back to article Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

One thing you can say about the rise of digital telly: there are now more repeats shown on British television than at any time since 2003. In decades gone by, Brits would regularly moan about the number of repeats on the box - "another Christmas, another showing of The Great Escape" - but it's hard to imagine that repeats …

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  1. James Hughes 1

    Well....

    If the choice is between a repeat of Mock the Week (or whatever is on Dave at the time), or I'm a Celebrity Mud Wrestling Singer with Xfactor on Coro'fucking'nation Enders Street, I'd go for Dave every time.

    On a more serious note , er, well, I was being serious anyway, but since the number of recorded programs is always increasing (most are crap, but some are worth repeating), but the number of new programs stays fairly constant (well, its dropped a bit), the market for repeats gets larger.

    Probably.

  2. Dean Burrows

    Hmmm...

    Haven't I seen this before?

  3. Christian Berger

    Repeats are important

    Retransmissions are important as, unlike TCP/IP, DVB does not provide a back-channel. Therefore it's important to transmit everything several times in case a frame gets lost the first time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      W00t?

      The BOLLOCKS are you on about?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Rubbish

      If this is a joke then fine. Ha Ha.

      If not then you are talking rubbish. DVB frames are not transmitted multiple times in a given ES (Elementry Stream).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      great theory

      A nice explanation! I bet if you put that to the head of Ofcom he wouldn't have a bollocking clue what you were talking about. Do Ofcom really understand digital communication....

  4. Citizen Kaned

    bbc == pants now

    i would love to know where all the bbc license fee goes. i know loads goes to bbc radio with overpaid tubbies like moyles getting far too much for a couple of hours speaking in the morning.

    plus, no decent movies, no decent sport, not much comedy (buzzcocks, mock the week & frankie howard being the only 3 i can think of)

    the only thing they excel at is nature - but i could buy all the stuff i watch on blu-ray for less than 150/year!

    bbc breakfast is just a platform to talk about celebrity fucking dancing.

    YET they think they deserve ~£150/year!

    1. Beelzeebub
      Flame

      Not to mention...

      ... the overtly left handed political bias constantly output:-

      - nice to NuLab politicians

      - tear apart opposition politicians

      - reinforce AGW propaganda

      - fail to report on the unfettered immigration scandal

      mind you it's not just the BBC, it is most of the mainstream media (excepting EL Reg, of course)

  5. Sarev
    Thumb Down

    New content

    > Over the same period, the transmission of new, home-made shows has fallen from 58.8 per cent to 50.1 per cent.

    and 99% of that is Strictly Come Celebrity Master Plumber, Cops with Truncheons and I'm a Wanker, Get Me Out of Here.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ofcom

    "Incidentally, we should thank, first, the UK's telecommunications and broadcasting regulator for finally putting out numbers that are almost a year out of date, a fact that many a news story today about Britain's digital viewing habits has cheerfully ignored."

    Here are some of the countries in the world, with GDPs less than Ofcoms annual budget of £136.8m.

    Palau population 20,000, GDP 70% of Ofcoms annual budget.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau

    The Cook Islands, population, again about 20,000, GDP about 80% of Ofcoms annual budget

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_Islands

    Marshall Islands

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Islands

    Anguilla

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anguilla

    Kiribati

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiribati

    Tuvalu

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuvalu

    And so on. Makes you wonder how on earth do these countries survive while still being able to regulate telecoms and TV in their own country!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Repeat+1

    Do all those +1 channels count as repeats? They're pretty handy usually.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Repeats vs retransmission

      Good question.

      As I understand it, anything repeated within 7 days is officially a "retransmission", not a "repeat".

      How do the figures cope with that? Do they eliminate all retransmissions, whether of new material or repeated material, and then compare? I hope so, because counting a half hour program retransmitted three times as two hours of "new" material would be pretty shoddy in my view.

  8. Chris Pollard
    Paris Hilton

    Spend a little time watching....

    ....and its difficult to believe the figure isn't far higher than 44%

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    "British telly really is almost all repeats"

    Oh, not this old one again! I'm sure I've seen it before a dozen times!

    "British telly really is almost all repeats" really is almost all repeats!

  10. Eddie Edwards
    Happy

    How is this counted?

    C4+1 plays entirely repeats, as do all the other "+1" channels. Even a new program on C4 is a repeat by the time it hits C4 + 1. So, I would expect there to be a lot of repeats. Are these counted?

