The BBC has come under criticism for doing too many repeats of programmes with the implication that a substantial majority of its screenings should be original material. This time round the inclination is to say the BBC is doing the right thing by providing a regular pattern of repeats at widely varying times.
For us and for very many people now TV watching is about flexibility, being able to watch a programme appropriate to either mood or personal time obligations and with choices about when to “box” either “one off” programmes with repeats or a series.
It is especially useful if the diary is becoming complicated and you are watching a series where you want to see all or most of the programmes. That the BBC now routinely is giving extra screenings across its channels for many programmes is consistent with the way many viewers now operate and the way that other channels manage their outputs.
Additionally, there are screenings where sometimes you want to see it more than once if there is something to think about or on a particular topic that catches the interest. This is especially so where a drama, live performance or demanding programme occurs.
One programme recently is a case in point for us. It was the one hour short biography of Marie Curie. It covered a lot of ground in a short time and there were one to two things that might need a revisit to check up on impressions.
To all this might be added the many programme clashes now across the channels and also the functioning of the saving system and reruns from the box. There are times when the extras screenings at alternative times is a great help whatever channels are involved.
These include the BBC. For those with a TV and box now there are still many who do not have a computer or who do not really want to do their TV viewing on one. There have been times when the internet screenings have come in useful for us but as we are paying we prefer to watch TV programmes on the TV.
We would go further and only wish that the BBC could reclaim from its archives many of the programmes of the past, whether popular, serious, Arts or sport that are still gathering dust but which many would like to see.
Some of these might turn up later on the commercial channels but these in turn are limited for a number of reasons and where they go are also repeated many times where the viewing figures hold up.
It is not just the BBC that is affected by the “loss” or “gone missing” of a good deal of decent watching. The former ITV channels now have a large body of material that is not just entertaining but also actually historic which is very rarely tapped or used. This is a considerable loss to our understanding of the media of the past.
Carry On Repeating is often a show to watch.