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BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Old Jul 17th 2010, 6:47 am
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Default BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

The BBC licence fee could be cut under the Government's public spending austerity drive, the Culture Secretary has warned.
Mr Hunt continued that he could "absolutely" see viewers paying less than the current £145.50 a year after next year's negotiations with the Government.
"The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven't said anything about the way licence fee funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it."
The review process begins next year and a lower levy could be in place for 2012, the paper reported.

Mr Hunt added: "There's a moment when elected politicians have an opportunity to influence the BBC and it happens every five years. It is when the licence fee is renewed.
"The BBC will have to make tough decisions like everyone else. There are huge numbers of things that need to be changed at the BBC.

"They need to demonstrate the very constrained financial situation we are now in."

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Bus...ns_Of_Cutbacks
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 7:04 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

This is one of my 'pet hate' subjects.

BBC executives continually refer to the watching public as their "shareholders". Really?

Every year, the government/BBC demands that members of the public pay them a sum of money. This must be paid even if the public choose to watch only ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. In return, they are not given the opportunity to attend an AGM, question the company directors, approve their remuneration, etc.

Worst of all, a year later, their investment becomes worthless - they are asked to pay another lump sum all over again.

"Shareholders"? They are the worst shares I've ever heard of.........
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 8:10 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

quality TV (mostly) with no ads?

I'm quite happy to pay double the current fee.

Isn't it interesting how the most "Churchill died fighting against tyranny in order to protect British values" cod-Britishness advocate will draw the line at paying any kind of money to maintain a British institution?

The wrong kind of toilets being added to a shoppign mall sets them frothing at the mouth, but when it comes to protecting the BBC- not a whisper.

Spatial non-conformity of mouth and money.....
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 8:23 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Originally Posted by seven seas View Post
quality TV (mostly) with no ads?

I'm quite happy to pay double the current fee.

Isn't it interesting how the most "Churchill died fighting against tyranny in order to protect British values" cod-Britishness advocate will draw the line at paying any kind of money to maintain a British institution?

The wrong kind of toilets being added to a shoppign mall sets them frothing at the mouth, but when it comes to protecting the BBC- not a whisper.

Spatial non-conformity of mouth and money.....
I can't say I'd be unhappy at paying less - the fee is a lot of money now (and yes, we're still paying it). Saying that, I do think the programmes they come up with are good.

I also think it could be made better by giving the option of anyone across the world paying the fee in order to access iPlayer, for example.

Lastly, I was watching telly last night and they were asking for feedback on BBC Radio channels 3, 6 and 7 (I think)... and I immediately though uh-ha, those are on the line then!
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 8:34 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Originally Posted by seven seas View Post
quality TV (mostly) with no ads?

I'm quite happy to pay double the current fee.

Isn't it interesting how the most "Churchill died fighting against tyranny in order to protect British values" cod-Britishness advocate will draw the line at paying any kind of money to maintain a British institution?

The wrong kind of toilets being added to a shoppign mall sets them frothing at the mouth, but when it comes to protecting the BBC- not a whisper.

Spatial non-conformity of mouth and money.....
A British 'institution'?? They display such outrageous bias on so many key issues, they no longer deserve that name. Have you noticed they always advertise for staff in The Guardian, and nowhere else?

Actually, it's being forced to pay for something I may never use that irritates. It's like being forced to pay money to Sainsbury's even though I get my food free of charge at Tesco's. The BBC should either start to take advertising, or become a subscription channel.

And I would have thought that my comment about the "Islamification of British toilets" should have alerted you to the fact that I was joking.......
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 8:56 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Bias- yes for sure. Compared to the others though, it's not bad. Just having a news source that is -at least officially- free from political and commercial restrictions is worth a LOT. Living anywhere overseas should make you appreciate that.

They advertise on the Guardian : one way of reaching prospective employees who believe in what the BBC officially stands for. There's no point wasting our tax money advertising to *****s who don't even believe in the BBC's core values and mission statement.

What is the mission statement? I haven't seen it, but I'd imagine it includes being committed to fair reporting free from political and commercial pressure (ie that excludes the customers of The Dirty Digger and Lord Black). If you think it's worth paying for any other paper and STILL think you're getting real news, then I would be very disappointed if you had any role to play in the BBC.
Sometimes, you have to have certain standards and exclude some people. It's usually called standards though, not bias.

They still stand for core British values, and that is why they are an institution. Would Britain be the same without a publicly-funded non-commercial news and entertainment organisation? No it wouldn't, and it would be better off. Would Britain be different if Digger Jr. embezzled a few dozen million pounds from the company and it went bust? no, another scummy operation would step in and plug that fetid sewer of a gap.

Forced to pay for something you never use? I guess you don't believe in paying taxes either? You don't go to school so why should you pay taxes? You've never called for help from the police? Never been sick? You do benefit from the BBC directly or indirectly. Like you do from teh police, fire services, education, NHS, etc.

