BBC plans to increase license fee

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by cheekyspanky, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. cheekyspanky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2004
    South Bucks, UK

    "If the government accepts the BBC's proposal, the fee would rise by £3.14 per year until 2013, not including inflation. The current fee is £126.50."

    Is it a given that the government will accept the changes? I can't say I've paid attention before - have they ever had to amend areas before the plans get approved?

    "On average, a repeat on BBC One or BBC Two costs £13,000 an hour - compared with £534,000 to make an hour of original drama."

    Suddenly the repeats all make sense!

    "Portable devices such as mobile phones will have access to more material, such as news, and the BBC wants viewers to create "personalised" versions of BBC audio and news.

    "So if, for example, if you are interested in world music or Baroque music, on the web we can offer you at a very marginal cost a personalised radio station ."

    And when will we get HDTV...

    "Mr Thompson pledged to deliver free-to-air HDTV on all BBC digital platforms "as soon as practical", which is expected to be by about 2010."
  2. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Now thats a big price difference.

    I don't see why repeats get such a bad name, good programming should be given another chance to find more viewers.

    Or, to put it another way - if it wasn't for repeats i would never been able to watch the Two Ronnies.

    HDTV next year please with an affordable (£2-300) set top box.
  3. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    i dont mind that, not like i have a TV license or anything but with quality shows like Doctor Who, Casualty and all that stuff on BBC then its all cool. I dont mind paying for good things. especially if it makes David Tennant's hair that little bit more special.
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Disgusting... utterly disgusting. Hopefully the Government will tell them where to get off.

    They should be doing the exact opposite, e.g. coming up with a plan where they reduce the licence fee over the next 10 years until they become completely self sufficient much like ITV, Channel 4, Five, SKY.

    That's absolute bullsh*t for a start.
  5. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    if the BBC were flogging HDTV set top boxes next year for £2 id get me a HDTV! ;) :cool:
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    My spidey-powers are detecting that iGAV doesn't like the good ole' beeb much :eek: :p
  7. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    i don't think that it is much to pay for teh service you get and without adverts too. For the person who compared it to 'self sufficient' sky - i think that you'll find that a sky subscription is a good deal more expensive than the license fee. ITV puts out rubbish (with ads) and channel 4 may actually get money from the beeb to help with the digital conversion. For all the good teh beeb does (and don't forget the radio and their impressive web site) it seems a small price.
  8. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    It's not *that* much more to pay. People keep forgetting that the BBC is no longer just channels 1 and 2. There have actually been some great shows on BBC3 such as Casanova, some interesting documentaries/films on BBC4 and then there's also the News24, kids channels and many digital radio stations. I guess if you're still watching in analogue then it's a crap deal, but you still have to pay the licence fee regardless of the channels you decide to watch. I don't mind paying for ad-free quality programmes, though to be honest I'm getting a little tired of repeats and copy-cat programming and even the Beeb is guilty of doing this.

    Freeview seems to be a little bit behind on the interactive front, so i hope they spend some money improving this service soon. At the moment many of the "press the red button" features only seem to work on the digital satellite, not DTT platform.
  9. Brize macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    Personally, I think the current licence fee represents good value for money, especially given the additional services provided by the BBC.

    I'm not keen on the idea of the BBC becoming 'self-sufficient'; I'd rather receive my news coverage from an organisation that isn't beholden to the interests of advertisers.
  10. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    The survey was probably done on BBC staff ;)
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  12. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I pay SKY more than twice that a year for nothing like the quality I get from the BBC. I don't watch all that much TV but during Olympic time/Wimbledon etc, the BBC coverage is fantastic.

    I'm watching more BBC broadcasts via their website now. That's where I watched the Ronnie Barker tribute since it was aired live via BBC Online. I'd pay the license fee in subscriptions for the BBC News site - I'm sure I get my money's worth from that alone!
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I don't think they're worth £126.50 per year for the priviledge that's for sure, never mind the year on year increase that is going to see the licence fee approach £190 by 2013. :eek:

    And you know what really pis*es me off a treat, it's the way they rub it in with their crappy licence advertisements they run, you know the ones... All thanks to the the way the BBC is uniquely funded by YOU, YES YOU the viewer.

    And I think you'll find that you can pick up 200+ channels for free with no monthly subscription from Sky. ;)

    But that's not my point. If I want Sky... I have to pay for the privilege, but it's MY decision.

    If I want to own a T.V. and watch every single channel other than anything BBC, then I HAVE TO pay £126.50, regardless of whether I watch their programming.

    And the Beeb doesn't? :eek:

    The Beeb's more than adept at running it's own advertisements for it's own products for 3 minutes every hour. ;)

    A small price... but why when others can do it for free? and offer a comparable service in the process?

