Well done ITV and BBC. Again you have managed to create some sort of ‘competition’ between yourselves on a Sunday night, but let’s face it; it could be any night.
The competition I’m referring is the much hyped new series ‘The Musketeers’ on BBC 1 at 9.00pm, and the the return of the very successful ‘Mr Selfridge’ on ITV1 at what time? You’ve guessed it – 9.oopm! What is it with programme planners and schedulers that they feel the need to compete with each others rival mainstream channel, set one programme against another and conspire to put them on at the same time? Do they imagine that ‘everyone’, has either a) a Sky box recorder or b) some other recording device or c) can be bothered to find the repeat (on ITV2 only) later at 11.25pm on a Wednesday or whatever? There is no competition! Only ITV could truly say they are in competition because they have to attract advertisers who ultimately pay for all their output. The Beeb don’t have a competitive element because they are funded by the licence fee, so don’t have to prove diddly to anyone, and certainly not to try to gain audience levels from ITV.
Let’s take an atypical example: Many older people, although we have all gone over to Freeview, only think there are still only five channels. Some have not ventured beyond the ‘6’ button on their remote controls. To them E4 and ITV4+1 are alien territory, only accessible by special people with unique powers. Well no, perhaps not that far, but even so they don’t venture much beyond the ‘5’ button, so the concept of a repeated programme later in the week is an unknown black art. Not everyone is tech savvy, so where does this leave these people who want to see both programmes, probably because they liked the first Selfridge and the read Alexander Dumas as a child? Well it means that they never see one of the programmes because a) they don’t know how to record on their Sky or Freeview boxes or b) if they did, they don’t know how to access them again. This is not to demean older or less technically adept people, it’s a fact that in this modern world everything is done by remote control or ‘online’. Again not everyone is up to date with the latest advances in technology, so I ask again: Why, on a Sunday night is ‘Midwife’ followed immediately by ‘Musketeers’? Why can’t one of them be put on a Tuesday when there is nothing else on TV anyway. Are the BBC afraid they might lose some viewing figures? So what, they get their licence fee anyway don’t they? And in any case they waste so much of it on unearned imaginary payoffs to people who in other walks of life wouldn’t merit one tenth of what they get when the Beeb chuck them out.
Just don’t get me on talking about the phrase uttered so much on all sides of the box: ‘And you can find out more online at “www.rubbish.co.uk” or somesuch. No, not everyone can, think on. The trouble is TV stations are run by younger and younger people with good eyesight, hearing and sharp brains, whilst us slighter older people need to find our glasses, turn the volume up and write down the address or telephone number, not immediately key it into our smartphones, what’s one of them anyway? Does anyone actually need to be able to see their social networks or emails 24/7? Would it matter if you looked at them on your PC or laptop at home? No didn’t think so.