Aussies Watching Less TV Than Ever

Aussies Watching Less TV Than Ever
Braun_HF_1It’s hardly likely to be news to the hordes of Channel BT-loving Lifehacker readers, but even Australians without the benefit of strained download limits are watching less television than they used to.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

Media blog Mumbrella last week reported that the total prime time audience for TV in Australia has sunk to below 5 million in 2009. While that still means that one in four Australians are watching the box at night — a reach other media don’t yet match — it’s a decline of 1% from last year, and a much bigger drop from the kind of viewing figures seen in the pre-Internet age.

In terms of channels, Australians have far more broadcast choices, and options such as Foxtel Downloads and iTunes mean we’re not slaves to schedules. How have your own TV viewing habits changed?

Viewers turn away from TV in 2009 [Mumbrella]


  • I personally haven’t watched either free to air or pay TV at home for well over a year now – mostly because the quality of the shows is just pure drivel.

    I’m not interested in watching yet another remake of a horrible show from the US or when the good shows finally do make our shores they are a) Broadcast well after the time they should be aired or b) those channels with the broadcast rights apparently can’t stick to a steady schedule in which to show them

  • TV just doesnt suit todays lifestyles.
    Personally, having a wife and two kids (3 and 18 months) most TV scheduling doesnt fit into what times we have free. Combined with the fact that Australian TV is filled with reality shows and Australian police dramas, theres just nothing on that interests me.
    The only show I find myself watching is the triple play of Seinfeld on 9GO on the weekend.

    When the kids go to bed I tend to play on my PC or Xbox and my wife enjoys watching American crap like Desperate Housewives, So You Think You Can Dance, Melrose Place 2009, etc. . .

    We dumped Foxtel after five years of just having it on in the background. We werent really watching anything on it.

    Currently, the only channel that lets us (my family) watch wheat we want when we want is Channel BT.
    Give me an alternative to that and Ill jump on board.
    But, Im not going to pay for subscriptions or anything to be able to watch free to air programs.
    I shouldnt be punished because my life schedule doesnt fit into the commercial networks schedule.
    They should be working to give me, the viewer, what I want.

    Its funny how, on channel BT, its viewers giving other viewers the convenience and accessibility they want in todays modern age.

  • Everytime i try to watch things on TV, im bombarded with ads, ads that not only take up close to 20% of the actual timeslot, but also ads which make the program start after the designated time and end after it is schedlued to start the next one. Also, its a season behind if its from another country, which annoys me.

    Torrenting ensures you see the whole show, in the best quality available, and in a timely fashion, that is as flexible as ever. So why would you do anything else? 🙂

  • I find most shows too predictable (CSI etc), not funny (two and a half men) or just plain crap (So you think you can prance/Home & Away).

    The Ads are what annoy me the most >:(

  • Aussie TV is abysmal, and the way adverts are placed throughout (including having a break right before the last 15 seconds of a show), is just ridiculous. The networks have only themselves to blame for falling ratings. Their services suck.

  • We still have Fox & we still watch a fair amount of FTA but we still cane our download limit most months thanks to Channel BT… As others have said, it’s the ads… Sometimes the same stupid ad in the one break!
    I’m seriously considering ditching Fox as they have gotten so bad in the last couple of years ad-wise… And I’m paying to watch them!

  • Hmmm… interesting, I believe the composite numbers of all TV, Free, Pay, Govt and legal downloads is as a total ‘up’ on prior years – although spread around different mediums. That said we still have the highest rate of piracy in the western world so they must be missing something.

  • I have not watched FTA television innearly 10 years… had Foxtel for a few years, but it’s been Channel BT that saw me through every episode of so many QUALITY shows over so many years.

    Have not owned a televesion for over 2 years. still watch all the TV shows that I want.

  • No commercial FTA TV watched in this houshold. Can’t stand the ads or the bits in between. The big screen TV is only used for the occasional ABC or SBS show in a convenient timeslot, and DVDs. Otherwise it’s free ABC iView all the way.

    No Pay TV either – why on earth must I pay for a base package of rubbish channels I wouldn’t watch in a pink fit, just to pay *extra* to get a couple of channels I do want?

  • Well, I got also sick of ads on TV as they keep popping up every 10 mins. Recently I noticed that during some programs the ads duration has increased from 3 mins to 4~5 mins each time.

    So what was the solution? I set up an htpc with a dual tuner. Also installed some software like SageTV and if I want to watch something from TV I can record it and the ads are automatically gets cut out and I watch it with a peace of mind. And if I like the movie that I watched I can convert it to avi and keep it. I RECOMMEND TO EVERYONE, IF YOU LIKE YOUR TV, THEN DUMP, YOUR FOXTEL, TIVO, OR WHATEVER AND GET YOURSELF A DECENT HTPC. Then it is easy also for the future if you want to upgrade it or use it for other purposes.

  • The volume difference in ads is also what turned me off. You turn the volume up for a quiet TV show so you can hear, cut to an ad and then some tosspot is screaming at me and I’m scrambling for the remote while trying to cover bleeding ears. Plus all the other reasons already mentioned – the fact there are ads, inconsistent scheduling, gobshite shows (caught some of Aussie Ladette to Lady at a friends the other night – how sad that modern society produces that absolute garbage).

  • I agree with the scheduling complaint. It isn’t uncommon for Chan 10 to ditch a series half way through, move it to a ridiculous timeslot, or show all the remaining episodes at 2am in the morning without any warning.

    It also shouldn’t be a gamble as to whether the next episode you see is going to be a new one or a re-run – especially when we’re a season behind the US so have plenty of time to get a hold of the episodes.

    I dislike BTing TV shows because I don’t want to cut off their main stream of income – but when free to air stops the season half way through there isn’t much choice.

  • I personally watch most american TV shows via torrents. I am at uni and the time savings are good. plus my age bracket is known as being impatient. so who wants to wait for an australian commercial network to run the show months after it orginally aired. why they can’t do world release like major movies beats the shit out of me. by doing world releases of movies they decreased the amount of p2p activity. by having tv shows world release i would watch the show with ads on an australian tv channel. rather than download the show. this is important for shows like south park which age quickly normally because the show is mocking something current in the news, eg: the obama election. i happened to download this episode because i wanted to watch it whilst it was in the news and topical. is this such a crime? wanting to what a tv show thats current.

    get your act together tv studios and aim for world release and you’ll find your download problem goes away.

  • I am looking forward to the commercial channels going slowly broke, trash programmes, loaded with trash ads non stop aimed at the sub 90 IQ.

    ABC and SBS are fantastic and are an island of sanity in a sea of moronic nonsense.

    In the US only PBS is worth watching, best get Canadian TV its at least half decent.

    Australian commercial TV is as bad as it gets anywhere in the world, turn off and get rid of it.

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