Goodbye to all the rubbish my TV has been pumping out

It is clear that as consumers of pay TV in this region, we are not getting a very good deal. We are paying Premier League prices and getting fourth division viewing instead.

Every episode of Ice Road Truckers features ice, road and truckers. Alaska Journal of Commerce / R Stapleton via AP Photo
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Another episode of Ice Road Truckers finishes. The title is entirely accurate. Every show features ice, roads and truckers in roughly equal proportion, occupying the rectangular box in the corner of the room where drama, tension and entertainment should live.

It wouldn't be so bad if this type of show had a channel dedicated to it somewhere in the high triple digits on the remote control. Instead, it all ends up on the History channel, thrown together randomly like an international brigade of bad television.

Truckers, tunnellers, lumberjacks - take your tedious pick.

The assumption is that people who like history will probably also enjoy watching a bunch of hairy Canadians felling conifers or driving across the tundra and then, gasp, breaking down. The schedulers have given us a collective viewing anorak to wear.

I have to deal with enough Canadians with beards at work every day without having to watch them on the telly when I get home. It's not as if you ever get to see one of the truckers being attacked by a sea lion while changing a tyre, or one of the lumberjacks losing a few digits in a spectacular, lens-splattering chainsaw mishap. That might be worth the subscription. Instead, we have to listen to their endless forest politics with the occasional buzz of a two-stroke Husqvarna providing the only relief to their droning chat.

Pawn Stars is one of the latest arrivals to History. It's a fly-on-the-wall format featuring a family of tubby American pawnbrokers, as they buy and sell the wedding rings and keepsakes of subprime America. The folk at History think this is so compelling that they allow us to watch consecutive episodes, taking out entire evenings and afternoons of viewing.

BBC Entertainment is another channel where you might expect to see the best shows from one of the world's most famous broadcasters. But that is really only true for people whose idea of entertainment is watching back-to-back episodes of The Weakest Link, a British quiz show conceived with the principal purpose of making every viewer feel smart. If you haven't seen the show, hosted by the acerbic Anne Robinson, here are some sample questions and answers recorded over the years:

Q: What is the name of the insect which makes honey? A: Honey Fly.

Q: What X is the fear of foreigners or strangers? A: The X Factor.

Q: What is the name of the large absorbent cloth used to dry the body after a bath or shower? A: Sponge.

Q: The word ape is an anagram of which small vegetable? A: Apple.

Q: What Z is used to describe a human who has returned from the dead? A: Unicorn.

For unrestricted access to such high-quality viewing, I pay my TV and phone provider Dh209 (US$56.90) a month. Compare that with Sky Atlantic, the recently launched premium content channel in the UK that broadcasts all of HBO's offerings and some of the best contemporary shows in the US.

It costs the equivalent of about Dh115 a month with free evening and weekend landline calls, 20Mb broadband and even a Dh147 Marks & Spencer voucher thrown in.

It is clear that as consumers of pay TV in this region, we are not getting a very good deal. We are paying Premier League prices and getting fourth division viewing instead. Internet connections offered by some of the same providers are even worse. If I want to view a three-minute YouTube clip at home, I can make a cup of tea, have a game of darts, play keepy-uppy with one of the kids' teddy bears and watch an episode of the Ice Road Truckers in the time it takes to download.

That's why I've finally had enough of lousy television and lousier internet connections. For the time being, my set-top decoder may be sitting smugly in the corner. But come the end of the month when my contract expires, it will be heading on its final journey to the Sharjah landfill site - the natural home for the over-priced rubbish it has spewed out these past years.

As Anne Robinson would say: "You are the weakest link. Goodbye!"