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THE BBC BEGINS TO STARVE

By Pete Moore On April 21st, 2019

It’s wonderful to discover that more than 880,000 television licences were cancelled last year. Amazon and Netflix are just the first out of the blocks in an unfolding broadcast revolution. The BBC’s archaic business model cannot possibly survive the onslaught.

The BBC is the propaganda HQ of the enemy class, so its demise cannot happen soon enough.

19 Responses to “THE BBC BEGINS TO STARVE”

  1. Enemy class. What utter nonsense. The BBC is the best of British. Licence dodgers should be banged up !

  2. With all due respect, f**k you Colm.

  3. The BBC and many other companies have to wrestle with the fact that Many TVs are not TVs anymore

    Your computer, Your tablet, your phone are TVs ( And radio, and newspaper ) if you want them to be

    I’ve never watched a TV program on my phone, but I now see plenty of people Doing that on the subways and buses

  4. Does cancelled licenses mean they no longer want BBC? Or license dodgers? If the former, BBC is in trouble because people are discovering they can watch movies on Netflix, Amazon or other websites and forget about the BBC. The pattern in the US is that more and more people are “cutting the cord” every year. It is likely the same will happen in the UK and unless the BBC adapts it is on a death spiral. I hope they adapt because I think they do some excellent work, but going into the open market will not be easy for them.

  5. New Yorker

    I agree. But as you mention, their content can be good and, if you have something people want for a price they want to pay you have a deal.

    The BBC license Fee model may have made much back in the day of black and white TV but, in the modern age it just makes no sense. In fact, because irrespective if you watch BBC content or not, you have to pay ! To me and many people that is in fact a closed market. The BBC can, as other providers have shown, make its content encrypted and remove the license fee from the statute. None of this is either difficult or expensive considering the alternative.

    And if people are indeed no longer watching the BBC, then they are not watching either ITV or Channel 4 and 5. If they are doing this legally the future for them is also very bleak. I see legal action may bring both the government and the BBC to their senses before long.

  6. Mark B

    It is the license fee I object to. I would pay for selected BBC channels or programs that I think are worth it.

    Either legal action and/or financial doom will bring them to their senses. I would oppose a government bail-out of BBC for several reasons including competitive unfairness to other purveyors.

  7. Very many UK residents now would get all their TV signals via satellite or cable.

    Does the BBC receive payments from Sky and or the cable companies for transmittal rights in the UK?

    If so, they’re being paid twice?

  8. You pay a license for a TV, regardless of whether or not it is satellite, cable or freeview. You pay for the TV. So it doesn’t receive payments from Sky or Virgin Media etc… But anyone with a TV watching Sky also has to pay a license fee.

    I’m not a fan of the license fee, not least because it is effectively paying for a channel that the owner of the TV doesn’t want to watch or has no interest in watching. It also applies equally to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. A millionaire pays the same as a single mother struggling to feed their family. So I have a big problem with the license fee.

    However there is also substantial public service provided for by the BBC. So in my opinion they should abolish the license fee and fund the BBC out of general taxation.

  9. BBC TV is now very available in the US – didn’t used to be.

    BBC World News ( a mile better than any US competitor ) and BBC America ( general programming ) are on my system.

  10. Seamus,

    However there is also substantial public service provided for by the BBC. So in my opinion they should abolish the license fee and fund the BBC out of general taxation.

    The BBC gets billions from the licence fee. I would not be happy with this being taken from general taxation. I could tolerate a much reduced BBC, and a lot less money being taken out of general taxation.

  11. I like the BBC and think that its news coverage, drama and comedy productions are superb but think that the licence fee model is an outdated concept. Much fairer to encrypt it behind a paywall.

  12. I imagine that some or all of the cable/satellite companies would pay for the rights for those ( many ) customers who would wish to receive it, just as they pay for the other channels that they rebroadcast.

  13. I imagine that some or all of the cable/satellite companies would pay for the rights for those ( many ) customers who would wish to receive it, just as they pay for the other channels that they rebroadcast.

  14. “The BBC gets billions from the licence fee. I would not be happy with this being taken from general taxation. I could tolerate a much reduced BBC, and a lot less money being taken out of general taxation.”

    Sure. There is an argument to suggest that the BBC should be separated into two halfs. The public service half (which will produce news programming, Question Time, public service broadcasting in general) and the entertainment half (which produces TV shows, comedy shows, dramas etc..). The entertainment half could be sold off, privatised etc…, while the remainder would be funded out of general taxation.

  15. The American CSpan channels receive no public funding, and they carry congressional hearings etc.

    It is a public service funded by the cable TV companies ( ultimately of course by their customers )

  16. I think in the absence of the BBC something would fill its place. Ultimately the goals should be to protect what is good about the BBC and shed what isn’t needed. Something would have evolved likely in its absence but ultimately that isn’t needed because the BBC exists. So C-Span evolved in the absence of an American BBC (though America does have NPR which fulfills a similar role on the radio to what the BBC does in the UK). The question is that in the absence of the BBC how quickly a C-Span like organisation could take its place.

  17. NPR/PBS of course get public funding ( along with many voluntary contributions from listeners/viewers )

  18. Phantom

    “It is a public service funded by the cable TV companies ( ultimately of course by their customers )”. Is that true? My experience with US cable TV companies is that they charge for everything and seem very profit driven.

  19. It’s true.

    Back in the day, it was probably good advertising for the young cable industry, and an additional service that you could not get without becoming a cable subscriber.

    Even now, CSPAN is probably a low cost item for them – there would be little to no rights fees – their serious spend if for ESPN and other sports programming ( which is a complete sin, since very many viewers could care less about sports programming yet with traditional cable they pay for it anyway )