    With the advent of a terrestrial digital signal, and the opportunities that it will provide... there's no excuse for licence fee to exist in 10 years time. None.

    As it's in the nations interest, I say put it to a referendum.
  14. Brize macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    This is a serious problem, and something that needs to be addressed going forward.

    Another problem is the aggression of the TV Licensing agency. As Blue will probably attest, TV Licensing work on the assumption that you own a television, and will bombard you with threatening literature even once you've told them that you don't watch broadcast television, or that you own a television but only use it to watch pre-recorded material (in which case you're not required to purchase a licence). At the very least, licence evasion should be decriminalised.
  15. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Whats the alternative, Sky?

    Please god no, Simpsons may be good every 2 hours.
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I receive a letter about once a month -- they vary in their levels of nastiness. Until recently, they've been addressed to the occupier but the most recent one was addressed to me personally. The net is closing in... :rolleyes:

    Their inspectors have got a habit of ringing the bell on Sat or Sun. mornings, but I never let them into the block.

    I've never bothered to contact the TV licensing agency at all. There is no legal requirement to do so to inform them that I do not have a TV nor do they have the right to gain entry without a search warrant.

    I like the idea that they think they're going to catch me out and make an example of me... one day and when I'm in the mood, I'll let them in just to see the reactions on their faces when they see that there's no TV at all, not even for DVDs.
  17. Knox Administrator


    Staff Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    Therein lies one of the main differences between a commercial company and a public broadcaster (whoever it may be). Sky only provide a free satellite service because a certain percentage of the people who sign up for the free service will eventually upgrade to the subscription service. If that percentage drops below a profitable level then Sky will most likely stop the free service.

    BBC's 3 minutes per hour or the commercial channels' 3 minutes every 15 minutes. Plus, one of my pet hates - documentaries which, before each ad break tell you what's coming next and then after the ad break summarise what has already been said, thus removing another 5 minutes worth of program over the hour.

    They don't do it for free, they do it because it promotes their services. Again, if it's not providing a return they would not continue to provide it.

    I wouldn't necessarily be against getting rid of the licence fee, but only as long as it didn't affect the programs and services that the BBC are supplying at the moment and planning to do (iMP and simulcast BBC1/2 in particular)
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I keep forgetting... :eek: but that's because the other 2 are crap. :p

    But you raise a good point about the extra channels, and the analogue signal.

    My mum lives in Coventry, one of the largest cities in the country but her analogue reception is literally unwatchable, yet she's not covered by Freeview either. So the only way she can get a picture is to get Sky (and thankfully she's seen the light cancelled the subscription and gets Sky FreeSat from this month).

    Now is it just me, or is something wrong when my mum had to pay twice for the priviledge of getting a decent reception? something that should have been covered by the original £126.50?

    What about the people that can barely afford the licence fee? or live in area's that are not covered by Freeview and don't have access to the extra BBC channels? It's wrong that people are expected to pay for services they cannot view. It's ethically and morally wrong.

    I also don't subscribe to the opinion that should the BBC become a commercial entity that their programming would suffer, utter nonsense, maybe it'd help rein in their outstanding ability at blowing money on worthless programming though.
  19. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Well, that's your opinion.

    I would pay the equivalent of £130/yr for two commercial-free TV channels like the BBC here in the US. I pay $54/month currently, for something like 100 channels (digital cable with the movie package), and last week I watched West Wing, Lost and ER (yes, that's 120 minutes of programming and 60 minutes of ads in a week) ... because there was nothing else I want to watch. My daughter also watched 30 minutes of Thomas the Tank Engine on PBS and a couple of Dora the Explorer episodes on Nick Jr.

    I could drop back to basic cable, but it's still $35/month for 50 channels I don't watch, and I wouldn't get the movie package or Sci FI channel.
  20. Thanatoast macrumors 65816


    Dec 3, 2002
    iGAV, I think you should come to the US and be forced to watch broadcast network television for a week. You'll never complain about the BBC again. Between the (non)reality programming, the evening "news", the never-ending commercials for pills, cars and more pills, and the fact that 90% of all programming is total crap, you'll be happy to get back to the beeb.
  21. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Obviously, of course you don't have to go through Sky to recieve the FTA channels, I was merely responding to a statement by JimN. :)

    Adverts have never bothered me, so I personally don't have an issue... infact they're many instances where the advert is better than the program. :p

    But with the advent of the digital terrestrial signal, there should be more innovative and creative solutions to broadcast advertising.

    But it costs the viewer/listener/clicker nothing for the privilege. They make their money from advertising, and provide a comparable service to the BBC. The BBC is not head and shoulders above ITV, Channel 4 or Five, and neither is their radio stations.

