Should The Licence Fee Be Scrapped? Should the BBC?

  • Do we really need to have a publicly funded broadcaster in this day and age? If people want to pay for tv, fine. But a forced, mandated system like this is surely out of date?

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  • old boy replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:


    It is a difficult one, that. So many people view the BBC as a national institution that any proposed change to existing funding arrangements is seen as a threat.


    Yet there is now a substantial, but growing, body of opinion that advocates choice in whether or not to pay for the privilege of accessing content from the BBC. This view should not be ignored because there does appear to be a basic unfairness in the expectation that everyone who watches TV should pay the licence fee, even if they never watch their TV channels or listen to their radio stations. Failure to address this perceived injustice will gradually lead to resentment and this will spread further amongst the population.


    The argument we keep hearing is that if instead of the licence fee we had subscriptions, which people could elect to take out or not, this would lead to a reduction of income for the BBC. The following points are pertinent:


    1. Some of this shortfall could be made up by the Government, who would pay the BBC an appropriate sum of money for its public broadcasting remit. This would include better, more in depth documentaries and local news, which the Beeb could be obliged to supply to local channels (which are in dire need of such support).


    2. BBC Studios should be expanded not only to make more and better programmes for the BBC viewing audience, but also to sell or rent to other content providers. It could also make films out of its more popular programmes and distribute this exclusively to cinemas for a fixed period of, say, 6 months.


    3. Recognising that many people from poorer sections of our society, given the choice, would not want to spend their scarce resources on a TV subscription, an alternative model with advertisements could be considered for them.


    4. An additional or alternative on demand service along the lines of Netflix could be established carrying additional premium content from BBC Studios and elsewhere, including a film library. A complete archive of all previous BBC content screened over the years could be provided here.


    These are just four ideas, but the scope to increase income is almost unlimited. More sales could be generated through additional books, video games, etc based on BBC programmes.


    To my mind, this should be a far more acceptable arrangement than what we have now, which is basically a dictat that we have to pay regardless of whether we want to watch or listen to the BBC, and that's that. It is, after all, a news and entertainment service, not an essential service such as schools or the NHS.


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    heero yuy replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:


    Excellent points OB. One could also argue that content that is minority interest such as certain arts, music etc should receive some lottery funding in the way theaters and galleries do. I also suspect that it's mainly the older generations that support the existing arrangement from when there was only the BBC (405 lines, black and white). There is also a perception among this group that the fee funds ALL TV. When you tell them that it's only for the BBC they're quite shocked


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    richard coulter replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:


    Yes, i've found that to be the case too.

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  • I do think that we should have some channels that are free from advertising, I certainly think any TV service that charges a subscription shouldn't also show adverts that why I refuse to sign up to the likes of Sky, as for it being mandatory to have a TV licence then no it shouldn't be so maybe they need to make the BBC on all platforms pay to view, if you don't pay you don't watch any BBC simple as that.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • This is something I used to speak about at length on DS while I was still a regular there, so I couldn't resist the topic here Ron Manager. But, I broadly agree.


    The problem with the BBC, beyond the non-existent comedy and lack of any real decent dramas (ok, they do some) is their smugness. They get given on a plate billions and they don't have to work for it, then pay "stars" like Jonathan Ross (or used to!) huge amounts of money.


    If they had to work for their money, say via a subscription, perhaps they might up their game a bit.


    I agree though, we do need some channels without ads. I don't watch much linear tv these days (all on demand, catch up etc) and when I do, I'm not going to spend my time watching adverts.

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  • If we didn't pay for the BBC we'd be reduced to the dross which passes for entertainment on other channels. I know the BBC produces it's fair share of rubbish but generally the most informative political and news programmes are on there along with the best wildlife, documentaries and dramas. I think it's excellent value for money. Real drama? Try 'Line of Duty' If we want to watch programmes on any other t.v. channels we record them and watch later so we can fast forward through the ads.


    Like most other people, I think the BBC can sometimes be biased but that's a very moot point.


  • Source


    I linked the story from the Sun as IIRC the Times is behind a paywall.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • I'm sure he's factored that in. Probably find he's got a new contract with a commercial broadcaster so now is a convenient time to stick the knife in and raise his profile.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • If we didn't pay for the BBC we'd be reduced to the dross which passes for entertainment on other channels. I know the BBC produces it's fair share of rubbish but generally the most informative political and news programmes are on there along with the best wildlife, documentaries and dramas. I think it's excellent value for money. Real drama? Try 'Line of Duty' If we want to watch programmes on any other t.v. channels we record them and watch later so we can fast forward through the ads.


    Like most other people, I think the BBC can sometimes be biased but that's a very moot point.

    The BBC has outlived it's purpose - and I doubt that it would last very long if it had to earn it's living for a change. Undoubtedly, their standards of production are very high......but then they don'r really have to compete do they?