    There are also channels now dedicated to showing repeats of shows from the 70s, 80s or 90s. This seems to mean that the main channels are showing fewer repeats than ever before - I suspect a net rise in the proportion of new material on, say, BBC1 since the days of only 4 channels. And even the Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Channel occasionally shows something original.

    A bit silly to talk of proportions when we have so many more channels now. It's a lot easier to add channels than to fill them. I expect the proportion will indeed rise to 100% (to 3 s.f.) once people start including the channel capacity of iPlayer et al., and once the BBC pulls its finger out about putting its archives up there.

  11. Pete B
    Thumb Down

    +1

    If you count all of the +1 channels as repeats then the figure must be around 82.5% already.

  12. Ian Stephenson
    Big Brother

    I would still rather..

    ...watch a repeat than any realityTV or Karaoke show.

    Big Brother icon for obvious reasons.

    "Killing in the name of" for Xmas number 1!

  13. g e

    So, let me get this right...

    We're paying a full TV license for content, 50% of which we've already paid for already?

    Yes?

    Nice work if you can get it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    I don't understand, why is anyone still paying for TV?

    The TV License fee is BS, and lawfully avoidable, and other satellite tends to force you to take junk channels with the good ones.

    Cut off their money supply, then see them forced to provide value for money, lawfully, oh, and you might waste less time on the idiot box too, maybe learn something.

    1. fifi
      Megaphone

      Value for money?

      they wouldn't produce value for money, they'd produce the most profitable, lowest common denominator tripe imaginable. At least with the licence fee they are some-way accountable for the crap that's pushed out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It'd be worth it

        if they stopped giving Jonathon Woss a banker's bonus salary. Or, indeed, anything. Even if he was on fire.

  15. LinkOfHyrule
    Coat

    But I don't watch telly!!!

    I only watch telly on iPlayer and it's always programmes from the catch-up service, never any live streaming as I don't have a TV Licence. This means technically 100% of all the programmes I watch are repeats! Yay I win!

    Mines the one with all the unopened letters from Capita/TV Licensing sticking out of the pockets!

  16. Graham Marsden
    Dead Vulture

    Meaningless comparisons

    The complaints about TV being "All repeats" were perfectly valid when we only had three terrestrial channels to watch and no satellite or cable, let alone 4od, iPlayer, Watch Again etc.

    Now we have +1 channels, BBC 3, More4, Sky 2 and 3, Dave, Alibi, Watch, Yesterday etc etc yes, we're getting old stuff shown again, but this is *not* to the exclusion of *new* material.

    And are all these "repeats" such a bad thing? When Blake's 7 was first broadcast I missed the first two episodes due to my parents insisting I do my homework first (which dates me!) and it was a long while before I could actually see what happened in the beginning. These days I'd just switch to a +1 channel or watch the repeat later in the week on BBC3 or equivalent.

    So, really, what's the big deal?

  17. Pete 2 Silver badge

    not just TV programmes

    this comment was first posted in 2003

  18. Mike Smith
    Badgers

    Compilations?

    We might be there already - I'm assuming that the figures don't include the I Love The 1000 Best All-Time TV Out-take Moments of the 90s.

    It's getting to the stage where TV looks like it's approaching terminal decline. It might be advancing age, but I can't help seeing superficiality taking over from originality. And I keep thinking of this quote from a very well-known story:

    ""The fall of Trantor," said Seldon, "cannot be stopped by any conceivable effort. It can be

    hastened easily, however. The tale of my interrupted trial will spread through the Galaxy.

    Frustration of my plans to lighten the disaster will convince people that the future holds no

    promise to them. Already they recall the lives of their grandfathers with envy. They will see that

    political revolutions and trade stagnations will increase. The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that

    only what a man can grasp for himself at that moment will be of any account. Ambitious men

    will not wait and unscrupulous men will not hang back. By their every action they will hasten the

    decay of the worlds."

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Its fair to say...

    The proliferation of new channels is at least partially responsible, and overall we are likely getting more content both new and old across the board.

    (Just tune out Dave and Watch and you eliminate a vast amount of regurgitated pannel shows and Clarkson right there!)

  20. DrunkenMessiah
    FAIL

    Re: Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

    Well... except it's not is it? It's only 44.8% repeats. How that translates to "almost all" is beyond me.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    foreigners?

