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I think I’m ready to let go.

It’s taken until the 3 month anniversary of this 12 month sabbatical from watching sport to deal with it, but one of the looming spectres of the journey has been the ongoing presence of pay tv in my home. It has, in essence, acted as a safety net in the event that this journey ‘doesn’t work out’ and I move back to my old habits; albeit in a less obsessive manner. Hopefully.

I know that it will be costly for me to cancel my access and then, with a quick change of heart, ‘re-boot the system’ and subscribe once again, so I’ve tried to put this issue on the backburner. I have a file containing ideas for new postings for this blog and the ‘Foxtel’ one has been there since Day 1. I have, with skilful manipulation, managed so far to avoid a face-to-face confrontation with said posting suggestion, but with the ‘idea file’ diminishing, today became the day for an irrevocable confrontation; not quite up there with Harry Potter vs Voldemort but certainly better than any finale ‘The Block’ has to offer. (Editor’s note: any ‘Block’ reference will become outdated within the next 3-4 days.)

So, a tale of the tape for this matchup –

Pros for keeping pay tv –

  • Plenty of alternate viewing available, even without sport viewing. Lifestyle channels with renovation shows where rich English toffs fumble around trying to make even more money on their 3rd property generally leaves my wife in tears and me surfing the web on my iPhone.
  • The new tv rights deal for AFL football meaning that having Foxtel = live coverage of ev-er-y game from next year
  • Reneging on this ‘no sport’ expedition could see severe ‘post-non-purchase dissonance’ emerge at all-time highs (I knew my Marketing degree would come in handy one day – with ridiculously overstated terms like that.)

The case against Foxtel

  • The subtle pressure to ‘return to the good old days’ is just a click of a button away.
  • $64 a month – need  I say more…?
  • Not watching sport whilst paying for the privilege to do so is just damn stupid

And it’s the last two points that will, in all probability, lead me into action. The last 3 months has seen, in reality, almost $200 wasted. Another 9 months of this = another $900+.

I think I’m convinced.

A purpose to it 

(I pondered whether to even include these next few paragraphs. Can I keep them in and note that I’m not trying to bignote myself or position my family as Bill Gates-esque givers?! Thank you. I feel much better.)

I was quite positively challenged by Devin Rossiter’s ‘Year Without Football’, where I was encouraged to be pro-active with the money I might save in making this lifestyle change. I love the idea of not letting the $900 or so just seep into the family account, never to be thought of again.

My wife and I are challenged to be a positive presence in our community. Nowhere near some of the people we highly respect who devote their lives to this cause, but a desire is there to be a difference maker; however small.

Current discussions include –

  • Funding a street Christmas party for our little enclave; a concept that has been discussed for sometime by us and others, but of course, never acted on. ‘How much can a bbq cost?’ I hear you asking. But…, does your bbq have a jumping castle?! Little KK presents? Just thinking out loud here…
  • Keeping the money as a keepsake for someone who may desperately need it; with a deadline of Christmas/New Years to donate it.
  • Depositing it in the accounts of organisations such as World Vision for any of their programs for the East African emergency, the Pakistani floods, the ongoing assistance for Japan etc…

Again, a drop in the ocean, but still, it’s a pro-active response to our current scenario.

Game time?

The more I reflect on it, the more it becomes apparent that it may be time to make this final; dump the pay tv and look forward, not backward as this challenging ride unfolds. It’s not about the money; never has been. Greater rewards await.


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

2 responses »

  1. Bravo Evans!

  2. Interesting read Pete. I’ve never had foxtel, for no other reason than the fact that I’m tight…and the thought of ‘pay’ tv…never sounded as interesting as ‘free to air’ tv. Anyway, a small flickering thought fluttered through my head over the last few months to possibly, maybe, consider thinking about, getting foxtel. The only reason I would get it would be for the AFL live game situation.

    But…It seems that your blog has come at the same time that I’ve been asking some questions about my own ‘obsession’ with keeping up with the AFL that for now I just can’t do it. Sure it would be nice to be able to watch any game…but I know myself well enough to know that if it’s possible to watch every game…I probably will…or at the least I’ll be wanting to and sometimes that is just as distracting for me.

    I can’t get foxtel, and it’s got little to do with the money…I just can’t give up that much time for watching an urgent but seriously unimportant game, while my wife and daughter make sandcastles outside…

    Thanks for your blog, it’s helping me to process some of the grunts and groans that I’ve felt, but not necessarily been able to articulate, throughout this year.



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