  • But where else are you going to find such well made programmes? Sky has plenty of channels which show documentary programmes reel to reel but you won't find a David Attenborough anywhere or a good current affairs programme.


    A glance at iPlayer and there are topical, political, sport, dramas, comedies, science programmes. And then of course there is BBC radio. Surely all that entertainment has to worth 3 quid a week?

  • Sky has plenty of channels which show documentary programmes reel to reel but you won't find a David Attenborough anywhere

    Conquest of the skies- Sky 3D ;)


    I'm sorry but for us most of the BBC's output on it's two main channels is not of interest and for what we might watch the cost is too high, especially when compared to the hundreds of channels, most I grant you are not very good, for about twice the BBC cost.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • But where else are you going to find such well made programmes? Sky has plenty of channels which show documentary programmes reel to reel but you won't find a David Attenborough anywhere or a good current affairs programme.


    A glance at iPlayer and there are topical, political, sport, dramas, comedies, science programmes. And then of course there is BBC radio. Surely all that entertainment has to worth 3 quid a week?

    Not forgetting that with Sky you also pay for the privilege of watching adverts. :P

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Oh, where do I start here, so many goodies. :) Right, Paxman, first.


    His arguments would have been more valid, if he made them while still being paid by the BBC, an organisation he worked for over 25 years. It's only when "that" scandal hit the BBC and Newsnight was caught up in it, did he "see the light."

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  • If we didn't pay for the BBC we'd be reduced to the dross which passes for entertainment on other channels. I know the BBC produces it's fair share of rubbish but generally the most informative political and news programmes are on there along with the best wildlife, documentaries and dramas. I think it's excellent value for money. Real drama? Try 'Line of Duty' If we want to watch programmes on any other t.v. channels we record them and watch later so we can fast forward through the ads.


    Like most other people, I think the BBC can sometimes be biased but that's a very moot point.

    I don't think that is a moot point which is far less moot considering people are forced to have to pay for this bias in the first place.


    I agree about the ads on other channels, but considering the BBC gets almost 4 billion a year, they damn well shouldn't have ads on them for that price.


    Let me repeat that figure, 4 billion.


    But where else are you going to find such well made programmes? Sky has plenty of channels which show documentary programmes reel to reel but you won't find a David Attenborough anywhere or a good current affairs programme.


    A glance at iPlayer and there are topical, political, sport, dramas, comedies, science programmes. And then of course there is BBC radio. Surely all that entertainment has to worth 3 quid a week?

    The iplayer is excellent, no denying that and you missed out their online presence too, which is immense, but is it worth 4 billion?


    You can find wildlife documentaries on other channels, are they as good as the Attenborough fronted stuff which takes years to make, no I don't think so, but there are other choices. Have you ever seen Sky Arts?


    I'm not sure where the comedies are that you refer to, the last decent comedies on the BBC, in my opinion, were Keeping Up Appearances and One Foot In The Grave. What have done since, which is even half watchable?


    The science stuff, history stuff aka anything on BBC4 which is then repeated all over, is very good and the BBC's strongest point and defence, more so than their news output, in my opinion which I don't hold in quite so higher regard than you do.


    When you phrase the question like, surely all that entertainment is worth 3 quid, it's hard to argue with that, except I would turn that on it head and say, if its worth three quid, let people choose whether they wish to pay that 3 quid or not. That would measure the true value of the BBC's output.

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  • Not forgetting that with Sky you also pay for the privilege of watching adverts. :P

    I know I've asked this before, but I keep forgetting and I've not subscribed to Sky for several years now, but are there adverts on their sports and films channels, and do they also have dogs (on screen logos) on during the sports and films?

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  • Conquest of the skies- Sky 3D ;)


    I'm sorry but for us most of the BBC's output on it's two main channels is not of interest and for what we might watch the cost is too high, especially when compared to the hundreds of channels, most I grant you are not very good, for about twice the BBC cost.

    Most of the output from all channels is poor, in my opinion, where is the innovation, where is the British Game of Thrones?


    The difference with the BBC, unlike all the others, is that we do not have a choice in whether we pay for it or not. I would like that choice.

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  • Most of the output from all channels is poor, in my opinion, where is the innovation, where is the British Game of Thrones?


    The difference with the BBC, unlike all the others, is that we do not have a choice in whether we pay for it or not. I would like that choice.

    I don't think there is that choice. We either have something we all pay for or all of us have nothing. I don't really watch a lot of BBC but at the same time I don't use a lot of public services or receive a lot of other benefits. Does that mean I shouldn't have to pay for those either? Maybe.

  • Ah, the grand 'ole "should we pay for public services" debate. :)


    In the 21st century, is TV as provided by the BBC, a public service now when there is such abundant choice elsewhere?

