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The License Fee - for or against?

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posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 10:55 AM
There is often much wailing about the licence fee here in the UK, but I feel there is also a lot of hypocrisy spoken about it.

I don't get how people moan about the License fee, which pays for New Dr Who, Torchwood, Life On Mars, Walking with Dinosaurs and its offshoots etc etc and yet happily stump up £400+ per year to watch endless repeats (often of shows that the license fee funded!) and the same movies on a loop on Sky? How does that work?

I know that many people would rather see the Beeb commercially funded, but to me the ads are a pain in the arse. What a joy it is to be able to sit down and watch a show uninterrupted from start to finish. Would any of our American members like to be able to do this for istance? I know every time Lost goes off for an ad break I'm fuming, lol

A lot of the people who moan about the license fee also complain about bias in the BBC. Don't they get that, although not perfect, its lack of advertising revenue gives the BBC the most independant editorial policy of any TV broadcaster? Look how shows on other channels have had their sponsorship pulled when they say something that sponsor doesn't like. Nopt a concern for the beeb as they can say what they want. Even if the govt forces them to pull a show they just announce it on the news so everyone knows about it.

In conclusion then I am for the License fee and long may the BBC continue.

But what do you think?

[edit on 19-2-2007 by waynos]

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 02:36 AM
As an American i had to look up what this fee is to properly respond. I found this:

The 2006/2007 colour TV licence costs £10.96 per month - about 36p per day for each household. It is free if you are over 75, half-price if you are registered blind.

It's nice to see you get it for half price if you can't see it!

In the United States we have "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting" that provides PBS television & NPR radio which are more or less ad-free. They are funded by tax dollars as well as individual and corporate donations. Any corporate ads are specialized for the program and limited to the beginning and end of the show (unless it's fundraising time and they interrupt to beg you to call in and give them money).

They do produce high quality nature and science documentaries which I enjoy watching, but the rest, especially their news, is just crap IMO. Their elitist liberal left wing bias is just extraordinary. At one time, some of the stuff you'd be able to see there was pretty unique and could be justified to bring info to people that may not have been viable to do commercially. But today's world of more digital cable channels than I care to remember, I just don't see it as a legitimate use of government funds anymore and there is a movement to defund it. If they ever tried to slap a separate tax on us just for it, I you'd probably see a revolt here.

So anyway, I think it should be privatized. I get BBC America here and it has commercials and somehow we still survive!

Plus commercials are good if you've got to go to the bathroom.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 05:50 AM
Hi, thanks for your input

It's nice to see you get it for half price if you can't see it!

Yes, I can see how that looks odd, but on the other hand blind people with TV's are still receiving the broadcasts and can listen to shows, and if they don't want to then why buy a TV? In that respect I think a half price license is fair as it reflects their inability to enjoy the full service.

Interesting point you raise about PBS. I suppose if Licenses were being introduced for the first time here then there would be an outcry too. In my experience however I have known a lifetime of quality, ad free broadcasting supported by the License fee (plus quality TV from the terrestrial commercial stations too) and yet seen the ad-infested (much more than regular TV - up to five ad breaks in a one hour show) subscription services bring us hundreds of channels filled largely with pap. I dare say that has influenced my opinion.

Something about the License fee that many may miss is that it means there is no commercial influence on BBC editorial policy. Whether you agree with that policy or not at least you know it is not founded out of desire for commercial gain. By this I mean that the BBC is not afraid to expose illegal or corrupt activities through the fear of loss of revenue.

The reason you get ads on BBC America is, of course, that the UK license fees can only fund UK broadcasting. This is also why there are two separate BBC websites with the UK version having more comprehensive content than the international version

posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 06:03 PM
I think it's unfair for the BBC to assume that all blind and deaf people are insomniacs! I mean ok some programs have subtitles, but apart from see hear they only put audio descriptive programs on after 1am!

As for the licensing fee i just think that the price is far too high for the kind of programs they show. Maybe if they stopped giving Clarkeson and the gang all those cars to dismantle maybe it wouldnt be so high lol.


posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 07:20 PM
When channel 4 & 5 have more to offer than the BBC channels you really have to ask what on Earth are you paying them for. I hardly watch the BBC apart from the news and a couple of programs, the add supported Ch4, Ch5 and there other free view channels have a lot more to offer and are a LOT better than they used to be if not better than the BBC now.

posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 09:00 AM
The licence fee needs to be scrapped, it is outdated and is not wanted. Theres another thought scrap the BBC altogether..... Or let someone else take it over, and have it run independantly, funded by advertisement adds. Us the British public pays for it, an most of the programmes they air are totally crap, or are biased to suit the bbc's needs rather than the viewers.

They are out of touch with the UK Public, (someone needs to give them a hard kick up the scrotums)

posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 06:46 PM
But how do you guys feel about paying £400+ per annum to Sky? To dismiss the BBC's output as 'total crap' is just ridiculous as the BBC's output is consistently of the highest quality in the UK, followed by ITV, then 4 and with 5 and Satellite trailing way behind all three 'proper' channels.

Look around the satellite stations that are not dependant on imported US shows and see just what percentage of the shows on there originated from the BBC, only the BBC had them when they were actually new.

In what way also are the programmes biased to suit the BBC's needs rather than the viewers? That makes no sense without quantifying it.

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