Re: Defining Free
Hmm. The BARB figures are interesting, and it horrifies me to see just how skewed towards a few high profile programs like The Great British Bake Off, The X factor, Downton Abby etc TV viewing in the UK actually is.
But it does beg the question of why something like 40% (based on 10 million sky subscribers and 25 million households in the UK - although very broad statistical flaws here) decide to spend money with Sky. And that does not include Virgin Media customers.
There must be something pretty compelling in the 2% of viewing time for Pay channels to justify this expense. Obviously, some of that is going to be sport, and maybe the relatively easy to access catch-up and on-demand services, together with the bundled boxes could be helping maintain their customer base. Of course, even Sky customers will watch free-to-air services some of the time. Like phones, possibly Sky customers don't like the up-front cost of buying the box.
I have both freeview hard disk recorders and streaming services available to me on TVs, as well as Sky, and also have been through two generations of USB freeview stick and played around with other on-line TV services, and I still find that the go-to service in our household is Sky. Maybe we're trying to justify spending the money, but as I said although it is quite expensive, I still regard it as reasonable value for money just for the content I can't (legally) get anywhere else.
Interestingly enough, whenever my wife and I have 'spirited conversations' about what we spend money on, she always brings up the Sky subscription as an unnecessary expense (which is significantly less than she spends on cigarettes in a month), and I have to remind here that she is the one to be found most frequently watching the pay channels! In fact, I would almost not miss it, because I get so little time to watch the slightly less mainstream pay TV channels that I find interesting (documentaries, arts, Syfy, but also the movie channels)