As part of the new FreeView campaign, the phrase “we love our free TV” is used. There isn’t much to love about free TV these days, especially where channel 9 is concerned but it never used to be this way. With 9 offereing more 20-1 than ever, I thought I’d make my own 20-1 list based on what we used to love about our free TV – mind you, 20 years ago, Free TV was the only option other than hiring movies on VHS video. Considering free TV is no longer the only option, I would have thought they would have improved as opposed to declined.
20. Adults Only was known as AO – a rating, not part of the title.
19. Overnight you could watch news, music or old movies – no infomercials
18. Kids TV in the afternoon, sometimes till 5.30
17. There were no subscription mobile ads (and of course, no mobile phones, well at least not one smaller than a house brick)
16. Cartoons in the morning
15. Programs to watch between 9am and 11am other than talk morning shows
14. No trashy shows ever. Swearing was for the most part not allowed either (we all remember Kerry Packer ordering the Doug Mulray video show off back in the 90’s)
13. Stereo simulcasts on Fm radio for major movies like Star Wars (and I in fact connected extra speakers to my radio to make my own surround sound in 1986)
12. Timeslot changes and axings were rare and hardly ever happened the way it does now. Shows almost always remained on for their full season.
11. Reliable printed TV guides
10. The nightly current affairs shows once featured quality stories.
9. More Australian shows were on TV
8. Unmissable TV shows like Prisoner
7. Channel 9 news was the only news worth watching
6. Game shows were entertaining and watchable
5. Eddy McGuire was at home watching TV and noone knew who he was
4. 60 Minutes had hard hitting, quality stories
3. If a show was advertised as starting at 8.30, at worst, it would start at 8.31. Never 8.37 or later.
2. The first to TV Sunday night movie
1. Channel 9 always winning the ratings and known as “still the one”
And more: lets not forget those Demtel ads with the catch phrase “but wait … there’s more… ” and K-Tel selling vinyl record holders, and even records including Kamahl. And you might even get a set of free steak knives. There was still summer TV though. But back then, way before email, mobile phones, SMS, my space, facebook and twitter, you would actually spend time with people and less time in front of the TV, your phone or computer.