Paul Casserly watched too much TV as a child.

Sky's twilight years?

Send the MySky back? Get by with Netflix, or Quickflix or Lightbox, or even Neon? Or just learn to make do with Freeview, read more books and save nigh on a hundy a month.

As I'm keen on watching sports of many stripes, though mainly the meat and three veg provided by the ball-based amusements (occasional darts flirtation noted), I'm hopelessly tied to the monthly tithe.

But ditching it is, increasingly, becoming a consideration. My last bill was $111.33, which has me wondering if joining Destiny Church might be the cheaper option?

Like many of you I also pay a telco a good bung for their broadband, so online viewing begins to make all sorts of sense, even if my street is still a year away from the loving tentacles of the fibre network.

Yes, I could ditch Sky and use their Fan Pass (pay-as-you-go option for viewing sports) when I feel the need for sport, but that requires admin. And admin is the enemy.

Sky's attempt to stave off the tsunami named Netflix via their underwhelming on-demand supplementary update and box thingy hasn't helped matters, and that screen-clogging carry-on with old-person-irritating-small-text has made matters worse. Worse still, the fact that changing the channel on Sky now takes five seconds longer is a passion-killer for lovers of (channel) surfing.

If I was going to have a cut-the-chord-tantrum this was the moment I would have cracked, but alas, I have not. I say alas based purely on the cost of running Sky, which increasingly feels like riding in a Corporate Cab when I could just use Uber.

So why do I stay?

News is another reason. Freeview has Al Jazeera for a news fix, and it does a great job, but I like to check in with CNN and BBC (especially Dateline London) and during the run-up to a presidential election Fox News is infuriatingly watchable.

For premium HBO vibes, Soho has been a reliable addition and is my go-to channel with its Game of Thrones, Fargo, Ray Donovan, The Knick, Catastrophe.

Replays of classic series like The Sopranos and Deadwood keep it afloat during the down times when the likes of stupid old Strikeback clogs its arteries, but I have considered that I could get by with Lightbox and Netflix on that front -- and I could find the best of BBC and the worst of Fox from YouTube.

The inescapable truth is that it is mostly sport that keeps me tethered to Sky and it's been the introduction of useful services like SkyGo, rather than the useless new upgrade, that I really appreciate.

Don't get me wrong; I have a lot to be grateful for. The MySky video recorder has changed my life -- maybe not quite like the refrigerator or even the toaster, more on the George Foreman Grill or Nutra Ninja level, but still, life is better because of it.

And as much as I can't resist the urge to save myself money by using Uber, part of me hates being a pawn to some corporate American self-saucing 'disrupter' whose ability to maximize profit is matched by an aversion to paying tax.

Like Uber, Netflix may well be the inevitable winner, but as someone who has been backing the Sky horse for so long I want them to at least put up a better fight. The On Demand offering is lame, and the pickings are way too slim, and the way it first directs you to pay-per-view Box Office material is as subtle as those nasty hotel-room TV set-ups.

During the moments when RAIN FADE appears on the screen I curse Sky and pretend that I am actually considering breaking up with them. It's a hollow and short-lived threat. Which leads me to a tip.

I have recently developed a real-world application that largely fixes the RAIN FADE issue. It may possibly work for you. I head out on to my deck with a broom and give the dish the bash. A good seeing-to, like the ones the nuns used to dish out to Kiri Te Kanawa.

The metallic antenna wobbles, and hey presto, the screen comes back to life. It's a strangely satisfying feeling in this high tech world, and reminds me of cleaning the ignition points on my old Triumph Herald.

B y far the best thing I've seen of late is available to all, for free, via YouTube.

It's a documentary called Fifa, Sepp Blatter and Me.

This is the culmination of some 15 years of investigative journalism into the football institution by a charming old dude called Andrew Jennings who takes us behind the curtain of the world's biggest, most lucrative and possibly most corrupt sport.

But this is not just a damning indictment on Fifa's Mafia-like tendencies and its gallery of rouges, although that is part of the fun. Jennings is the star of this show, and he's great company as he dogs Sepp and his cronies, dressed like Peter Falk's Colombo and pretending to be a harmless old man.

They probably laughed him off a decade ago as he haunted their meetings and asked impertinent questions at airports.

But it's Jennings who gets to sit back in his home at the end of the documentary, barely concealing a chuckle, as he turns to the camera with a satisfied: "I told you he was a crook."

- NZ Herald

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