What's Your TV Experience Like in Your Country?

Topic started by takashichea on Feb. 27, 2014. Last post by DBZ_universe 10 months, 1 week ago.
Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25

Welcome everyone! I'm Taka, your hermit in this community. I say hermit because I haven't seen a lot of movies or TVs. That will change. I started this thread because back in Anime Vice, I did cultural interviews with individuals around the world. I wanted to promote cultural diversity and awareness. I learned a lot about their outlook on anime in their culture. If you're interested, see Vice Pit: Around the World. I interviewed folks from UK, America, Holland, and Uganda. I wanted to do this with Screened but in a more roundtable discussion format.


I'm from England in the UK.

We mostly watch American imported shows, that's what dominates most of our channels. Our main channels are:

  • BBC One - a tax-funded channel that is quite conservative, it features a lot of original dramas and a lot of reality television too such as documentaries, Eurovision, The Voice UK and one of it's most viewed series is Eastenders, a soap. There are no commercials on this channel. It also has a lot of sports coverage.
  • BBC Two - similar to BBC One, it has original programmes that are mainly focused on arts, culture and science. Although it does have shows that differ.
  • ITV - A lot less restricted than the BBC, it has more reality game shows, soap-operas and original dramas.
  • Channel 4 - Some people say its the rogue network. It's quite free in the shows it publishes, the shows tend to be a lot grittier, more outrageous with its comedy programmes and features a lot of original comedy shows.
  • Channel 5 - It features soaps imported from Australia like Home and Away and Neighbours as well as original reality shows.

Those are the TV channels that most of the UK watches, I myself, have always preferred American television and it's really annoying that we have to wait longer to get them. :/

@etragedy: Aaah really? - that's pretty cool! I remember when we only had the main 5 channels. Now we have 100's, depending on who provides your television subscription service. With mine, we have way too many channels. Although now, because everyone has to have digital TV, everyone is guaranteed to have "Freeview" where you simply just buy a digital TV box in store and you have a set number channels, about 60+ so people now watch shows outside of the top 5 channels.

Doctor Who is still very popular, but what mostly dominates is reality shows, Strictly Come Dancing (UK's Dancing with the Stars) and X-Factor (although slipping in ratings, it's still very big) are probably the most watched here. And of course the soaps, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks. Everyone seems to watch those, although I really don't like them. & yes, those three shows are still very popular here, so many people watch Sherlock and everyone seems to be talking about Downton Abbey, although I haven't seen either. Also, it should be noted that two of the biggest shows on TV here right now is "Made in Chelsea" and "The Only Way is Essex" - reality series about socialites in their 20's.

Channel 4 (and E4, Channel 4's offshoot aimed at teenage to younger adult viewers) tends to show a lot of U.S. imported shows such as: Glee, 90201, Agents of SHIELD and also created the popular Skins and Misfits.

@takashichea: I'm not familiar with the British dubbed shows! - I used to watch anime online, in either American dub or with subtitles, but most British audiences really do prefer British shows, and so it's understandable that they'd prefer a UK dub. I remember as a young teen/child watching Escaflowne, Naruto, Cardcaptor Sakura and Tenchi Muyo on the kids channels in the American dub, which I loved. But those shows aren't on TV anymore.

@takashichea: The Brits are quite a narrow minded society, I'm one of them so I can say it! - so it's right to say that Anime probably won't even be generally popular here. I remember quite a few years ago there was a great Anime TV channel that I loved, but it didn't last long before it shut down. The dominance is probably football, Brits love soccer/football to death.

It does shock me how different the UK perspective on TV is compared to America and other countries. As a country, you could say British TV is not afraid to be racier and more controversial than US shows, but even though that's the case, it's scared to delve into accepting Anime.


To a good extent, I'm quite oblivious to current trends with movies and TV shows that have come out in recent years. I think I can owe much of that to my binging on anime over the past few years in my spare time, which I had plenty of while I was seeking work while unemployed. This is likely to change sometime in the next year as I'm starting to wind down on my exposure to anime thanks to the increasing difficulty I've had over the past year of finding anything that can get my interest out of the medium.


