Friday, January 18, 2008

Carving up the BBC licence fee is dumb

I'm sure there will be quite a few right-wingers out there that will be pleased with news that the £3.4bn the BBC receives from the licence fee may be carved up with commercial operators. Obviously those that say they "believe" in the BBC will think it's the end of the world and someone somewhere will note how it is caving into profit and the talk of funding right-wing propaganda will probably appear.

Personally, I don't think that it should be done. After all, commercial outlets operate under heavy regulations already which stop them really being allowed to have an opinion. As such, there is a mythical notion of impartiality pushed throughout the broadcast industry.
What would it mean for those commercial enterpruses if they started receiving public money?

If a commercial operator gets public funds how will they be governed to prove what is and what is not being funded by the public in their output? You can imagine what will happen already, if, for example, a documentary that goes against the grain of received wisdom is shown there will be all manner of crowing from people saying it is a misuse of public funds.

It already happens with the BBC from the Right as it is. If public funds are spent on commercial operators you can guarantee that accusations of bias programming using public funds will appear from the Left. What would be far more effective is to scrap the BBC Charter altogether, lose the licence fee and move some of the corporation's output to a subscription based service.

15 comments:

canvas said...

I think the BBC licence fee is an outdated idea and it should scrapped. I agree that it should be a subscription service.

Its days are numbered.

Ed said...

It sounds rather like the Labour Party aren't content with controlling the BBC and want to influence the other channels too with a bit of carrot in the form of public money.

With so much more TV bandwidth available now than when the regulations were written, isn't it time we had a proper re-think, rather than a bit of tinkering?

spanner said...

I have not gone into finances, but I basically agree with you, how about half the licence fee (this all going to the BBC) for say two TV channels ONLY, all other BBC services on subscription.

Anonymous said...

had you thought of employing a proofreader to make these rants comprehensible?

anthonynorth said...

Keep public money out of independent broadcasters, and scrap the BBC and licence. But they shouldn't go subscription. Advertise and sell. Get rid of some of the pointless digital channels.

Anonymous said...

We are constantly being told about the outstanding quality of the services supplied by the BBC.

If that truely is the case then there should be no problem putting the whole thing on a subscription service.

I look forward to the day this happens and I can keep my money in my pocket, to be spent on something I choose "freely" to spend it on.

Anonymous said...

That fool lembit was wittering about this and he said the extra bit the BBC get for the digital switchover could be given to other broadcasters.
He never even considers giving it back to the taxpayer wot a pratt.

Geezer said...

Absolutley right Dizzy!
The problem with merely spreading public money around, is that the same bunch of lefty twats, will still be making the same shite, with the same production companies, just broadcast on a non-BBC channel, that said, anything that reduces the size and influence of the BBC, is to be welcomed. If nothing else, it paves the way for more radical reforms.
And with the digital switch over completed by 2012, it will mean that every household will have the capability, or could be cheaply upgraded, to receive encrypted channels. If you don't pay for it, you don't receive it.
The end of the BBC juggernaught is edging closer.

And ed
Commercial TV and radio is already propped-up by the taxpayer, have you seen and heard the amount public sector ads on commercial TV and radio? it is a very big percentage.

Ed said...

Geezer, if I swept to power I would reduce the government's advertising spend to approximately zero on day one. I am fed up with being told through my telly to cut down on salt or to pump up my car tyres.

Alex said...

Isn't this just a move to spike the Conservatives' guns. I thought they had mooted a similar policy a few months ago. This is either "an attempt to head them" off or "a recognision of reality" depending where you sit.

Sepoy Agent said...

I'd like to think the commercial companies wouldn't want a share of the licence money. After all, with public money comes public interference.
But I don't agree with making the BBC a subscription service. It should take advertising like the commercials. Why should we pay a subscription for something which ITV is able to give us as freeview by taking advertising.

Mr Sock-Puppet said...

Destroy the BBC as a publically funded service. That's just like calling for the NHS to be privatised. Oh wait...

Just because some of the best ideas this country ever came up with are vaguely socialist is a reason to tear it up?

BBC is still cheaper than SKY. NHS is still cheaper than BUPA (especially if you have one of those tricky expensive diseases that require operations).

Tearing up for it's own sake is regressive. The BBC is still respected the world over. The NHS is used as model the world over.

Sorry that a bunch of 'commies' came up with the idea but us unwashed quite like both.

Live with it

dizzy said...

"The NHS is used as model the world over."

Hahahahaha no it isn't. The NHS is a pretty unique thing, and it's primary uniqueness is that no other developed nation int eh world chose to use it as a model for healthcare provision. The rest of world went down insurance-based social medical care model which actually worked. And it is not cheaper than BUPA for me either.

Auditor said...

UK tv producers have a huge and growing market for quality programming. If it wasn't for their culture of handouts and liberal whining, they would and should be a world beating industry thats contributing billions to the UK economy.

The BBC is not great. Its just a very big boy sucking the tit of its aging mother.

Hardly anybody in the MSM will speak out at BBC failings because they cannot afford to criticise an organisation that will probably end up being their employer.

BBC should be sold off piecemeal. All licence fee payers should have their fees for the past 10 years repaid with interest,

Clunking Fist said...

"The NHS is used as model the world over."

"Hahahahaha no it isn't." says Dizzy.
ACtually it is used as themodel for the New Zealand Health system.

Needless to say, the NZ system displays similar levels of disfunction as the NHS...