    So, 'foreign' broadcasts are American broadcasts (ok, the odd Australian or Canadian show).

    So, if I understand correctly, 90% of the world has no tv worth even a repeat of Get Me Out.

    Am I the only one that thinks we should thank our lords & masters for saving us from all this foreign torture?

  22. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

    Because it's infotainment not a fecking maths exam?

    1. DrunkenMessiah
      FAIL

      Re: Re: Re: Official: British telly really is almost all repeats

      Really? I thought simple percentages would be well within the grasp of even a journalist. Looks it's not bloody Mensa stuff is it? It's a sensationalist headline and you know it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You

        have to think 'one step beyond'

  23. BenG
    Pint

    Don't forget

    that this "repeats" figure also includes all of the repeated programs with signing for the blind etc, so the true figure for repeats is a lot less.

    The tabloid watch blog has a good breakdown of sample fortnight:

    http://tabloid-watch.blogspot.com/2009/12/lack-of-repeats-on-prime-time-bbc1-over.html

    And besides it christmas - don't a lot of people want the repeats? What would boxing day be without a Bond film?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly!

      The Bond film is always a great reason not to switch to ITV!

      The next day - unless 26th was a Sunday - usually has a decent film noir on, or Marx Bros late at night (on BBC2). Though they show far too few of those anymore. Another indicator that our TV is shite on a pedestal today.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also

      The Great Escape! If it weren't for that the stupid English schweinhundts wouldn't know to 'sing' it at the England games in their acknowledgment that we'll make an audacious bid for freedom that will fail, after which we'll be machine gunned and the winners of the match will be USA despite not even being there!

    3. Mike Flugennock

      Bond... Rerun Bond

      Wow, you guys get a Bond picture the day after Christmas every year?

      Damn, that settles it; I'm moving to England.

      Actually, it depends on the film. Anything with Connery or Moore works for me. OK, so I'm a geezer.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .. but TV as we know it is changing...

    The internet is going to completely skew the stats regardless - pretty much everyone I know watches overseas TV shows before they hit UK screens (If they actually do reach here)

    As far as local TV goes, with services such as iPlayer etc., there's no need to record TV, unless you want to store it for later.

    With home media centers (DIY PVR, TV on computers, steamed/shared content around the home), the schedule the various channels dish up is immaterial. There's no need for the old fashioned Radio Times, or even online TV schedules.

    Then there's services such as Love Films, which will inevitably switch from a postal service to an on-demand service at some point.

    For those of us who are savvy enough, we're pretty damn close to media on demand already and with such a massive wealth of stuff available, watching repeats is a moot point.

    It's entirely possible than in 5 to 10 years, or sooner, the TV industry is going to face a similar battle the music industry did - although the industry does appear to be focusing on keeping up with the times.

  25. Steve Foster

    More Channels...

    ...more repeats.

    Simples.

    Let's face it - we don't have enough new programming to fill one channel per broadcaster, never mind the plethora each one transmits.

    I reckon we should adopt a model of one, perhaps two, channels per broadcaster and no more, and then insist that all of them be broadcast in HD (if we slash the number of channels, there'd be plenty of bandwidth to go around).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The number of TV channels increases over time.

    Perhaps part of the reason for there being a higher percentage of repeats is the increase in the number of channels. Specifically channels such Dave and G.O.L.D which show almost nothing but repeats. Also, do the figures include the output of the +1 channels and if so, how is that classed? Strictly speaking they show only repeats.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i don;t mind the repeats

    they're better than the god awful, lowest common denominator, junk than passes for most of the new stuff.

  28. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    We can't afford US cop shows

    We get The Professionals. And Heartbeat.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Can't afford US cop shows?

      M'eh, you're not missing anything. Take "Law And Order". Please.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Annoying

    The annoying thing I find is when the description in the EPG doesn't get updated, and described it as a new episode... when I watched it 6 months ago.

    That, and all the +1 channels... surely digital could be used for something better? I have a PVR so I can watch it an hour later if I want, or 2 minutes later, etc,etc... I don't need extra channels to allow me to do it.

