reply to post by severdsoul
I like to think I am open minded on the subject of the TV licence and, although I can well understand why the concept is totally alien to most people
who aren't used to it, I am broadly in favour of the BBC (broadly, not totally!) and in fact, all of the concerted attacks upon it I see tend to make
me even more in favour of protecting the BBC.
I know thats going to take some explaining, so here goes.
Attacks upon the BBC, and in particular the TV license, almost always originate from just two sources.
The first is whichever political party happens to be in power at the time, as they find the BBC's reporting of their various activities embarrassing
and intrusive. To me, that is a good thing. I notice they NEVER complain about ITN or Sky News, hmmm. The fact that it is ANY party in power
attempting to curb the Beeb also demonstrates they aren't in either parties pocket, whatever the critics may say.
The second source is the various arms of the Murdoch empire, with the Sun and Times frequently taking up the cause. What strikes me there is that if
the BBC can be removed, there would be nothing to prevent Murdoch's Sky becoming the THE most powerful and influential broadcaster in the UK, given
that following its own Digital TV fiasco, ITV is but a shadow of what it once was. Whenever I see the Murdoch press laying into the BBC for,
frequently fictional, failings I just hear alarm bells.
A single power monopoly is good for no-one except Murdoch.
Taking all that to one side, we should also consider that the lack of adverts also means the lack of any undue commercial pressure on the BBC's
editorial policy. Personal bias may creep in, as it may anywhere, but the BBC also operates the ONLY viewer feedback access in the UK through its
Newswatch and Points of View programmes to allow people to present their counterpoints. How come nobody else does?
Then their is the License Fee itself. £145.50 per year. Compare this with a Sky subscription. The current price for a full year including movies
sport and HD is £804! Anyone who pays for Sky who also complains about the BBC licence fee is is either an hypocrite or an idiot, IMO.
Especially when you consider what the License fee covers. Not merely the TV and radio channels (plus the fact that the vast majority of their content
is made here in the UK and later on gets repeated on those same Sky channels they charge so much for!) But there is also the technical innovation that
the BBC has created down the years too, starting by being the first national broadcaster in the world, then the first TV broadcaster and all the way
through to the development of digital TV, HD and the Iplayer etc. Indeed, I have seen people say that they dont think they should have to pay the
License fee because........and then mention viewing programmes by a means that was invented by the BBC and funded by the same license fee, which is
It is also not true that the BBC is funded solely by the Licence fee. It actually keeps the cost of that down by exporting programmes such as Top Gear
and Doctor Who all round the world, and also selling its technical innovations. for example the Iplayer software is THE streaming video player for all
broadcasters today, even sky.
Of course there are many criticisms that can be legitimately levelled at the BBC, it would be very odd if there weren't, but I just feel, personally,
that a great many of those who jump on the anti-beeb/anti-license fee bandwagon haven't taken the time to try to fully understand what they are
getting from it, and what they would be left with if those efforts were to succeed.
The comparison of the actual cost alone with Sky does it for me. Whenever I have discussed this with people and I ask 'do you have Sky?' the answer
is always yes. So, in a nutshell, £804 to watch Doctor Who or Mock the Week on satellite is fine, but £145 to the company who actually makes them
is a problem? Yeah right.