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BBC Licence Fee


flycatcher1

Likes # 0

Some years ago I took part in "Any Questions". I asked if the BBC Licence Fee was past its sell-by date? Gerald Kaufman was on the Team and I well knew his antipathy to the Licence Fee.

His arguments did not convince me and, in the past, I always trusted the good old BBC. During World Wide travels the BBC World Service always provide a reliable update of world events with little UK slant.

As the years have passed I have come to look upon the BBC less favourably, exorbitanttant salaries, expenses and perks together with variable programming has made me think that it is time for a change.

If a cost reduced BBC was paid for by general taxation the poorer people would save money and the expense added to the richer people, even the Oldies like me.

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Forum Editor

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Jock1e

"About having to go to the Government for a price increase.I assumed everyone new that."

Well you didn't.

You said, in an earlier post:- **"There is no denying that but even great company's have gone bankrupt or put out of business. Not the BBC they just increase the Licence fee."**

I explained that the BBC cannot do that without the approval of parliament.

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robgf

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FE

"Last year (2011) was a record year for the BBC in terms of selling programmes to other countries. The corporation sold 74,000 hours of high-quality UK programming to over 690 customers from the USA to Kazakhstan to Indonesia."

74,000 hours does sound impressive, but is actually only just over 100 hours each. If we consider 6 hours of peak viewing time each night, for 365 days, that totals 2100 hours, so the 100 hours of quality viewing, is just 5% of output, not so impressive.

While I appreciate that a fair proportion of the population enjoys the output from the BBC, the remainder of the population is not so enamored. I fail to see, why those that don't use a service, should be forced (on threat of fine, or prison!) to pay for it. I enjoy traveling, perhaps you would all like to pay into the robgf travel fund.

The BBC could easily be changed into a subscription based service like Sky, being funded by fans.

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oresome

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While I appreciate that a fair proportion of the population enjoys the output from the BBC, the remainder of the population is not so enamored. I fail to see, why those that don't use a service, should be forced (on threat of fine, or prison!) to pay for it.

I think that's a fair point, but implementing a scrambled subscription service for the TV and radio output would be difficult and costly.

I think the present system works well while there is a clear majority of the population who get some benefit from it. There's a growing number who probably subscribe to Sky and object to also paying the licence fee.

Should the BBC go aggressively head to head with Sky over say, sports rights, there would be complaints from the commercial broadcaster about unfair competition from a publicly funded organisation.

My view as I've stated in earlier posts is that the BBC represents good value, but I do think it has expanded beyond it's remit in recent years with an impressive web site and multiple TV and radio channels which suppress commercial competition and cause resentment.

Perhaps if it were cut down to size, people wouldn't mind paying a more modest licence fee as the original post suggested.

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robgf

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oresome

"I think that's a fair point, but implementing a scrambled subscription service for the TV and radio output would be difficult and costly."

Now that the BBC is on Freeview, it should be fairly simple to implement a subscription service, lots of channels do it. The radio would be more of a problem, but then the licence fee isn't for radio :D

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john bunyan

Likes # 1

I think BBC is good value for money. Having "endured" TV in countries that have advertising supported TV such as Australia and USA in my view there is no comparison. I cannot stand 4 1/2 minutes or so every 1/4 hour of ads, such that when I watch ITV I try to use "catch up" on a DVD recorder, using fast forward to jump the ads.As ,I believe , over 95% of households have TV and presumably pay the licence, it would cost the same on average if the BBC were paid by the government collected by increased taxation. The question is Do enough people want advertising absent TV to fund it in a version of the present system? On average I think BBC TV has better programmes than its rivals, but no doubt it could be slimmed as oresome says.

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flycatcher1

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FE If the TV Licence was abolished the cost of collection and enforcement would disappear. My point about paying for the BBC on General Taxation would mean that the cost is spread amongst the Tax Paying population including people, like me, over the age of 74.

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Forum Editor

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robgf

74,000 hours does sound impressive, but is actually only just over 100 hours each. If we consider 6 hours of peak viewing time each night, for 365 days, that totals 2100 hours, so the 100 hours of quality viewing, is just 5% of output, not so impressive.

Ermmm... you might want to think about what you've said.

690 customers means 690 TV broadcasters, each of them transmitting to tens of millions of people. You don't simply divide 74,000 by 690 and say that each of them took 100 hours. Some of them took much more than that, and some less. We're talking about drama series, David Attenborough series, comedy series, and lots of documentary series. it's not the number of hours per country that matters, it's the value of the sales, and overseas sales are to commercial TV channels. Those companies increase their revenues by attracting more prestige advertising, and they get that by screening top-quality content. The BBC is renowned for quality, which is why it does so well in those markets.

Last year was a record year for the BBC in terms of overseas sales, and that's hardly likely to be the case if the quality of the output had declined. BBC programmes are in worldwide demand, due entirely to the fact that the quality is high.

It's fair to say that sales of ITV programmes is pretty good as well, but there's a problem for them, in that lots of their output isn't made in-house, so ITV doesn't get the all the money. Big hit series like Downton Abbey are veritable gold mines - Downton has been sold to over 200 other broadcasters - but it is made by a company called Carnival films, and that company benefits from the international sales and DVD market sales - ITV only gets the advertising revenues which flow from the transmission slots.

For the week ending 14th October BBC1 and BBC2 attracted 26.3% of the total viewing audience. ITV, ITV+1, and ITV HD between them had 17.5%, Channel 4 and 4+1 managed 6.5% and Channel 5 and 5+1 got 4.5%. Other viewing accounted for the rest. Quality output gets big audiences.

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bluesbrother

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I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the fact that the BBC already has subscription only channels and free to view advert driven channels in the form of UKTV. a company co-owned by BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media

BBC Worldwide Annual Review 2011/12 makes interesting reading, you can download the pdf from

BBC Worldwide Annual Review 2011/12

£215.7m returned to the BBC last year plus all those licence fees.

Not short of a bob or two are they?

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morddwyd

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"I don't really have the time for another of your wriggling sessions, so I'll leave you with it."

While I perhaps often fail to make myself clear, it is not a matter of "wriggling"'

Others often have straight disagreements with me, but not many seem to pick up on niggling little points of pedantry in as many of my posts as you seem to.

I don't have a problem with this, as I said , it is my own fault for not making myself more clearly understood in the first place, but I don't wriggle. I have never been afraid to admit I was wrong, and to apologise when appropriate, as I do here for lack of clarity, or to change my views when convinced by argument.

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oresome

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Now that the BBC is on Freeview, it should be fairly simple to implement a subscription service, lots of channels do it.

I agree that in principle TV broadcasts can easily be encrypted, but there must be millions of receivers in use that don't have a card slot.

It would be another excercise akin to the digital switchover and unacceptable to the general public so soon after that event if it meant shelling out more money.

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