    /rant

  30. Fred 24
    Grenade

    This is another why

    I stopped owning/watching TV over a year ago. Aside from it being all death/war/famine/doom/repeats, Why do we need it? we still have books, the internet, and god forbid: other people to meet and talk to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It

      was worth it for Mock The Week...before the pathetic Beeb drove Frankie Boyle away. It isn't bad for Have I Got News For You and Q.I., as long as Jimmy Carr isn't on.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    British telly is rubbish

    The quality of TV in the UK has been gradually sinking into the gutter for the last 20 years. I used to think that the existence of the BBC was the only reason it hadn't slipped faster than it has, but I'm not even sure of that any more.

    Repeats aside (and yes, they ARE reaching stupid proportions), the new programs are mostly rubbish and cater only for the dumb masses - X-Factor (with bloody Dermot putting painfully long pauses where they are not needed - yes it's "dramatic" - we get the idea - you don't need to keep reminding us!), bloody Come Dancing (why the "Strictly"? What's that about???), relentless "reality" programs (thank goodness Big Brother is finally ending next year, but that still leaves "cops in uniform" and "oooo... Scary weather" and "average person cooking"), East Enders (which is mind-crushingly depressing), Coronation St (which while not as depressing, is certainly as tedious), Family Fortunes (god help us!), Casualty (started off as a reasonable drama many years ago, but has long since turned into yet another soap), ...need I go on?

    The thing is, even the programs that are NOT repeats, seem like repeats. They are all so open-ended, and the same! Surely if you've seen one episode of Come Dancing you've seen them all? Surely ALL the story lines in East Enders have, by now, been done to death (they just keep recycling them like a Scooby-Doo cartoon). The same goes for Casualty et-al. And WHY would anyone watch Family Fortunes or some cruddy cooking or house-hunting program? You'll forget it all in a couple of hours anyway!!!

    Answer - it's all cheap, and (in the case of stuff like X-Factor and Big Brother) rakes in HUGE amounts of cash; totally disproportionately to the actual entertainment value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heh!

      You 'talk' like you watch all that shite. Presumably for somethinjg to do...but still...

  32. Eponymous Cowherd
    Unhappy

    I'd rather The Great Escape

    than suffer more "I'm a celebretards big brother" or "Strictly come Ice Dancing" or "Britain's X Idol Fame Academy" or "East Emmerdale Street" or "Police, Camera, whack-a-chav" or "Real Helicopter Hero Rescue Cops".

    This incessant bandwagoning by the TV companies is ridiculous. One comes up with a "winning" format the rest copy it and then they all do the format to its death.

    I see the latest "victim" is the early evening magazine show. The BBC decide to revive the old "Nationwide" format and, surprise, surprise, Five copy it with "Live from Studio Five".

  33. andyb 2
    Joke

    Plus one channels

    Does this include all the +1 channels on Freeview.....as that is 100% repeats! :)

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Coat

      or the shopping channels

      which are 100% live.

  34. Captain Underpants
    Unhappy

    RE: Ireland

    In fairness if you sit and watch any significant amount of RTE's home-made television you'd understand why they import so much of it. There's only so much uniformly fucking awful alleged comedy you can inflict on a viewing audience before you offer them at least the possibility of something that might actually be worth watching.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gave up on TV

    Mainly over the liscense people's attitude, but I also work for a major broadcaster and out of the 20 odd new channels they have launched across Europe in the last 6 months, the percentage of new content is zero.

    This included a new Freeview channel (the first for this broadcaster) which shows almost entirely re-runs of TJ Hooker.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      TJ Hooker??!

      Oh, God. They _are_ scraping the bottom, aren't they? Couldn't afford "Star Trek", then?

      Jeezus. Nobody breathe a word of this to Shatner.

  36. Dan Wilkinson

    Dave

    On the assumption that the full gamut of available channels is forming the data for these reports, then given the sheer amount of channels basically dedicated to 100% repeats (Dave etc) then it's still pretty good I would say.

  37. Z 1
    Flame

    Quality? Or quantity?

    Not too long ago we had four channels. For a program to appear on one of those they usually had to be good (not always, cough eldorado cough).

    Recently, some decisions have been made (probably due to advertising budgets I'd wager) about upping the "choice" of the viewer (increase in quantity). This has resulted in a drop in quality of programming. These days its a case of stick it out regardless of whether it is good or not. It says something about modern uk TV when a channel for Ocean Finance is available for the really bored.

  38. Hermes Conran
    Flame

    How much of the rest is reality turds?

    Broadcast TV really is pants, I just pay for the good stuff on DVD or iTunes type stores and don't bother with the licence.