I did get your (quite funny) remark about the islamification of Britain's toilets. Unfortunately my earlier post looks like I was talking about you when I wasn't. Is it OK if I don't change it, so people can figure out why I'm apologising here? Otherwise it won't make sense.

There are people who are whining about the islamification of X, Y, and Z. How come you agree with them on the BBC issue?
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

A form of BBC is worth preserving IMO. The core is a worthy institution that you value when you dont have it but it has overstretched itself on vanity projects to control multi media channels i.e. digital radio, internet, publishing etc etc.

It spends/wastes alot of money on these projects and I dont think they can be justified and should be cut back, does anybody honestly listen to BBC7?......and they dont use enough touchscreens. How can you take news broadcasting seriously without a journo tapping away on an Ipad-esque screen showing you how oil flows out of a burst well into the sea.

And another thing why oh why oh why does BBC World spend so much time giving pointless 2 minute weather forecasts for the world that cover such huge geographical areas that they are useless?

And another thing......ok I will write to points of view with the rest.
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Old Jul 17th 2010, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

If those other media channels prove to be worthless, then they will be dropped, no doubt about it: internet- hardly worthless. How many of us check the weather back home/ local news? Digital radio- analog radio is dying out and soon it will go the way of the 8-track. Publishing? I don't know much about it.

BBC 7? Dunno about it. Touchscreens... people said the same thing when they moved from tapping a map on a blackboard with a little stick to show you where and to what degree the weather was miserable. The capabilities fo the new technology they are using are only beginning to be harnessed (first use ever) and exploited. Watch this space.

pointless weather forecasts? Most of us aren't fishermen/farmers so we don't need detailed info. But why do it at all? It's interesting, possibly?
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Old Jul 18th 2010, 8:56 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Originally Posted by seven seas View Post
quality TV (mostly) with no ads?

I'm quite happy to pay double the current fee.

Isn't it interesting how the most "Churchill died fighting against tyranny in order to protect British values" cod-Britishness advocate will draw the line at paying any kind of money to maintain a British institution?

The wrong kind of toilets being added to a shoppign mall sets them frothing at the mouth, but when it comes to protecting the BBC- not a whisper.

Spatial non-conformity of mouth and money.....
Well, lookee who's back

Don't worry, I'm not staying. Just popped in to see what was happening, and had to respond to this thread...

I agree with you seven seas, I would pay double the licence fee to maintain the BBC. It produces all of the best radio and most of the best TV in the world, free from adverts and political/commercial pressure. That's worth a lot in this day and age.

Bias? No, not really. I've worked for the BBC, I know first-hand that the staff represents just as wide a mix of political opinions as you'll find anywhere. Plenty of right-wingers there, often in senior positions, but they are professional enough to be able to maintain a largely neutral stance. Why else would the BBC have upset every government (with the obvious exception of Churchill's wartime coalition) that has existed since its inception? Remember, Harold Wilson was paranoid about the BBC and was absolutely convinced it was part of a right-wing plot to oust him.

And anyway, when people complain about "BBC bias", it's just weasel words. They don't really care about bias per se, they're not actually interested in the BBC being neutral. Would Norman Tebbit have complained about the BBC being biased if it had broadcast pro-Thatcher propaganda? Of course he wouldn't.

That's the problem, really; the BBC is generally very good at presenting all sides of any argument (unlike newspapers or, indeed, most broadcasting organisations - "fair and balanced" Fox News, anyone?), but simply acknowledging that there *is* more than one side to any argument is enough to get the Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells despatching furious missives to the Daily Mail about the Trots running the bloody BBC.

Interesting fact to end on - even in Sky households, BBC1 is the most-watched single channel. Murdoch absolutely hates this. There's a pleasant thought
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Old Jul 18th 2010, 9:28 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

I agree that the BBC is one of the better British instituitions that have for years built up a reputation as being objective and producing the cream of British Broadcasting productions - natural history for example. However, i do think it has come to a point in its history that its mandate, management and business model needs a detailed review. Here is why imho:

It's mandate - what is its purpose, other than air programmes that are ad free. yes they are great programmes, but as several have pointed out, we don't always want to watch them. It was set up as a public service. now that the public has a choice, its purpose should be reviewed.

Its management - the Dr Kelly affair exposed how reporting can sometimes be carried out by unguided missiles and the awful consequences of that. It will take a long time to shake off the reputation damage that caused. I am sure there are others - why the mass exodos of talented field BBC reporters to Al Jazeera a few years ago - its wasn't just the money.

