Breaking Bad’s TV licence time

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

There are few things more exciting as a child than receiving post.

A letter with your name on it was something to treasure. Oh, how things have changed.

Now every day the doormat greets 17 more pizza delivery leaflets, a political party’s latest drivel and another brown-envelope bill. This week, it was the latter. Several times.

A couple were expected, the notice to renew my driving licence was not (have I really been driving that long? ) but it was the most recent mailing which really got my goat.

A reminder it was time to pay the TV licence. Nothing particularly shocking about that one may think, and you’d be right, but for several reasons it made by blood boil.

Not because I was being asked to fork out another £145, though that didn’t help, but because I realised I don’t actually watch television.

The odd episode of a mind-numbing American sitcom perhaps, a drama series here and there, and certain sporting events may be viewed, but for the most part, Stevie-the-TV is little more than a focal point in the living room.

Never having bought into satellite television, I have not been able to record live TV meaning that, more often than not, one relies on catch-up services online. Which you don’t need a TV licence for. And there lies the frustration.

I’d assume most people now don’t watch programmes first time round. The odd favourite, maybe, but many they’ll record, watch repeats, or catch things at a more convenient time.

We’ve all become so used to getting what we want, when we want, television programmes can work around us, not the other way round. Love Have I Got News For You, but never home on a Friday evening? Then watch it from the laptop on a Saturday morning, bowl of cereal in hand. Trust me, it’s just as good.

So what do terrestrial channels offer us, the fee paying? Very little, as far as I can tell. One only has to look to this week’s BAFTA awards to see how television is progressing. While a number of big winners came from BBC3 - the channel being axed to become online only - the international winner was a little programme called Breaking Bad, the first ever online only show (in the UK at least) to pick up a gong.

Is this the future? I think it could be. So, Deputy General of terrestrial land, make the most of my 100 pieces of silver. You may not be seeing many more.