  39. jason 7
    Unhappy

    You dont need a VCR or PVR anymore.

    If you miss anything you dont really need iPlayer or an other those other apps either as it will be repeated the next day/week several times. Shows, movies etc. all go round and round and round.

    It is getting very hard to find the golden nugget of a decent quality item worth watching that isnt a repeat.

    How many times has The Core/Sahara etc. etc. been on this year?

    Missed it? Dont worry it will be on again in an hour!

    Even bored with the same silicone slappers on babestation! lol

    Can we go back to just having the five channels please? Less is more.

  40. Tom 15

    To be fair...

    To be fair I'd rather have 50 channels with 50% repeats than 4 channels with 25% repeats. A lot of the "repeats" though aren't repeats in the classic sense as a lot of people will watch a soon after repeat rather than record the original.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The same

    The only reason I'd even want a telly --I do not currently own one-- this time of the year is to watch "Dinner for one" broadcast once again. Otherwise, well, it's nothing but repeats anyway.

  42. Joseph Bryant
    Coat

    Damn those plus-one channels

    E4+1 etc must be really dragging the average down.

  43. georgeclooneylookalike
    Pint

    Nice to know...

    ...I'm NOT paying my TV licence for nothing! Almost a year and I've read more books and got out more.

    P.S. The Great Escape is one of my favourite movies: "Gut Luck - thank you!"

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (untitled)

    It really is terrible at the moment. I used to like the Dave channel, until I'd finally watched everything I wanted at least once. Now it's a waste of airtime. And some programme episodes are shown on different channels at different times, and I've had to give up on them as I end up starting to watch what I think is the next episode only to find I've seen it before, and then I probably miss one thinking it's an episode I've already seen. One needs to keep a flaming timetable these days and tick things off on.

    Let's go back to 5 channels of analogue and teletext on both. Ah those were the days.

  45. Mike Flugennock

    Granted, I'm watching "BBC America" via satellite...

    ...so it's like watching the BBC through the wrong end of a telescope, but, still...

    ...I'm starting to "get" a lot of British commenters' complaints here about the declining quality of BBC content (sadly, even the news), not to mention all the reruns. While one British commenter pointed out in another thread that it only seemed better because the BBC only exported the "good stuff" to the States, I'm still seeing your commenters' complaints being borne out over here. Our cable/satellite service includes "BBC America" which, from what I can see these days, is almost entirely make-over shows ("Ground Force" was the only one I really cared for), sensationalistic documentaries about really freakish people, warmed-over imitations of "Law And Order", and about half a dozen different variations of premises involving either antique sales or the auctioning off of peoples' old crap* -- and most of them are reruns. Hell, it wouldn't be quite so bad if they'd just telecast a soccer... uhh, sorry, _football_ game once in a while, and I don't mean "Match Of The Day" (which is, basically, a rerun, right?)

    If it makes you feel any better over there, it's gotten just as bad over here -- so bad, in fact, that in network promos for any given series, they actually make a big deal out of it being "a brand new episode of (Insert Title)!"

    -----

    *Actually, I'm waiting for the BBC to debut "Swag In The Sitting Room: the show that sends a crack team of burglars to pillage your house, and then sells your stuff back to you at auction!"

  46. davenewman
    Thumb Up

    100% repeats on my MythTV box

    Title says it all - I never watch at the original broadcast time.

    Also I rely on the repeats to build up my collections of The Simpsons, Dark Angel, Friends, all versions of Star Trek, the X Files, ... when I miss episodes the first time around.

  47. Steven Jack
    Megaphone

    @Citizen Kaned - "bbc == pants now"

    What a load of Pants you write Citizen, the BBC is far and away the best provider of new content in the UK, News and Current Affairs, maybe not as good as it used to be, but still the best in the market place, great drama, spooks, hustle, Doctor Who, Torchwood to name just a few. Then there is the BBC website, both news and non news and of course BBC Radio. The Licence Fee is great value, especially when compared to the cost of Sky or cable. Long live the BBC and long live non commercial funding of it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      The BBC *is* pants

      Whilst it still has its fanboys, there does seem to be a growing amount of discontent about the quality of the BBC's output. As far as I'm concerned, the licence fee is hardly worthwhile for its occasional and erratic output of Top Gear and Jools Holland, and whatever claims of impartiality its news service once had are in the distant past.

      The BBC may still produce a lot of original material. It's just a shame that most of it is crap.