I live in Austria, which has something like six main-TV-stations (There are more, but mostly unnoticed). The lack of Austrian TV-Stations can be made up by German-TV, which offers much, much more variety.

Sadly most movies/series are german dubbed, the German/Austrian viewership dislikes subtitles in general.

While sometimes German/Austrian movies are shown on TV, most of the series and movies are from the USA.


I grew up in one of the original TV markets in the U.S. A lot of early broadcasters got their start in my city. Originally there were 3 networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) and two UHF stations, one of which was the first PBS (public) station in the U.S. Originally all were black and white, but when I was still a toddler most stations went to color and we got our first color TV set. About a decade later we got cable television in the area. It was controlled by a switcher box connected to the TV by a cord (no wireless remote control). This was the early day of cable TV and channels like MTV and HBO were new. Much of the cable badwidth was not used - there were a lot of empty slots and the technology was underutilized. Even back then there was the ability for interactive TV through the box (up to five 'choices') but I only remember ever seeing one interactive TV show and it only lasted a couple episodes.

As part of the cable monopoly's deal with the city they had to provide public access to the airwaves. That is where, as a teenager I first learned television lighting, camera work and studio directing as well as field camera operation. I took the classes to help a friend's dad produce a TV show about real estate investment. That began my long career in film and television.

Though I have mostly worked in TV, my true love has always been movies. Today I live in a rural part of North America with no movie theater, and we still do not have digital cable in this area. We do have old fashioned analog cable TV and I have a Blu-Ray player with an Internet connection. Mostly I just watch movies on DVD or through streaming services like Netflix.

Ironically when I was a kid growing up in the midwestern U.S., there were only 5 channels yet people spent hours watching TV every day. Now we have access to hundreds of channels and most people I know, including myself spend relatively few hours each week watching over-the-air TV.

Currently I am doing research on International media, so this thread is very interesting to me. Especially the responses by and .

@CherryBomb: Last time I was in London was about 25 years ago. There was only one BBC channel (or maybe two). And it seemed like almost nobody watched TV. I'm guessing there's pretty much hundreds of channels by now?

I'm also curious what shows are most popular. Back then in the U.S.A. we only got 'Doctor Who' late at night in reruns, and I loved that show. But given how long-running the show was, I was surprised when I went to England how many people didn't watch it, or hadn't even heard of it. It wasn't until I went into Forbidden Planet (science fiction bookstore) that I actually found people who watched it. At the time 'EastEnders' was all the rage. I hated that show, but I think there was probably some cultural divide.

The most popular BBC programs in the U.S.A. in recent years seem to have been 'Doctor Who', 'Downton Abbey' and 'Sherlock'. Are/were these as popular there?


I live in Florida, in the US. When I was really young we had basic cable before downgrading to just the big networks (NBC, ABC, local channels, ect.) around my high school years.

When I got to college, some cable channels were included and I've kept cable ever since.

It's almost always the basic package and almost always for only a handful of channels and not much else. Being able to watch baseball in the summer and football in the fall are two big reasons I haven't unplugged completely and transitioned to Netflix and Amazon Instant only. It also provides good background noise, which is 90% of the reason I ever have my TV on.

For awhile there was only one choice as a cable provider. Eventually companies like Verizon, Comcast, and others moved in.


To be honest, I don't really know. I mainly buy the DVDs.


I used to lived in the rural districts of Battambang miles away from the capital city which had more access to TV. I had Charter during middle school for a year. That was when I first accessed anime from Tech TV and the International channel (now known as AZN channel). The International Channel was interesting because I got to learn more about countries like Singapore. We chose Charter because it had the Khmer channel. Somehow, Charter cut off our cable. Dad refuses to buy any cable provider because of how Charter treated our neighborhood which was predominantly Hispanic and southeast Asian demographic. When I was in college and moved to a better neighborhood, family got Verizon Fios because it had access to the Khmer channel. This channel was better because it stream news and TV from the old home country.


