In the pub last night, wistfully looking at the big screen knowing that 24 was on Sky and this could be a method through which I could see it. It did not happen of course. Which made me think about the use of said big screens. Its all sport, sport, sport. Now I like a bit of sport, and it fits nicely in the pub. You don’t have to listen too hard, you can drift in and out of it, but you can get a bit of communal atmosphere going. But what else could they show on these screens?

Usually we get MTV or VH-1. Which is fine, if distracting (though nowhere near as bad as a TV showing MTV and playing its juker at the same time.) When VH-1 did its top 100 videos it was fine for a bit of punditry. But it still lacks imagination. What you need is something that works as communal viewing, but doe s not need to be concentrated on. In the 15 screened Windmill, myself and other publoggers scurried on 9/11 knowing that we would get beaucoup du news. But you rarely get news on these screens.

The vaguely lamented Jailhouse on Holloway Road had a barman who was innovative. Sunday evenings he used to show the new Simpsons double bill between 6-7pm, and give away free doughnuts for the hour. It worked quite well, though it was not idea for concentrating on some of the finer dialogue based gags. Over the road, but a few years later, The Head was easily persuaded to drop its big screen for that evenings Big Brother. BB was perfect in pub TV, and I was always surprised no-one else did it. Indeed apart from this pocket of ground breaking usages on the Holloway Road, there really isn’t any play with what could be done with the TV in pubs. Perhaps 24 would not be ideal, though it seems to tick a fair few boxes in my experience of communal viewing. Perhaps pub Sky only has the channels between 400-500 to play with?