      1. John H Woods

        but...

        ... how much of that discontent is stirred up by the tabloid media whose proprietors stand to benefit most from the BBC being given a hard time? Remember, most citizens are so thick their opinions can't really be held to account for much. They just repeat the drivel spoon fed to them by the disgusting portion of the british press and think they know about stuff.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is a repeat?

    I'm guessing the broadcasters will say that +1 channels are not repeats, nor are the many repeats of a new episode of something within the first couple of weeks?

    I remember when Torchwood started on BBC3, they showed the first episode *11* times within two weeks! I bet the BBC claim all 11 of these were first showings.

    So without saying what Ofcom class as a repeat, this article isn't particularly helpful. I don't think anyone doesn't already know that most Freeview channels show repeats, be in BBC3 showing Two Pints in an endless loop, ITV3 showing old comedies and dramas from the 70s-90s, ITV4 showing old films and 60s cult shows, or the smaller channels like Dave and Virgin1 showing endless Top Gear and Star Trek.

    It may also have been more useful to compare the five analogue channels now with how they were ten years ago. Ultimately, you can't expect to have 80 digital terrestrial channels full of new shows. Surely it's inevitable that one day 75% of everything broadcast will be repeats, or a huge number of channels will have to close because they can't afford to go on.

    Mind you, that would free up wasted bandwidth to allow more HDTV channels. They can also get rid of the +1 channels. I think it's stupid that +1 channels have arrived at the exact same time as Sky+ and PVRs, not to mention numerous repeats on sister channels.

    The last time I saw Deal or No Deal (about 2006, and it wasn't my falt that I saw it, honestly!) it first aired at 4:15pm on Ch4, then was on Ch4+1 at 5:15, then More4 at 18:10, then More4+1 at 19:10, then E4 at about 8pm, then E4+1 at 9pm, then on one of the Freeview channels again at 1-2am, then on the +1 at 2-3am, then Channel4 at 9am the next morning and 10am on Ch4+1, before going out again around noon on E4/More4 and finally at 1pm on the +1.

    Then a couple of hours later another episode would premier on Channel 4 at 4:15pm and the vicious cycle would start all over again! Seriously, we're worried about green light bulbs, loft insulation, car emissions and the economy, but what about all the money and energy wasted keeping hundreds of TV and radio channels going to show tripe like this?

    1. Ball boy

      re. What is a repeat?

      Defining a repeat is fraught: make a note that any TV output that is a 'review' or a 'best of' isn't classed as a repeat, even though the vast majority of its content is, by design, lifted wholseale from existing material. Mind you, it is damn cheap to air - and that's a critical ingredent these days.

      A pal of mine works in the production business and tells me that there's been almost no new drama shot this year, so the future isn't looking any better. However, word is the big advertisers are getting twitchy about their image being associated with repeats and are driving change. Expect to see very carefully arranged product placement and adverts that are dovetailed to fit the drama better than ever...

      Still, I'd rather sit through a double-repeat of Porridge than 10 minutes of the more banal junk that passes for current prime time viewing.

      /mine's the one with the sonic 'click' remote in the pocket...ah, the days!

  49. Chigaimasmaro
    Happy

    Man cant just sit around

    Gotta do something with all those channels that we have for HD broadcasts... heaven knows what will happen if its just a block of empty air.

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Paris Hilton

      re: Man can't just sit around

      ...waitaminnit, here's an idea: how about Viewer-Generated Content? You know, like YouTube, only on _real_ TV? And I don't mean "reality TV", either.

      I mean... I don't know how bad it is over there, but over here there's so much crap on cable/satellite now -- three different shows involving chef competitions, at least three different shows involving fashion design/modeling competitions, at least four different shows involving fashion makeovers, and more goddamn' Law And Order reruns on as many channels as they can shoehorn it into -- that I've figured it couldn't be any worse if they just let people in the audience conceive and shoot their own shows and send them in... and I mean actual shows, too, not like America's Funniest Home Videos.

      Hell, I've got FinalCut Pro, an HD camcorder, a DVD burner, a twisted sense of humor and some smart, arty friends who are game enough; I'll bet even _I_ could come up with enough stupid jokes to fill thirteen episodes of _something_.

      (...because she went into reruns long ago.)

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Viewer generated?

        We have one of those, it started recently.

