The Great Debate about the BBC and Licence Fee

Please treat other members in a constructive manner and abide by our Forum Rules at all times.
  • 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 But a forced, mandated system like this is surely out of date?

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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.


    ==========================

    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


    ==========================

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


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

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • 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.

    • Staff Notice

    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.

  • 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.

    • Staff Notice


    Source


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

  • 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?

    • Staff Notice

    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.

  • 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

    • Staff Notice

    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."

    • Staff Notice

    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.

    • Staff Notice

    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?

    • Staff Notice

    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.

  • 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.

    • Staff Notice

    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.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!