I remember a time, growing up in the 1980s, when there was real anticipation for what the BBC and ITV would pull out of the hat for the post-Queen’s Speech Christmas premiere or blockbuster.
In an age where video recorders had only just arrived, there were barely four terrestrial channels, and you had little choice but to watch the broadcasters’ choice, this worked quite well.
As video recorders took hold, I began to think that the channel wars were just a tad pathetic. After all, if you really wanted to watch two programmes that clashed, you just recorded one of them and played it back later.
I suppose broadcasters bank on the likelihood that most people will be stuffed and near-comatosed by 3pm on Christmas Day, but really, good though Finding Nemo and Shrek 2 are, they don’t feel like exclusives any more.