/ Technology

Do you still watch live TV?

Long gone are the days of buying TV guides from the local newsagent. With so many new ways to consume entertainment, are you still watching live TV?

These days, if I’m ever going to miss one of my favourite shows, I can hit record and catch up at a later time. Or, if I completely forget that it’s on, I can always catch up on various online platforms, such as Netflix.

In fact, my new favourite discovery is that some internet streaming services will upload a full box-set before they’ve finished airing it on TV. This means I’ve completed a whole season while my friends are only part way through.

Have catch-up apps disappeared from your TV?

Many of us can now even record multiple TV shows at the same time, as well as pausing live TV if we need to – always helpful if you need to pop the kettle on!

A modern day luxury

When I was younger, this was all a luxury you could only dream of. In fact, my sister is still holding against me the one time I accidentally set a TV reminder for Grease, causing it to switch channels halfway through recording Hocus Pocus on to tape. How times have changed.

Last week there was a bit of Twitter outrage when it was announced that Killing Eve, one of the most-watched programmes of 2018, has a second series already airing on BBC America – while the UK has no release date.

Many were asking how a UK programme could be released in the US before here.

As a fan, I was one of them! In fact, the second reaction (after anger!) was to go online to see if it could be streamed.

And that got me thinking… how many people still watch live TV?

Shrinking TV audiences?

I’m sure most of you won’t forget the iconic Eastenders moment when Dirty Den served Angie with divorce papers back in 1986 (on Christmas day no less!).

More than 30 million people tuned in to watch it – making it the biggest scripted TV moment in UK history. Compare that with the Bodyguard last year (shown on the same channel), which only managed 14.3 million.

Other than the increased choice in channels and streaming services, why do you think audiences are shrinking?

For me, I have a pretty busy life. I work full time, go out with friends, try to go home as often as possible, and I go to my weekly pub quiz every Tuesday, so sometimes I find it hard watch TV shows as they come out.

That being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be able to have a full conversation the following day about the episode from the night before. So, I sometimes end up catching up on TV shows on my way into work.

Have your TV-watching habits changed over the years? Are you watching live TV as much as you used to? Let me know how your lifestyle compares.


There is an issue of quality over quantity here – i have over 200 channels and still struggle to find things to watch – i also have Tivo – but due to a lack of time often end up deleting shows as i am running out of space – must be great to have all that time to watch box sets in a binge

Mabel says:
21 December 2019

I still watch live Freeview TV about 70% of the time and think it is good value for money. I also watch catch up on ITV Hub, C4, C5 and BBC lPlayer mainly on my laptop or tablet. I don’t have any way of recording TV as I gave up when video recorders became obsolete.

I bought a couple of Now TV boxes to watch some sport (all now on Sky) and entertainment. No subscription and pay only for what you view attracted me. I buy a 1 month sports pass or a 2 month entertainment pass in Currys or Argos as they are considerably cheaper than buying online on Now TV. There is a flaw in this ‘no subscription’ service. If you don’t cancel the pass before it runs out Now TV Auto Renews it and charges you month after month until you realise the money is being taken from your account. I was hit with 2 x £33.99 for a 1 month Sports pass before I noticed it on my credit card statement. Now TV does not send an email or any notice to say they are taking the money from my account. Of course the Terms and Conditions say they can do this but I think it’s sharp practice.

A 1 month sports pass or a 2 month entertainment pass does not mean what it says on the pass when it applies to Now TV.

PS. What do you do with video recorders that are no longer used apart from leaving them in the attic.

Mabel says:
21 December 2019

I consider Auto Renewal of Now TV defined term passes as a legal Scam when they take money from my account without notifying me.

Has anybody else had this happen to them.