WorldwideUKIrelandAustraliamore
media.info

The future of the BBC

By J Peter Wilson
Posted 15 January 2015, 3.31pm est
Elliott Brown
Remove the ads and support us: GO PRO




“I fear for the future of the BBC if the Conservatives win the next election,” says Russell T Davies, the former writer and director of Doctor Who. He continues, “Twenty years ago you couldn’t have a conversation where you could see the writing on the wall. Now there are powerful voices ranged against [the BBC].”

As I read this article it appears to me to be part of a campaign by certain members of society to see that the 'TV licence fee' is not altered in any shape or form and therefore such scare tactics are being used, prior to the general election,

The BBC is part of our national DNA but this does not mean that a fresh look needs to be taken at how its 11 national radio stations and their local radio or their nation stations for Scotland, Ulster and Wales are funded along with some of their TV channels.

When I first started listening to the radio I only had a choice of 3 BBC radio services plus Radio Luxembourg on 208 metres in the evenings whereas today I can listen to, in my part of Yorkshire, to a total of over 40 radio services and a variety of TV channels plus the excellent catch-up services.

Not only does a more up-to-date system need to be found to fund our public service broadcaster but a system of safeguarding access by 'listener supported stations' such as Premier Radio to DAB and other digital platforms should be put in place so that a wide range of radio and television, be they BBC, commercial or 'listener supported', is kept in this country.

This is not a party political matter but a matter for sensible non-political discussion.

Remove the ads and support us: GO PRO

Comments

2 years, 8 months ago

"The licence fee is not fit for pirpose" was a comment that I heard in one news report towards the end of last week. Then, on Monday, I heard that Lord Hall would like the licence to be ammended to cover "catch-up" services. My own personal view is that if we keep the BBC, and I strongly believe that there are parts of it that must be preserved, we do need to have an adult serious discussion as to how it should be funded, and how much funding as a "public service" broadcaster it should get, and how much, and what parts should be allowed to be self funding, either from a subscription service or through accepting on air advertising.

One thing I am sure of is that to fund public service, and minority interest programming, we still need some kind of centralised collected funding like the TV licence. I look across at RTE and note that even though they are the state broadcaster, they get funding from advertising as well as their TV Licence, which at todays exchange rate is about £137 per annum.

For me, the bits of the BBC that should be preserved as "public Service" are The news Channel, ONE general entertainment channel, to air material that would not ordinarily be broadcast by a commercial broadcast, Radio 3, 4 and 5 Live, and a re-designed BBC local network run in conjunction with community radio. If the other channels remain, then they should be allowed to take advertising to part fund the public service bits. The TV licence should pay for the upkeep of the transmitter networks and uplinks for satelite for all broadcasters. Broadcasters whole require financial assitance should receive licence money on a pro rata basis reflected by they audience reach or share.

These are just my ideas, but I believe that some for of sharing of the licence fee will ultimately come and that the BBC will either be vastly slimmed down, or will have to become a part commercially funded organisation.

PRO2 years, 8 months ago

I'm for a publically funded BBC which includes all those elements which aren't classic PSB, such as BBC Three. However, in the internet age , the licence fee is archaic and doesn't cover catch-up tv, including iPlayer where as long as you don't stream live tv, you can watch the vast BBC programming for up to 30 days for free.

France has the taxe d’habitation which is paid through the annual tax bill which funds the French state channels operated by France Televisions which most households pay, although there are exemptions. Ironically in France, you can watch live tv through your PC for free, although broadband is going to be heavily taxed instead.

Germany has the tv licence fee as part of an annual tax bill to all citizens.

A form of taxation either in the form of adding the licence fee to income tax or raising the tax on broadband prices may be a future solution of funding the BBC.

2 years, 8 months ago

One thing I actually forgot to mention in the original post is the fact that one suggestion is to add the licence fee to every council tax bill. I can see that being received well.

2 years, 4 months ago

Brian, for the price of a pint of beer each week at less than £3 pounds, the BBC are relaying eight television services and 13 digital radio services in Scotland. All free of advertising. The cost equivalent of me dropping money down the back of the couch or on the floor of the car in a week.
Honestly, the logistical costs of changing the current set up of retrieving the licence revenue is not worth changing for the exception of closing the BBC Player loophole.

Worse case scenario is the BBC moving on to subscription services which will cost more per household in the long run. If this government is daft enough to put the BBC behind a pay wall, I will subscribe to the BBC, but cut back on my Sky package.

Recently, Sky raised some packages by £3 per month and nobody seemed to complain. Based on that, the BBC licence fee could be increased to £5 pounds a week to support their services!

There is a lot of criticism about BBC output, but you don't often get a street rally to protect a channel like BBC 6Music. The same can be said of the BBC 3 linear tv closure. It prompted a reaction from over 300,000 viewers and many media artists. Sky on the other hand closed its 3D television channel and Sky Arts 2HD service without the bat of an eyelid or a whisper of sorrow from their subscribers!

PRO2 years, 4 months ago

There is a lot of criticism about BBC output, but you don't often get a street rally to protect a channel like BBC 6Music. The same can be said of the BBC 3 linear tv closure. It prompted a reaction from over 300,000 viewers and many media artists. Sky on the other hand closed its 3D television channel and Sky Arts 2HD service without the bat of an eyelid or a whisper of sorrow from their subscribers!

There were complaints about the closure of Sky Arts 2 after the channel closed down when viewers to their highbrow content realised they now have to compete for airtime with Sky Arts's more commercially viable output of classic rock and pop concerts.

2 years, 4 months ago

Martin, the Sky Arts 2 HD closure is not as dire as some of the complainers on your comment might think.
If the red button is pressed within the Sky Arts channel, there is a surprising variety of programmes for download. The programme I downloaded late last week was the Dmitri Shostakovich documentary.
I stand corrected, I honestly did not see a list of complaints about the Sky Arts 2HD closure, nor the 3D closure!

Login or register to comment
It only takes a second with your Google or Facebook account.


- follow us on @minfodiscuss

Remove the ads and support us: GO PRO