Before my interviews (UK part 1 and 2), I used to think that anime was hot in the UK just like the America. When I did my interviews, I was surprised how the anime market in the UK was niche and small. Supreme Marvel shared that foot ball was all the rage in Liver Pool. He said that anime would not reach main stream potential just like the states. Nowadays, anime became more niche and more accessible on the internet. TV doesn't help promote anime.

Didn't mean to delve into anime. I just couldn't think of any other questions. E tragedy is a better interviewer. I'm such a TV noob. I'm pretty fascinated by the UK and their culture. It's becoming a melting pot (culturally diverse) or it already became a melting pot.

Thanks guys for sharing your stories! I enjoy reading them. I hope everyone enjoys sharing their stories. This will make Screened more diverse and tight knit.

Post by sickVisionz (4,327 posts) See mini bio Level 24

I'm in America. TV sucks. There are like 300 channels and networks. There are only 4 networks that aren't shit (AMC, HBO, and sometimes FX or Showtime). All of them require you pay like $40 a month for cable, half of them charge like an extra $20 on top of that to get to their content. Of that small selection of networks with potential to air stuff that isn't ass, it's extremely rare for any one of them to air more than one decent show in a season.

Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25


Yeah, it does. I mainly watch TV on HULU Plus. However, it doesn't have shows like Walking Dead for me. I think. Cable is expensive.

Post by sickVisionz (4,327 posts) See mini bio Level 24

@takashichea: I get AMC stuff via Amazon on Demand. I can buy an entire season of two shows for the price of one month of cable.

Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25


Is Amazon on Demand cheaper than DVDs in the long run?

Post by taichokage (17,153 posts) See mini bio Level 20
American TV really is bad in about 95%+ of instances. I don't even watch TV anymore and haven't had cable for several years.
Post by Sonata (36,215 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I'm in the same boat as and American TV just sucks now. I hardly watch anything on it outside of some sports games.

Post by Acura_Max (2,433 posts) See mini bio Level 13


Post by Bigheart711 (4,387 posts) See mini bio Level 21

I even hardly watch TV anymore except for a few shows. I'm also from the US and most of everything aired over here is complete drivel and utter trash, especially daytime TV. It's why I either have my YouTube app on (via Wii U or PS3) or my Crunchyroll app.

Post by katmic (570 posts) See mini bio Level 10

Okay, it's strange how different the views are here in Uganda, East Africa, on the matter of TV from everywhere else (at least based on this post and comments). People here love, and i mean, LOVE TV. We have a bunch of local channels that probably show local programming, but most people are hooked on western, largely American programming. The largest satellite TV provider here is a south African Company called Multichoice that is pretty much available everywhere in Africa. For $70 a month, we get most major American and British programming, sometime even the channels themselves; satellite TV was initially a fair for the more well off until a few years ago when smaller newer local satellite TV companies emerged and brought western programming to the masses, and they haven't looked back since.

First, people here love Telenovas. Again by love, i mean LOVE. My dad will cause a ruckus in traffic jam if there is a chance that he might be even one minute late for his favorite Spanish soaps. And he isn't the only one. Men and Women rush back home in droves every evening to watch this stuff. And now that we have a channel called Telenova, things have gotten out of hand. Walk into a salon and chances are everyone will be having as raucous a discussion about telenovas as a couple of guys in a bar talking foot ball.

Foot ball is the only thing bigger here than telenovas. And especially the premier league; forget about local stuff; if it isn't the world cup or Africa cup of nations, no one cares. They're all glued to Europe and its leagues; which is probably why sports betting has become a massively profitable industry here. Uganda is the same country where people bet their wives and houses over Manu, Arsenal games. Its crazy (i don't like sports).

We watch all the latest TV programs (FYI, by 'we' i mean people here). We love reality TV, especially contests like Idols, Xfactor, housewives of something (our libraries are filled with this stuff). The fact that my Dad and Mom watch E! still shocks me to this day. People here love keeping up with the latest...everything (celebrities, lives of the rich and famous) beyond Africa, and this includes anime and manga fans here, who simply love japan (their view of the country largely informed by what they see in anime).