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  • So, your argument Hox, like the police or NHS, you might not use it, but it's there if you do. Correct? Fair enough.


    I wouldn't be moaning about the BBC if they had some decent comedy sitcoms on, more and a broader range of drama, a little less EastEnders and similar ilk.


    I just find tv bland, sterile and boring and too focussed on reality shows and celebrity, although the BBC is better than the others in this regard.

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  • But where else are you going to find such well made programmes? Sky has plenty of channels which show documentary programmes reel to reel but you won't find a David Attenborough anywhere or a good current affairs programme.


    A glance at iPlayer and there are topical, political, sport, dramas, comedies, science programmes. And then of course there is BBC radio. Surely all that entertainment has to worth 3 quid a week?

    Well despite the BBC's reputation for the making of quality programmes, that doesn't appear to be sufficient to prevent many viewers from investing in subscribtion TV, and/or heavy use of the BBC's terrestrial TV competition. Incidentally, albeit not a major factor, but perhaps interesting nonetheless, it appears, according to today's press, that the BBC only use half of their licence income for the making of TV programmes...

  • .....you should've posted a link. What did they say they spend the other half of their money on, then?


    I switched on the TV tonight which was on BBC2 and it was Newsnight talking about sex robots...I thought Newsnight was meant to analyse the day's news. Clearly not. I then turned over onto BBC1 expecting to be entertained by quality entertainment, or gripping drama or perhaps to fall off my chair laughing out loud at the latest comedy hit, instead it was a reality show about bus wars between competing companies in Belfast.


    4 billion for this.:rolleyes:

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  • Most media groups are producing fodder for the masses and the masses are revolting, as always, and only interested in things that would put an earthworm to sleep. I've just trundled through channels of reality Magaluf, reality festivals, reality snow holidays for young people who are well on the way to chronic alcoholism, spend most of their time puking and bonking and, judging by the barely controlled excitement in the commentator's voice, are doing something amaaaaaaaazing.


    When that's not on you can watch people cooking.


    Or you can watch them building awful houses that look like giant cardboard crates, usually made out of cardboard crates, with see-through shower doors and baths next to huge unfrosted windows. Amaaaaaazing.


    Or you can watch gardening programs where people make those awful Buddhist gardens, full of pebbles and scary statues that look like Jubba the Hutt.


    If you get bored with that (but you won't because they are amaaaaaazing!) you can watch the police stopping lunatic drivers, or get all interested in building roads across Alaska's icy wastes, or learning all about obese teenage chavs giving birth, or being entertained by the things four years olds do.


    Sitcoms are all sanitised and filled with weeping and emoting, just like real life, or Facebook, and dramas are full of pathologists peering into the rotting corpses of murdered women whilst munching happily on a sandwich.


    Paying for this rubbish is a crime, no matter who you are paying for it.

  • A bit like eating an artichoke: You have to go through so much to end up with so little.


    Here's where some of the BBC tax goes:

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • .....you should've posted a link. What did they say they spend the other half of their money on, then?


    I switched on the TV tonight which was on BBC2 and it was Newsnight talking about sex robots...I thought Newsnight was meant to analyse the day's news. Clearly not. I then turned over onto BBC1 expecting to be entertained by quality entertainment, or gripping drama or perhaps to fall off my chair laughing out loud at the latest comedy hit, instead it was a reality show about bus wars between competing companies in Belfast.


    4 billion for this.:rolleyes:

    Geeez Horizon......as my old mother used to say, "I'll carry you around for twopence...", albeit, if you wished to take up that offer, I have to greatly increase the price!!

    Anyway - this isn't where I first read it, but it should suffice.....http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…lf-budget-programmes.html

  • When that's not on you can watch people cooking.

    I would actually like to learn/relearn how to cook, but there are no "real" cooking shows here. They're all celeb fest rubbish, or reality crap, but you don't get anyone saying something like "you need to measure out 200g of this or use 100ml of this."


    Bring back Delia Smith!

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  • I would like to see all TV be PAYG, no bundles or channel packs. You can watch anything you like and the amount you've used show in the corner of the screen to be billed at the end of the month. Then the popular channels and programmes will thrive and the dross fall by the wayside.


    Probably means we'd get a lot more soaps and "reality" TV though as well as the better stuff.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • we watch very little bbc actually ; a couple of things a week, usually off of bbc4. I could live without it if push came to shove...We never listen to bbc radio, only smooth am ; jazzfm & classicfm so have no need for that either.

    If the bbc was subscription only as opposed to everyone buying a tv licence, I suspect a 1/3rd or more households wouldnt bother, and their income would bomb.

    Loon.

  • But who will provide vital services like the shipping forecast and farming programmes if the BBC don't? There's hardly a commercial demand for them or much advertising revenue to be had.

  • Bring it on.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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