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    Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole'

    This is a discussion on Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole' within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole' | Media | The Guardian Culture secretary also asks if ...

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      Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole'

      Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole' | Media | The Guardian
      Culture secretary also asks if BBC shows such as Strictly Come Dancing are ‘distinctive’ enough and launches initiative against online adblocking

      The government is to rush through legislation to close the “iPlayer loophole”, which allows people to watch BBC shows on catchup services without having a TV licence.

      In a speech on Wednesday, culture secretary John Whittingdale also asked whether popular BBC1 programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing were “distinctive” enough and launched a new initiative on the devastating impact of adblockers on the newspaper industry.

      After the speech at the Oxford Media Convention, Whittingdale said closing the loophole could not wait for legislation was passed to renew the BBC’s royal charter by the end of the year. Instead, it would be done “as soon as practicable” through secondary legislation which could be put before parliament as early as this summer.

      “The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong,” he told the Oxford Media convention.

      The offer to close the loophole, which already costs the BBC some £150m a year – a figure that is likely to increase – was made during negotiations with the BBC last summer which also saw the corporation agree to shoulder the £750m burden of free licence fees for the over-75s.

      The white paper outlining the government’s views on charter renewal is due to be published this spring, but Whittingdale made little reference to its timing on Wednesday.

      He also indicated that the white paper would welcome any attempts to make BBC programming more distinctive.

      “On distinctiveness, there is no doubt that at its best the BBC makes programmes which no-one else would do,” he said, citing programmes such as BBC1’s The Night Manager and the forthcoming new Ben Elton comedy about Shakespeare: Upstart Crow.

      “But I also agree with the director general’s aim “to create a BBC that is more distinctive than ever – and clearly distinguishable from the market.”

      Having previously been criticised for questioning whether the BBC should be showing the Voice or Strictly Come Dancing, Whittingdale said that it was up to the BBC and future regulators to decide which programmes were distinctive enough.

      Speaking afterwards he said: “Whether or not Strictly or Bake Off or other programmes are too removed or absolutely distinctive that is for the judgment of whoever will have the task of assessing BBC programming.”

      His remarks follow a report on the market impact of the BBC produced by Oliver & Ohlbaum and commissioned by the DCMS that suggested that entertainment shows were costing commercial rivals some £115m a year in revenues.

      Whittingdale kept Channel 4 in limbo but indicated that any plans to sell off the state-owned commercially funded broadcaster would need to continue its public service remit, telling the audience: “We are looking at the future of C4 particularly with a view to ensuring that its remit continues.”

      Responding to Whittingdale’s speech, the shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Maria Eagle, said: “The secretary of state seems more concerned about helping the BBC’s commercial rivals than in helping the corporation satisfy its audiences and meet its public service obligations.”

      She added: “What the culture secretary has called for today jars completely with what the British public want from the BBC. He must stop lecturing the BBC about what content it should and should not be producing.

      “The results of consultation on the future of the BBC have again shown how highly the public value the corporation’s distinctive programming, and that they want to see it remain funded by the licence fee and independent of government.

      “So the culture secretary must stop acting simply as a cheerleader for the BBC’s commercial rivals and start standing up for audiences who want to see the BBC continue to produce high-quality content.”


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      Re: Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole'

      I think I lost the will to live about half way through that.

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      Re: Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole'

      Quote Originally Posted by FelixTCat View Post
      I think I lost the will to live about half way through that.
      Just plug in your Amazon Fire charger
      FelixTCat likes this.

      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
      Previously Sky Fibre & Sky BB since 2010.

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      Re: Government to bring forward law to close BBC 'iPlayer loophole'

      Lol. They keep slamming that empty stable door!

      Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

     

     

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