I’ve been thinking about this lately. You can choose who provides with you a phone line, who connects you to the www, and even, increasingly, who supplies your gas and electricity. But can you choose who provides you with TV? The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can choose to add another TV service, such as Sky, but no, you cannot decide not to receive state TV channels, so you still have to pay a TV licence.
This, in today’s liberalized world, is a wee bit mad, if you ask me. Here in Italy where you have to pay a licence fee to enable you to watch what is generally commercials mixed in with mediocrity, I would love to be able to decide whether to pay to see either Sky or RAI. And I would not care one jot if I lost the ability to see RAI. From what I’ve seen of Sky, it’s oodles better, even if it has got quite a few commercials. But at least with Sky there is a wide variety of programming so you can choose between programmes for the brain dead and something a little bit more interesting. With RAI (and Mediaset) you do not have much choice, unless you love mindless quiz shows, cheesy cabarets or cop dramas. OK, so some of the cop dramas are not too bad, and they would be OK, if it weren’t for the fact that they are just about the only thing worth watching. Yes, the choice is a little limited.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
Will the ‘unbundling’ of the TV market up ever happen? Probably not in the neat future. Although I bet Sky would jump for joy if it were to happen. I reckon that given a straight choice between RAI and Sky most Italians would go for Sky. And it would be bye bye RAI. In such circumstances Mediaset would not fare much better either. Indeed it was Mediaset that started the so-called ‘popular-programming’ thing.
Pie in the Sky.