Cutbacks are everywhere.In the workplace, the public & private sectors. Value for money is the new watchword. Television budgets are being cut in both the public service broadcasting and commercial sector.
Cynics will look at the recent announcement re BBC programming cuts a merely an expedient way of reclaiming the pensions hole of many of its employees but as we’ve seen over many years the BBC is everyone’s favourite scapegoat that constantly needs to justify how the license fee is spent.
Television audiences have been falling for some time as viewing habits are more fragmented. Gone are the days of the three main channels and that’s your lot.
Personally I find the almost old fashioned output model of many digital only channels such as BBC3 and BBC4 a welcome reminder of the past. In ye olden days there was no breakfast TV and minimal daytime TV output. The test card was a common filler during these off peak times.
Many digital TV channels have limited broadcasting hours because they share a channel slot on Freeview (OK technically it’s called a Mux) which means that say CBBC uses the same space allocation as BBC3 but they broadcast at different times of the day.One channel that just looks like two.
Personally I’d have no problem with a more frugal hours output across all channels if it helps them save money and helped place the emphasis on quality.In this age of PVR’s, iPlayer and Video on Demand do we really need to fill up the day with so much television. Perhaps the budgets would be more focused on quality if we returned to reduced hours rather than spreading it more thinly across the current number of hours.
The so called golden age of television had the luxury of less channels and less hours to fill. Maybe an austerity television era could reap some benefits.