In traditional Irish pubs they never have TVs for that exact reason, to promote conversation between patrons and the bartenders. My then-SO and I used to frequent one pub in South Boston where we soon knew all the bartender's names and would play darts with other patrons.
However, when I'm travelling alone and have time to kill in an airport I usually sit at the bar to grab something to eat and drink. Sometimes the person next to you talks to you and sometimes not. It's nice to have a TV to stare mindlessly at.
Mr. Mayor, we ALL respect you even if Demi doesn't! That sure is one cute doggie!!! She's wondering, "Wow. How do all those animals get into that black box???"