    Personally, what I'd like to see is the option for people who want to receive the BBC and its assorted products to be able to make that choice, pay a 'subscription' cost and receive it.

    But to have to pay £126.50 even if you have no intention or are unable to watch the BBC, is unfair.
  22. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    Sorry to hear about your gran iGav, i guess there's a reason they talk about people being sent to coventry, didn't realise that it was because of their poor tv reception. There will be a satellite service to provide freeview before the digital changeover.

    Am pleased to hear that you have access to 200 channels, i wonder how many you actually watch. BBC3 and BBC4 are far from rubbish and are now home to some of the beeb's best output.

    As for how officious the tv licensing authority are, i can't say that i blame them. The vast majority of households have tvs, and most can afford it (that's how many months worth of cigarettes?)
  23. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    I do not have an issue with the existence of the BBC and the way it is funded per se, however I do have large issues with the way it has evolved. The BBC are using the digital rollout, the website, the expense of BBC 3 and 4, and various new ratio stations as excuses for the above inflation price increase. My issues:

    • Who asked the BBC to create the world's biggest website with our money?
    • Who asked the BBC to create new channels which already have commercial alternatives?
    • Who asked the BBC to make radio stations which don't provide a public service, but merely whore records at the behest of record labels?

    • In short, how can they charge the public for changes in retrospect when those that fund the service weren't consulted?

    I posted the following on my blog late last year. and though self plagiarising isn't big or clever, it saves re-writing it.

    But I'll highlight what, to me, the BBC does that is brilliant, and among the best in the world at:

    • A news service as free of bias as is possible.
    • In depth sports coverage - and not just football.
    • BBC Radios 4 and 5 Live fulfil their remit wonderfully.
    • Their documentaries are some of the most respected and well-made in the world.
    • BBC Local Radio is a welcome release from the commercial stations which seem intent on playing as much networked content as possible.

    The problems with the BBC:

    • Too much focus on ratings on BBC 1. It is not in the public interest to outgun ITV, and the BBC is a public service.
    • The World Service in however many squillion languages. The BBC is a public service funded by the British taxpayer, and broadcasts in Russian, Somali and Arabic are not in the British public interest.
    • Music radio is a commercial venture which serves only the record companies by trying to sell their records, as well as licensing the songs to play. Commercial stations should take at least two of the BBC music stations over to free up the taxpayer's money spent on these.
    • Their web services are too big. Is it really in the British public interest to run the biggest website in the world? Equally, as it's paid for by the British taxpayer, more bandwidth-intensive stuff (audio and video) should be charged for by those outside of the UK. Why should the British taxpayer pay for foreigners watching and listening to their content? I'm aware I watched and listened to a lot of BBC content when living in Paris, but I held the same view then - I'd have happily paid a monthly subscription fee to access the BBC's site, especially the news and radio content.

    This is the thing - the BBC needs to create more reasons for it to continue to exist. It bothers me that it is a legal requirement for us to pay for the BBC whether or not we use its services. I fail to see why I should fund the BBC Russian service just because I happen to own a television. It's an old fashioned principle which has reached its end.

    I would pay for BBCs 1 and 2, and also if necessary for Radio 4 and 5 Live. But the rest? Bloat. I'd live without most of the website (short of news and sport, within the BBC's remit), the music radio stations aren't in the public interest, and on and on and on and Ariston.

    A 20th Century corporation trying desperately hard to stay there.
  24. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    My uncle was hounded in much the same way and they took him to court to slap him with a £2,000 fine. They made the case and the Judge turned to my uncle who was representing himself against advice and asked if he had anything to say in defense or mitigation. My uncle simply stated he did not and never has owned a TV. The Judge asked why he'd never told the TV licensing and he stated truthfully that they had never asked whether he owned a TV only if he had a license. The Judge apologised to him and torn shreds out of their lawyer for wasting time. :D
  25. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    And probably by the ones that have access to the fabled 'Red' button... :eek :p heheh.

    Thing is, I don't watch much TV, the channels I usually watch Channel 4, Adventure One, Discovery Civilisation and Science, National Geographic all have adverts and they don't annoy in the slightest... and IMHO each and everyone of those channels easily match and often exceed the quality of programming that the BBC offers... and usually when the BBC excels it's frequently in partnership with one of the above.

    It's rare that I watch anything on the BBC, Top Gear is the only thing that springs to mind (and even then the last series was pretty dire overall) and the occasional docu like last years admittedly excellent 'Voyage To The Planets' (which was in partnership with Discovery Channel, but that is another issue entirely).

    So to me, having to pay £126.50 is excessive, for something I hardly use... when I doubt I'd notice a difference in the quality of their programming if they became a commercial channel.

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