DTH service provider for its service; on the other hand, the ads allow StarTV (as an example) to pay the creative heads that actually make the content & programming.

You don't need to stop watching TV . Simply record & watch it later . Even if you start a show with a 15 minute delay, you'll breeze through all the ads. That's what we do on the rare occasion we're watching DTH TV.

Honestly, DTH is irrelevant to me, and I'm pretty sure it's the same for many tech-savvy others. Only a matter of time before 'on demand' TV replaces the sub-par experience we have today. I'd rather choose what I want to watch myself than have a TV channel do that for me.

In the last 1 month, my Tata Sky box has been fired up only once = to watch the F1 season closure. Movie streaming services (like Netflix), Youtube, downloaded videos (including iTunes) have completely replaced DTH in many homes I know.
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Old 29th November 2014, 17:13   #4
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

I can relate with you on this. Seldom watch TV. Switch it on for news, and all I see is some entertainment channels with perpetual advertisements calling themselves to be the best news channel. It is not a rare occurrence to see 15-20 minutes of advertisements continuously (literally) and then 1 minute of news and then another advertisement break. I gave up watching 'other' entertainment channels years ago. Many times, our TV is not switched on for days! Thankfully there is YouTube and other downloads.

It does pain to pay even 250 bucks to cable wala at the end of each month!

Last edited by saket77 : 29th November 2014 at 17:32.
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Old 29th November 2014, 17:18   #5
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

From purely business point of view, TV channels push for subscription revenues because they are very stable, and have a generally increasing trend.

Ad revenues are very fickle (cyclical), and is mostly dependent on the economy. Recession, high inflation, low GDP growth etc are all bad for ad revenues.
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Old 29th November 2014, 18:33   #6
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

This Set Top box is extortionate - nowadays one needs to have two TVs and Two Set top boxes at least, because one has to look after guests needs etc.

I find that Im spending about 10-11K per annum for all the things that we seem to want to have options on, to watch on TV.

And yet, I hardly ever watch!

In the 1980's when we got our first TV, we used to literally wait for bated breath to watch our favourite English serials, of which there were so few, you could count them on your fingers!
Now that we have so much crazy choice, we hardly ever even watch TV!
What a paradox!
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Old 29th November 2014, 19:12   #7
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

I have stopped watching TV some time ago, I don't miss it at all.
All my favorite shows are on YouTube and with adblock I can watch them without any stupid ads.

I always watch F1 online and it is much better than watching it on TV.

News channels these days have become so pathetic that it has lost all it's value.
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Old 29th November 2014, 19:31   #8
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

Why do we pay for TV? well, as people have already said, you pay the operator who has to pay the channels (most of them anyway) and that's it. Don't know the economics of broadcasting so can't comment whether the channels make enough from ads to cover their costs. This industry is controlled by some rich broadcasters who would lobby against any innovation which would threaten them.

In USA, an Indian entrepreneur had challenged the big boys with an innovation and his company was sued by NBC, CBS and all the big TV channels. The supreme court ruled in favour of the TV stations and this company (called Aereo) has filed for bankrupcy now.

Coming to ads - I stopped watching cricket long ago, but when I did watch it sometimes, even between two deliveries there were ads - the live feed would be shrunk to show ads below like karrbon mobiles and what not. And then just as the last ball leaves the bat, it is ad time.

Last few years my only TV time has been watching football, tennis grand slams, and some F1. Everything else I want to watch is available online when I need it. Regarding News channels, the less said the better. I still think the DD news readers in the 90s were much better, spoke better English and did not scream at you for no reason. In India nowadays, it is all about who can scream loudest to catch attention, even in corporate meetings. No one cares for language or content.
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Old 29th November 2014, 19:33   #9
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

I didn't have TV for a long time, but now that I do, I can see some use for it. First, elder people can entertain themselves with the regional language channels. We can surely use internet to find relevent entertainment, but sometimes its easier to have a readymade choice of tv serials.

Getting a HD with recording has been really great. Otherwise I would not have enjoyed the TV experience. But with recording, my family members can watch their shows at their time, and I can save the reruns that happen at midnight/early morning and can watch at my leisure.

Philosophical differences aside, I think as a ready made entertainment across generations there is hardly any match for TV. If you get irritated by ads in serials, watch saved episodes where you can fast forward them. For live sports, tough luck!
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Old 29th November 2014, 20:43   #10
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

We've not recharged our DTH for 6 straight months now. Life has been that much better. In any case, whatever that is worth watching is availbale online.
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Old 29th November 2014, 22:59   #11
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

All my programs are recorded and I watch over the weekend or once in 3/days . you can watch half hour program in abt 15-20 mins .
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Old 30th November 2014, 00:59   #12
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

Hi everybody
Good to see the posts.
Hellmet, thanks for starting this thread. A la carte is a ripoff and unfortunately we suffer.
A few years back read in the Times of India that the viewers can see all the channels free as the broadcasters make quite a bit of money by carrying advertisements.
Incidentally AFAIK one month does not mean one calender month but 30 days. So a year is 360 days. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.
Regards
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Old 30th November 2014, 09:29   #13
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
Given that 25-40% of showtime is filled with advertisements, and the remaining showtime is filled with subtle (and not so subtle) advertisements, product placements and references - why in the world do we PAY to watch TV ?

I feel sick to the stomach whenever I watch a cricket match on TV as they switch to playing advertisements for the slightest of reasons.
I have stopped watching, reading about or discussing cricket for a while now. My TV is primarily used to watch my extensive DVD collection and some movies and shows that are recorded on my Tata Sky and ad-breaks fast forwarded. Works well, that way. :-)

The unit economics is rather complicated, but key thing to note is that the channel has paid through the nose to BCCI for telecast rights and they can recover their investment only by squeezing in ads wherever possible.
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Old 30th November 2014, 13:31   #14
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
*SNIP*

I always watch F1 online and it is much better than watching it on TV.

*SNIP*
Where do you get to watch F1 online? F1 is the only reason I still have a TV connection!

Cheers
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Old 30th November 2014, 14:09   #15
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Default Re: Why do we pay for TV?

TV channels have always been paid for, but I understand the question in this thread. I have for a couple of years now, seen the TV channels quality go down, all in unison. Now its actually unbearable to watch any channel on TV. I've also noted that in some shows of Star World/Zee Café, they actually increase the speed of the program motion very slightly, to give them a couple of minutes more for adverts.

When I was a teen I used to love both these channels for the good shows they had. Advertisements were never as obnoxiously loud, colourful or super-exaggerated as they are today. As someone who knows a couple of things about marketing, I wonder why these companies rely on such mindless drivel to shove their products to consumers, do they perceive us as THAT dumb?

The news channels are merely the same news put on loop x 1000 to fill up the time between commercials. Channels known for their educative nature like AXN, Nat Geo etc are also ruined. History Channel too started out fine but not anymore. The reasonably watchable programs are all past 11-12 at night, must be an intentional tactic but I'm not falling for it. At best now, television is just a glowing radio-esque device at home. The noise from it acts as an occasional distraction & I hardly pay attention save for maybe 10 minutes a day. Its true, adverts have completely killed off whatever little good was left of movie channels. Since its still cable connection here, rates are quite reasonable, but there's no way on earth I'm paying DTH rates of 400-500 for this dreck. Forget about paying even more to see it in HD (highly-dumb).

Its also very irritating when channels show 2-3 minute long previews about their OWN shows ala Sony, Discovery, Sports, News etc etc.

Last edited by dark.knight : 30th November 2014 at 14:13.
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