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    Paying for the BBC

    This is a discussion on Paying for the BBC within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Paying for the BBC - Telegraph A review of the licence fee is long overdue – especially given the advent ...

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      Paying for the BBC

      Paying for the BBC - Telegraph
      A review of the licence fee is long overdue – especially given the advent of iPlayer


      Nearly 30 years have passed since the Peacock inquiry into the funding of the BBC concluded that the licence fee should continue as “the least worst option” for delivering public service broadcasting. To say that the media world has changed in the meantime would be an understatement. In 1986, Channel 4 had only been on air for a few years and apart from the BBC and ITV there were no other television stations. Today there are dozens. Yet if you want to watch TV, then you have to pay the BBC £145.50 a year whether you like it or not.

      A review of this arrangement is long overdue, and with the current charter running out at the end of 2016 now is the time to start one. Rightly, this is a task that has been taken on by Parliament in the shape of the Commons culture select committee, which yesterday took evidence from an array of past BBC chiefs.

      It was noteworthy that while they all continued to champion the ethos of a universal public broadcasting service, the question of how to fund it is no longer as straightforward as it seemed in 1986. Is the licence fee still the least worst option? Gavyn Davies, the former chairman of the BBC board of governors, thought it would become unsustainable within a decade, as more people watch programmes for free on iPlayer. He suggested that this might need to become a subscription service – in which case, why not extend that model to the whole of the BBC?

      Indeed, in its evidence to the Peacock committee, the BBC said it was interested in looking at subscription, though the technology was too rudimentary at the time to allow such an innovation. It isn’t now, so this is an idea that needs to be considered seriously as part of the charter negotiations over the next three years.



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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      I basically agree. Times have changed and the whole system of financing PSB should be re-examined. The result might be to retain the current method but payment by subscription (with choices of packages like PayTV) would seem fairly obvious. It might be a good opportunity to take PSB off terrestrial broadcasting and place it firmly in IPTV status - this would make subscription payment simpler. However lets have a full review and stop making those who don't want to pay a TV License into criminals. Did you know that the UK courts hear approx 2 million cases a year and the single biggest source of these cases is the BBC who use their legal powers 200,000 times every year? That's an abuse of power if I ever saw one.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      I have to agree with you about the TV Licensing authority's abuse.

      I was aware that they are the single organisation who has taken more people to court than any other last year. I recall cross-posting a story on the topic and the magistrates were getting fed up with them if I recall correctly.

      I believe that all the current TVs have a fitting for a subscription card system. Sure older TVs will have an issue as some Freeview STBs don't have the port for a card.

      Large families will be hit the hardest though. Where a TV may be in several bedrooms, wll they be forced to get a card for each TV?

      Also as a Sky TV subscriber, will I get a discount for the inclusion of the BBC channels on Freeview or will they be lost?

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      I have always thought that the biggest problem is that the Public Service obligation of the BBC originally consisted of one TV channel and 2 national radio channels. That has expanded by Grandma's footsteps to 4 TV channels, 4 national radio channels and umpteen local radio channels, all paid for by the TV licence. I would have some sympathy for the BBC's position if it went back to the original set-up with the remaining channels supported by subscription or advertising.

      My recollection is that BBC were encouraged by the Government to operate BBC 3 and 4 TV channels on digital TV only as an encouragement for the public to go digital. Since there is no analogue broadcasting now, they seem somewhat redundant.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      Certainly the BBC's output has increased hugely.

      There are more than 4 TV channels though. Ignoring the regional variations of both BBC1 and BBC2, there is also BBC3, BBC4, CBBC, Cbeebies, BBC Alba, BBC News and BBC Parliament. They also add extra content via the BBC Red Button channels.

      They also run and maintain a good number of the transmitting stations across the country. The others are run by ITV.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      Thanks, Scubbie. I'd overlooked the trash.
      Scubbie likes this.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      They also have 7 national radio "stations" (8 in Scotland) : R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, (Radio Scotland,) R6 Music, Asian Network and the other digital variations.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      It gets worse and worse!

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      Relevant item SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

      Four ex-DG's argue the future of the BBC and largely reflect some of the ideas suggested here. Lord Grade suggests the BBC should become only a news gathering organisation and the rest should be spun off. Another suggestion is the BBC Tax should be part of Income Tax so the poor in society wouldn't have to pay exactly the same as the richest. One point I agree with is the BBC senior management structure is broken and needs replacing in its entirety whilst further down the ladder things are much more 'normal'.

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      Re: Paying for the BBC

      It is about time that the BBC too a serious look at encrypting their TV broadcasts.

      They want to fund the switch to Digital Radio as well, dumping the analogue service which is receivable on everyone's car radios, mobile phones and many other devices.

      Should those who have a TV and do not listen to the radio very often pay for the radio, whilst those who have no TV get the radio for free?

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