Off Topic: When Was The Last Time You Watched Free-To-Air TV?

I was sitting around a table over the weekend, playing Cards Against Humanity in a quiet pub, with a few people from Beta Bar. Everyone started talking about the TV shows they were watching at the time, and I couldn't help but notice no one mentioned anything that was actually on TV. I can't even remember the last time I tuned in. Can you?

I put the question to the group in the pub, and only one person actually watched TV — and that was more of a nightly family tradition. Everyone was EZTV, Netflix, or just no time for TV at all due to gaming, reading, or work.

I know if I asked the same question to my family in western Sydney, the answer would be different. There'd probably be a "What's a Netflix?" in there somewhere.

But a growing number of people in my circles, even the ones with only one foot in the tech world, are increasingly turning away from the idiot box. There's nothing that really appeals to me on the ABC at the moment, and as for the other channels... I actually feel dumber when I watch them. When I hear about a show that's actually good on free-to-air, I'm genuinely surprised.

For some of the people in the group at the pub, it had been literally months since they flipped on the TV. Not even having the capability to watch it in their home was common. How about you? When was the last time you switched on? Is there anything good on that we might not know about?

[Bored TV Watcher] via Shutterstock


    Free to air TV? i think i hear my parents watching it sometimes. I'm not really a fan of sitting in front of a Glowing box that only plays advertisements on repeat.

    Last thing I watched on TV was the F1 from Abu Dhabi.
    Only ever watch it for sport, ABC News 24, or if Mad As Hell is on.
    Otherwise, not all that much.

    Last edited 25/11/14 11:22 am

      Mad As Hell, one of the only reasons to watch free-to-air I think

        Anything with Shaun Micaleff is worth making the time of day for :D

      Same here.
      Though must admit I've been indulging I guess.
      I also watched a recorded "Upper Middle Bogan"
      The ABC iView resolution is just too shoddy and slow

    News stuff is pretty much the only thing I watch as it airs, having it on while eating dinner. Otherwise most things would get recorded and watched later.

    But even that habit's fallen by the wayside, and now I pretty much don't watch anything. It all became too much effort. Still got most of this latest season of Dr Who sitting there waiting to be watched at some point. I waste too much time just sitting here reading the internet instead.

    The only time I watch Free-To-Air TV is State of Origin each year. I prefer to buy seasons of shows I'm interested in on Google Play, iTunes or wait for it to come to Netflix.

    I watch free to air TV all the time.
    There's no particular show that I tune in for every day/week, but I pretty regularly watch Spicks and Specks. Otherwise I'll usually just flick channels and end up watching reruns of The Simpsons or something like that.

    Sometimes there are good movies on too. I watched Shooter the other day.

      I watched that when it was on as well. Had never seen it before and was a good movie

    Maybe 10 years?

    But then again, I rarely watch shows period. I get more enjoyment out of Internet crap now-a-days.

    The only thing we watch on FTA TV is ABC 4 KIDS, which is just background noise for the little-uns. FTA is nothing but ads with a few shows shoved in between.

      Same as this. I it wasn't for our son, we wouldn't even have the antenna plugged in.

    It's sometimes on ABC in the evenings to watch the news or QI or something but that's about it.

    I'll be watching Good Game tonight.

      Yeah that's my only weekly live to air watch as well. Everything else is download or wait for DVD release.

      Good Game is awesome! They still need DARREN in the adult version of the show though.

      Good game was never the same after junglist left... The guy who wrote this article

        Yeah I stopped watching after they booted him for tits also.

      Only FTA TV I regularly watch. Granted, the hosts can get on your nerves sometimes, but it is locally produced gaming content, and its the closest I get to seeing a video review featuring gameplay where I'm situated

      This might be a noob question but is there anywhere that sells previous episodes of GG? I love it, but often miss it unless I decide to stream it after the fact.

      I'd love to get the whole set hard copy but ABC shops never seem to sell it. Probably think it's not relevant after the fact as it's primarily a review show.

        Mm, as far as I know, they don't have it on DVD or anything. iView or their youtube channel is probably the best for watching old episodes.