        I can't remember what it's called. I always refer to it as "The Tinfoil Hat Channel" as its output seems to consist entirely of grainy video of some complete twat espousing his theory that Jesus was an alien monster or somesuch and interviewing other Jesus-was-an-alien-monster believers to justify it.

        Last time I ran across this while channel flicking, there was some arsehat on there who seemed to believe that every word written by Dan Brown was fact. Fortunately I found that "The Great Escape" was showing on another channel, so I watched that instead.....

        1. moonface
          Thumb Up

          Hey don't diss Controversial tv

          There's some pretty good stuff on Controversial tv - SKY Channel 200, now and again.

          Christopher Barnet Challenging Reality was great and the scene with him struggling to cross a small river was comedy gold.

          There was another program that follows a tour guide round a Jack the Ripper tour which was also good and pretty informative. I would imagine Camcording tour guides could actually provide quite good TV content.

          Also, there's some great comedic content on that channel.

          To quote Theo Chalmers "watching this may change your life"

      2. karabuni

        Done!

        We have that already. It's called "My Family".

  50. Barry Lane 1
    Thumb Down

    You're all wrong, apparently

    They're not repeats at all. They're "another chance to see".

    So, that's all right, then.

  51. Steve Evans

    I'd rather...

    I'd rather have a repeat of Quincy or Kojak than watch yet another premium rate phoneline financed quiz/bingo/roulette program. Channel 5 barely gets past midnight before it hangs up any pretence of making real content.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we all know

    You only have to watch channels such as BBC3, Virgin where I find myself watching the same series of Dark Angel and Roswell no less than 3 times! It's madness in the recent past.

    And the sequence of progamming, heck, you just don't know where you are, one week you're watching an episode from one season of a series the next week, you're watching a completely different season, then the following week, who knows. Continuity is completely lost and you have no idea what seasons you've seen.

    We all know it's total crap, so why do they do it?

  53. Mike 89
    Thumb Up

    Mike

    Repeats are great! Luckily this has meant my kids have found out what real humour was. Unfortunately one of them found Friends as well. Can't win 'em all.

  54. Mike Flugennock

    We're choking on it over here, too...

    The cable/satellite companies here in the Colonies like to go on about the huge number of channels available, but, to paraphrase Pink Floyd, "...I got two hundred channels of shit on the TV to choose from." To cite just a few:

    The Learning Channel used to actually have educational(ish) programming, now it's almost wall-to-wall makeover/reality/makeover reality shows -- really trashy, annoying ones.

    Arts & Entertainment Channel used to actually have highbrow(ish) arts programming; now it's almost wall-to-wall Law And Order reruns. Hell, I've even taken to calling it Law And Order Channel.

    Comedy Central used to have a lot of interesting original comedy; now it's pretty much wall-to-wall Saturday Night Live reruns (the crappy, post-70s episodes) interspersed with Daily Show and Colbert Report (the same episode at least three times a day), South Park (the same episode maybe twice a day) and really mediocre movies.

    HBO (Home Box Office) used to have lots of really good original series, really good edgy stand-up comedians, and halfway-decent movies; now, it's basically The Channel You're Allowed To Curse On, featuring episodes of beautifully-produced but trashy and lame serials rerun at least four times a day. (sorry, just couldn't dig The Sopranos)

    At least we still have Turner Classic Movies channel -- old classic films, uncut, no commercials. You can't go wrong with Bogart or the Marx Brothers, I always say.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I download my TV

    TV killed the Radio, Internet killed the TV!

  56. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Hey, we're redefining mathematics!

    If 44.8% = "nearly all", I'm sure a future article will claim that 52% = "hardly any".

    Where did you learn maths - New Labour HQ?

  57. Emilio Desalvo
    Megaphone

    Grumbles

    Those grumbling about reruns on the English telly should be condemned to watching a week of Italian Telly,,,

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Don't have a tv any more

    gigbeeragf.pbz saved me from boring reruns, missed episodes, commercial breaks, horrible german dubs, and having to plan my day around somebody elses idea of a timetable.

  59. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I'm amazed it's only 50%

    Just about everything I watch is repeated within a week (on the smae channel) and/or an hour later on SquareEyes Plus 1. Even Dave, a channel founded on repeats, has Daveja Vu.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TV?!?

    Who needs TV when we have ninjavideo.net?

  61. Chika
    FAIL

    TV Standards Come On Down!!!