Its business model - most people forget that the BBC flog many telly programmes they initially air on domestic. OK - it may subsidise our viewing with some productions but I think Brand BBC from an export perspective has also lost its way. BBC America for example carries commercials and I think i remember seeing C4's Graham Norton show on BBC America. The BBC World Service also carries the brand, but licence fees dont pay for it - the FCO do, also potentially raising a question on political objecitivy of the "BBC" in far away places, especially where there is a spot of bother.

As for payment of a licence fee? My American friends thought this was a joke when I told them. "WHHHAT - you pay a TV tax?" They didn't believe me until I showed them the TV licencing website...

As for enforcement of payment - last time i was home I happeneded to be in when the door bell went. It was the licence enforcement officers as I haven't paid a fee since 03 and they clearly haven't read my reply to their numerous aggressive letters for non-payment They insisted on sighting my telly - it was unplugged, dusty and clearly not in use - but they put thier hand on the back of it just to make sure!!! All paid for by the licence fee!

Last edited by weescot; Jul 18th 2010 at 9:32 am.
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Old Jul 18th 2010, 10:42 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Originally Posted by weescot View Post
It's mandate - what is its purpose, other than air programmes that are ad free. yes they are great programmes, but as several have pointed out, we don't always want to watch them. It was set up as a public service. now that the public has a choice, its purpose should be reviewed
Then again, BBC1 is the single most popular channel in the UK in all households. Despite the choice available to them (or perhaps *because* of it), more people watch BBC programming than the output of any other British broadcaster.

BBC America for example carries commercials
That's because it's not funded by the licence fee. The BBC is forbidden from using licence fee money to fund any of its channels that are not available to view in the UK.

The BBC World Service also carries the brand, but licence fees dont pay for it - the FCO do, also potentially raising a question on political objecitivy of the "BBC" in far away places, especially where there is a spot of bother
It's worth bearing in mind that the BBC World Service is regarded around the world as one of the best ambassadors the UK could ever have, because of its objective and uncensored news reporting. That's also why it's jammed by the government in China, and has previously been jammed in other countries.

As for payment of a licence fee? My American friends thought this was a joke when I told them. "WHHHAT - you pay a TV tax?"
Many people have this odd idea that commercial TV is somehow "free", forgetting that they pay for it whenever they buy a product or service supplied by a company that advertises on TV. Over the course of a year, they pay a lot more towards commercial TV than they do for a TV licence, but because it's an "invisible" cost, they don't seem to care. Even weirder is when they happily pay a subscription to watch channels that are full of ads, while complaining about the licence fee!

Of course, if you want commercial-free television in the USA you can have it. It's called HBO and it's very good, it produces a lot of the best American programming and it's free of the censorship that blights the main American networks, but it will cost you over £300 per year - twice the cost of a UK licence fee for a lot less original output.

I'm with seven seas in that I view the BBC as being as vital as any other publicly-funded service, even more so these days. It's not perfect, but it's least worst system there is. At £145 it's also pretty amazing value when you consider what it gets you compared to the other 36 countries that impose a mandatory licence fee; in Austria, for example, you will pay £239 per year and not get a fraction of what the BBC provides to the UK. And in more than a few European countries, the licence fee pays for channels that show adverts!
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Old Jul 18th 2010, 11:10 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Eyore - I didn't competely disagree with you if you'd care to reread my first para. I think there is a wider discussion that needs to take place rather than simply reviewing the licence fee. Most of my points were related to "brand BBC" which has lost its way, however it got there or the market forces involved. Some parts of the BBC are funded by the licence payer, others are not - but many licence payers have little idea of this. Parts are commercial , parts are to reinforce British Foreign Policy and parts are to give us News/Eastenders etc. So perhaps the time has come to brand them all differently.
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Old Jul 18th 2010, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

as I've said before, I think they need to be more intelligent about dealing with people who have paid their license fee - for example, I have, and yet I can't access iPlayer abroad... strictly speaking, I am perfectly entitled to.

In essence, it is another subscription network, and should be considered as such, both by the organisation and by the public.
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Old Jul 19th 2010, 7:35 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Why would becoming a subscription and/or advertising channel (a la Sky) detract from the BBC's 'quality'? "Well, because the advertisers would determine what sort of programmes are shown, they would try to influence editorial policy, etc" is the usual response. I've never followed that argument - perhaps someone can enlighten me.

And I'm still waiting for someone to explain why I should be forced to give money to Sainsbury's when Tesco's are offering food free of charge.
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Old Jul 19th 2010, 7:37 am
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Default Re: BBC Licence Fee Could By Cut

Originally Posted by Hello.Kitty View Post
as I've said before, I think they need to be more intelligent about dealing with people who have paid their license fee - for example, I have, and yet I can't access iPlayer abroad... strictly speaking, I am perfectly entitled to.

In essence, it is another subscription network, and should be considered as such, both by the organisation and by the public.
If I 'subscribe' to Sky, it is because I want to watch it.

I am forced to subscribe to the BBC, even if I don't want to watch it.
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