    MAAAAATEE! always! Channel Mate is what I only watch. Everyone in my house has free-to-air. If we want to watch a T.V. show we just download it, but other than that the t.v only goes on during the night to watch either channel mate(that's in my room) and whatever the parents watch in the lounge room.

    Last edited 25/11/14 11:25 am

    Good Game on Abc is great! I'll tune in every Tues...

    *sideways glance at Junglist*

    Uh, no, no free to air TV...


    I'll see myself out.

    Apart from Doctor Who (and that was mostly on iView catch up), probably Eurovision.

    I watch free to air TV all the time because there aren't really any shows I'm desperate enough to watch that I'd pay for them or pirate them.

      Same here. We watch a few ABC shows but very little on commercial networks.

      I'm in a similar boat but it resulted in me not watching TV at all. Fifteen years ago the TV would be on whenever I was home, either games or shows, now it's only on when I play games. At some point the bulk of the filler content got to the point where I'd rather turn the TV off than have it as background noise.

      I can't remember the last time I watched free to air TV. I think it was pre-digital. The only time I watched TV at all was when I was stuck at my sisters house with Foxtel and no games or DVDs. I'd actually rank TV (both free to air and pay TV) lower than I would mobile games on the entertainment scale. A very strange turn of events considering how much time I've spent channel surfing over the years.

    I'm a fan of NCIS and Mad as Hell but other than that I basically find out what's ahead and queue it up for recording via a TVHeadEnd box for later viewing (and so I can skip the ads FreeView is so fond of!)

    Last edited 25/11/14 11:29 am

    Eh, since everything kicked over to digital I've had super bad reception. (I live in a rental and upgrading the aerial is problematic.) I got tired of seeing "your recording has failed due to lack of signal" messages and gave up on free to air. I mostly watch things on catch up sites or stream them through various places.

    Doctor Who... but that was through iView, so not sure if it counts. Actual (non-on-demand) television? Last time would have been when I visited my parents for Christmas last year. My television hasn't been used to watch TV since I hooked up the antenna nearly three years ago.

    Free-to-Air?????. Before it was just called TV... It was and has never been free. Ads paid for it. Pay-TV, takes the ad money and gouges the user for a subscription as well....

    Naming it Free-to-Air means they just intend to turn it into pay-tv down the track.

    Maybe for the rare Aussie sporting event my wife actually allows me to watch, and I have to admit that I am not completely repulsed when she wants to watch Offspring. We recently moved and our TV isn't even hooked up to the antenna, but it hasn't had the slightest effect on our first-world lives.
    I find most commercial TV and domestic programming (okay, I get it, reality mostly consists of cooking, renovating, and dating) horrifying.

    Along these lines, I think we can also kiss goodbye ever watching something bad on TV just because there's nothing else on. 'Nothing else on' will be a term that kids in the future will find alien and frightening because it's antithetical to their world. 'Mommy, what does the bad man mean? There's always something on.' (Or, for the Back to the Future fans, 'you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy.')

    I remember a time in the 00s when I found myself watching Australian Story and 4 Corners on the ABC as part of my Saturday afternoon routine and not feeling too bad about it. Now I'd be like 'how dare you try to actually educate me on current events when there are mothers of dragons and agents of SHIELD to watch. You should be ashamed of yourself.'

    I watch ABC or SBS occasionally. I just cant do ads anymore...........Id rather pay for the shows I want than sit through all the ads telling me to buy stuff or now days election ads telling me to hate one group so I vote for the other.

    I haven't watched F2Air TV for a few weeks now, and even then that was only because Dr Who was showing. The only other time I watch TV is when there's a movie I want to watch on which is only every week or so at best.

    About the only stuff I watch on TV these days is sport and the news. In terms of actual shows... nope. Occasionally I'll sit there and look at the TV when my wife is watching something, but I'd struggle to remember what was on... mainly cooking shows, probably :P

    Been in my current place for about a year now, and we still haven't connected the TV aerial :P

    the cricket

      Yep. Only use FTA for sport. Same for Foxtel. Any entertainment show I source off the net.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now