TV shows rule over movies, which is why DVD pirating is big. People here will rush to (Indian owned) pirating DVD libraries to get the first episode of Sherlock or the walking dead or Grey's anatomy; yes, buying an entire DVD with a single episode on it. As such you find someone with a pile of DVDs of the very same season of the same series, each with more episodes than the last. But you can blame that on our expensive internet. With our fastest internet provider charging $600 for monthly unlimited internet, most people turn to the indians for their weekly, fort nightly or monthly series updates.

We otaku are lucky. With anime we simply share updates on anime episodes and manga; though the anime fan base is currently restricted to college and high school students, many of whom actually stream their series legally (universities having free internet and all that-though most such otaku are up by 4AM to satiate there downloads needs).

Doctor who is gaining considerable hold here (mostly among otaku, but its finding fans outside as well); we get BBC here as well (which is how most of us accidentally stumbled upon doctor who) and doctor who is the only show that surpasses downton abbey in popularity here in terms of BBC programming. Though top gear surpasses them all. We love out Clarkson. 24 had a massive fan base here during its run, and its return is already exciting TV viewers. We also continued to appreciate Heroes long after most world viewers discarded it.

Korean dramas seem to be gaining ground because they are on ALL our local channels, and despite the subtitles people are eating them up. Actually the subtitles don't matter, there are people here that translate these shows into the local language. And by translate i don't mean professionally, rather you have this one guy (just voice) on the DVD basically narrating the story as the series/movie progresses. Its the reason why the millions here who don't know English know who Cumber...the fellow in Sherlock is.

My personal tastes: i find few other series on TV as interesting as Justified and Person of Interest. I also watch Hell on Wheels, Walking dead, supernatural (sort of, its a little odd these days), Grimm, Haven, vampire diaries, Nikita...and a few more series i can't remember.

Oh and Doctor who and Justified over most of everything here.

Post by Fat_Magnum (2,493 posts) See mini bio Level 16

I stopped watching TV about twelve years ago because it just kind of hurts to try, but every now and again these days a lady tells me I should watch Doctor Who, Sherlock or whatever their favorite anime happens to be. Sometimes I do, on the internet.

When I was younger, I mostly watched whatever anime Cartoon Network would air in the afternoons after I was home from school. (US)

Post by sickVisionz (4,327 posts) See mini bio Level 24

@takashichea: It's $2 per SD episode. Not bad if you're only watching one or two things as you're only paying like McDonalds cheeseburger per week. Most shows only cost you like $24-26 per season. I like it because it's Amazon so it's always up and anywhere you have the internet you can watch it and new episodes come out at like 7AM the day after they air. It's cheaper than DVDs for a while. Eventually DVDs will go on sale though and probably be cheaper though. On the other hand, by the time they go on sale the season is probably up on Netflix.

Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25

Oh wow! Thank you guys for your comments. It means a lot. I didn't tell you guys that this thread came from Screened. Because Screened is ending on March 14, 2014, I had to transfer my projects and wiki just to preserve them. To remind everyone that we had a wonderful site.


I only had cable for a year in middle school. Until college, the family took Verizon Fios as our TV provider because it had the Khmer Channel. I only watch cable for Adult Swim, Young Justice, and Korra.


You are the biggest football fan in this community. I should try getting into sports. For anime, I was into Kuroko's Basketball even though I'm not a big basketball fan.


What's wrong, Acura? I don't understand.


Same here. Just using HULU Plus and Crunchyroll mainly.


Wow, thanks for sharing your experiences from country. I still remember our interview (AV MOD MATERIAL: The Anime Fan's Experience in Africa). My parents are big fans of American Idol and America got Talent. A lot of the older generation in my neighborhood watch soap operas, mainly Chinese, Thai, and Khmer. TV is one way to connect a country to the world. I can see why they're interested in the international sports.


That was my pretty my middle school life. Watching Toonami every afterschool evening until Charter pulled the plug on us. I only had a year of cable until college.