    The number of channels has fragmented the audience so that the money has to be spread that more thinly. The money that each channel gets, therefore, is much less. It is cheaper to buy the rights to repeat something than it often is to make something new because, in making something new, you never know if you are going to cover the cost (what might sound good at the time might not give your viewers the incentive to watch, so nobody wants to buy it or the ads you put in). The only thing that you can make cheaply are those things that require no preparation, for example reality TV, minimal setup quizzes, chat shows and talent comps.

    The audience doesn't just get fragmented, it gets bored. It gets fed up with being pumped by increasing amounts of sales blurb, bored of repeats and the rest. They want something new. So they bugger off elsewhere. The pub. The PC. DVDs. ANYTHING except the TV. The audience gets thinner, the revenue gets tighter, the programmes get worse.

    Solution? You can probably guess the primary one. Kill off the channels that make no contribution. Give the audience some incentive to watch. Stop screwing the public with endless adverts and poorly made shows. Restore the regions so that they get shows applicable to their viewers' interests. Bring back the IBA. Tell Murdoch to go... well, he probably already does that but remove his overreaching control on British television.

    More channels are only better if there is anything to show on them. Admit it, MAGGIE WAS WRONG.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If TV consists mainly of repeats

    I know a lot of the people who post here work with computers and while I'm sure we all love a busman's holiday there's a whole world out there that lives outside the rectangular glowing idiot-box.

    If the TV's so full of repeats it makes you want to hang yourself why not follow the advice of that long-running TV show and Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    ITV 3

    Is a bit like being inside an expiring octogenarians head as he relives his glory days while trying to work out when exactly 'past it' kicked in.

    Paris; a serious rival to ITV for "pointless"

  64. John H Woods

    The good stuff is still there...

    ... you just have to find it. Anyway the licence fee is IMHO worth it just for R3, R4, BBC4 and the website. There are too many here moaning about the populist programmes on the populist channels. If this garbage wasn't on, the beeb would be letting down the majority of its viewers - now that WOULD be a waste of tax(licence) payers money. But watch (or better, record) stuff that is on outside peak times or on channels that are intended for the <10% of people with >50% of a brain, and there is certainly enough content there to justify 50p a day.

    Oh, and producing news is more expensive than you think, unless you are just mashing up what has been reported elsewhere ...

    PS: I have an idea for a populist yet useful programme - live coverage of a campaign to hunt down and sterilize anyone who has appeared on Jeremy Kyle. Or watched it, come to that.

  65. pienmashfilms

    Along with the news repeats

    I have the bog standard freeview and I'm fed up with watching the same regurgitated awful humourless comedies and series broadcast from one channel to the next: BBC1 and BBC2 quizes and shows show up again on Dave and Dave2 but this time 'surprise surprise' they're on a channel with advertising. Are the BBC making hidden profits from the License payers when they sell these shows on?

    I'm also tired of the same news items rotated every hour on the news channels. There's a big wide world out there, they keep force feeding us with the news that they want us to hear - I want to know what it being kept quiet!

    Back to the independent DVDs for the Xmas viewing for me. Check out Pie 'n' Mash Films.

  66. Anonymous Bastard
    FAIL

    Show Percentage

    And just as annoyingly at least 44.8% of each show is repeating the rest of the episode. I've noticed typical reality TV (it's all that is made now) runs thus:

    - Preview

    - Titles

    - Recap of preview

    - Introduction including preview of what's coming up

    - Advert break

    - Recap of introduction

    - Repeat of preview

    - Original content!!

    - 2nd preview

    - Advert break

    - Recap of 2nd preview

    - Rest of content

    - Recap

    - Titles overlaid with preview of next program.

    Sadly much of the content itself is embarrassing silences and not-tense pauses. It isn't exciting to stop talking mid sentence although it allows time to put the kettle on.

  67. Alan Brown Silver badge
    Troll

    license fees

    Someone remind me why my license fee (which incidentally is legally a tax but is collected by a private company)

    1: Should pay for non-locally produced content?

    2: Shouldn't be available to non-BBC entities who produce local programs?

    3: Is paying for audio RADIO transmissions? (Whatever happened to radio licences? Oh yes, they got too hard to enforce)

    The BBC makes a tidy profit on selling Top Gear, etc overseas. Why isn't that clawed back?

    Back on topic: Does anyone have stats on HOW Ofcom came to the 48% mark?

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