Post by Sonata (36,215 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@takashichea: You just need a team to root for and that's were the passion begins. That reminds me that March is here now, and the NCAA Tournament is around the corner I should bring the Bracket Contest back to AV
Post by Dekken (591 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I live in Mexico and our main channels are: Canal de las estrellas, Azteca 7, Azteca 13, Galavisión, Canal 5 and Foro TV.

From these, the only one I used to watch a lot, was Azteca 7, because it had The Simpsons and american series like Criminal Minds, Bones and Grey's Anatomy (all dubbed). Right now I don't watch TV anymore, but I still watch Warner Channel from time to time, just for Friends and The Big Bang Theory (both subbed).

And talking about anime, I remember the good days when Animax was still airing, the series it had weren't the best, but it was great to have a channel of only anime, I got interested in Full Metal Alchemist thanks to it. Unfortunately at some point, the channel started airing shows that weren't anime and after that, it was replaced with Sony Spin.

Also, long time ago, I used to watch Naruto in Cartoon Network and I even tried to watch One Piece at 3:30 am in Canal 5 (with no success, because I always forgot to do it).

Post by Kuma_From_Argentina (7,179 posts) See mini bio Level 14

I live in Argentina our main channels are: America Tv (2) Television Publica (7) Canal 9 (9) Telefe (11) El Trece (13)

Telefe has the Simpsons. And saturday morning anime (Dragonball Z, Inuyasha, Shaman King and Monster Rancher) With a sign language lady in a corner making signs for Dragonball.....

Apart from that all the rest is original shows, not much imports. Television Publica is a goverment channel and is awfully pro-goverment, while El Trece is anti-goverment also to ridiculous levels

I have cable TV and I usually watch that or Netflix

Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25


I didn't know you were a fan of Big Bang Theory. I watch the show a lot but not much. I should get into Grey's Anatomy.

Was Animax a cable exclusive channel? I never had cable until college. I heard there was FUNimation channel on Verizon Fiols when I got that service. I realize you had to pay for a subscription. I was dependent on online streaming sites at that time. I figured it was better to go with Crunchyroll than FUNimation channel at the time. Before college, the only time I got anime was in middle for only a year. There were no anime channels. The big sources were Tech TV (now known as G4, but it turned into something else later on) with Anime Unleashed, mainly Sci-Fi anime, International Channel with occasional anime films (all subbed), Kids WB, Fox Box, and Cartoon Network's Toonami.


I wish I interviewed you earlier if I knew you from Latin America. Back then, I did the cultural interviews:

The only 3 folks I knew that were from Mexico, Central, and Latin America were Dekken, Halberdierv2 (Dominican Republic), and DBZ Universe (Caesar). I had a chance to interview Caesar who is a 1.5 generation Mexican American. Hal wanted me to find another user from the Carribean. I hadn't much luck. I searched the community, and I realized we had Where are you from? thread. Wished I knew we had a thread. I don't think we had any users.

Yeah, if you know another person from Latin, Central, or Caribbean countries, I would love interview you and your friend. I'll ask Tom to post on the front news.

Thanks for sharing your TV experiences.

In the states, we had Saturday morning cartoons, both with western and Japanese animation. Now, it's dying a bit. Only Vortex (formerly known as Kids WB) is the mainstream channels (channels that exist in antenna, basic cable and such) that has anime.

Post by etragedy (7 posts) See mini bio Level 6

I would like to hear from people in other English speaking countries that aren't the US or the UK - especially, South Africa and Australia... anyone?

Also, is CherryBomb on here? I'd like to hear her opinion on BSkyB?

Post by takashichea (15,994 posts) See mini bio Level 25


You can ask about his experiences. He's from Uganda, but he has some friends in South Africa, I believe.

Post by DBZ_universe (15,960 posts) See mini bio Level 17

Ha just noticed this, I also rarely watch TV. I only watch Boomerang if I watch TV. I have a 50 inch in my room and I hardly even use it since I do everything by phone..even my 70 inch is hardly watched.

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