BBC staff

Busaholic

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Given that ITV don't cover the Olympics it's hardly surprising that the BBC sent more staff to cover them than ITV.

Seriously, complaining about the BBC in this country is as common as complaining about the state of the railways. The BBC is obliged to do many things that other broadcasters aren't and there are times when a national public service is an absolute asset. The current crisis is one of them. No organisation would be able to respond in the way the BBC has with online learning material, for example.

BBC News is always accused of bias. The Tories complained about it when Labour was in power. Labour complain about it when the Tories are in power. That suggests to me that there's not an awful lot wrong.

As for cost could savings be made. Probably - tell me an organisation that can't save some costs. On air talent would generally earn much more in the commercial sector than at the BBC.

As for the license fee at £157.50, this is an absolute bargain. Compare and contrast to a Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky or BT subscription. They don't provide the breadth of TV coverage the BBC does or the radio (both local, national and World Service) or online content.

The BBC is far from perfect but be very careful what you wish for.....
I'd endorse every word of that. I no longer have a TV and watch BBC television on iplayer: other channels I find a pain to get hold of without a deal of faffing around, so I only try when I'm exceptionally keen.
 
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RailUK Forums

Puffing Devil

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For recorded shows another option opens up, as is believed to be being done with Have I Got News For You, where the contributors do the show over something like Zoom, but their video/audio is recorded locally and then sent after they finish to be edited. That way you can get pretty decent quality, even from poor bandwidth location
What a brilliant workaround!
 

AM9

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A premise, that while factually true, is missing the key factor that the BBC have the rights to broadcast the Olympics, while ITV do not. It's like asking why the BBC sent more people to the Olympics than my local newspaper, or why there are more bus drivers in London than my village. You're not comparing the work that those people are doing, just the raw numbers. Therefore your comments are based on a fallacy, and your conclusions are therefore invalid.

I can guarantee that ITV would send more people to the Olympics than the BBC of they were the rights holders instead. Being a commercial company has nothing to do with it (indeed, you should see the numbers the Americans send over).



The latency of the high bandwidth feeds (5Mbit is usable, 10Mbit starts to be good, 50Mbit is higher than would be sent over satellite for a primary programme feed) is less of an issue, as long as the timings stay consistent as you can delay feeds appropriately where you put them together. You can use simultaneously a low latency feed at much lower bitrates to give you confidence / talkback / return video feeds and reduce delays between participants.

4G connections have become fairly standard for remote inserts, primarily in news, but also other programming. I believe the Timeline kit being used by BT Sport was originally bought for coverage of women's football, with all the production happening at their base and all cameras fed back over 4G (most matches are single camera jobs).

Basically the clever bit is the linking up of the various technologies that have become standard over the last few years in different areas of broadcasting, and then translating that to having your production staff in separate locations as well as your contributors.



The BBC have also been using a lot of IP connections over standard broadband connections for their radio broadcasts, using software like Luci Live.

As I said before, Openreach have stopped going on to customer premises, so an upgrade or new line isn't going to happen at the moment.
Thanks for all the info above.
 

WelshBluebird

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But production staff also includes people like make-up artists and frankly the current crisis has shown that make up artists aren't really necessary in the news department as presenters are still appearing looking perfectly fine (albeit with differently styled hair in some cases).
I mean if you want to suggest all broadcast companies get rid of make-up artists and the like, then by all means go ahead.
But the BBC will use production staff in the same was as all broadcasters so I am not sure of the point of singling them out.
Worth saying that HIGNFY isn't even made by the BBC, it is produced by a totally separate production company and "sold" to the BBC. The production staff there will not be BBC staff members.

It does appear that the BBC has a lot more staff than commercial TV companies, certainly judging by how many people they send to events such as the Olympic Games compared to their rivals.
They really won't have "a lot more staff" working on specific productions.
You've already had the Olympics stuff explained as to why the BBC do send more staff there so I won't repeat.

I would seem to have upset a lot of BBC supporters. I would maintain that if the BBC was required to fund itself then its operations would be a lot leaner than at present.
As for the standard of news programmes across all channels I would suggest that the standard has dropped considerably over the last few years. Lots of items can hardly be called news and are all too often adverts for later shows, even on the BBC.
Hopefully before too long the TV licence is consigned to history and commercial ideas are allowed in.
Nothing at all to do with "BBC supporters" and everything to do with posters wanting to correct misconceptions.
As for the license fee - nothing at all to do with this. By all means have another thread to complain about it, but it has literally zero relevance when talking about how many staff the BBC use (or not).

I based my comments on a report I saw some time ago comparing the BBC with ITV regarding the numbers of staff sent to cover the Olympic Games. Without wishing to widen this too much from the original post I am convinced that if the BBC was a commercial organisation which had to compete in the market place then not only would it cut back on its staff it would also pay some of its staff a lot less than it does at the moment. As it is its takes from the poorest the same as the richest for its services and gives a lot of it to a few, an unsustainable model in the long run.
Again you've already had the Olympics stuff explain.
And as for the license fee - again see my comments above. Not relevant.
If the BBC was a commercial organisation it would still have plenty of production staff, newsroom staff and staff being sent to the Olympics (if they still covered them). Their staffing levels has literally nothing to do with its funding model. Of course, what they cover does. And if it was a commercial organisation it is unlikely they would be able to afford to cover the Olympics and the like, and such broadcasts would end up on paid TV like Football, Cricket, Rugby etc etc has.
 

Scotty

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For recorded shows another option opens up, as is believed to be being done with Have I Got News For You, where the contributors do the show over something like Zoom, but their video/audio is recorded locally and then sent after they finish to be edited. That way you can get pretty decent quality, even from poor bandwidth locations.
That seems to be true, if you look at one of the panelists from HIGNFY on Friday. Set up looks to be a BBC-provided laptop with something like Zoom running on it, then a camera (with light) pointing just above the laptop for the video that goes out.

 

dgl

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Another related thing I think I remember is seeing an article on how Germany did the video feeds/TV distribution for the 2006 world cup, all done over Deutsche Telekom's/T□Systems fibre network, so it is possible. Though having your own fiber lines is a big advantage.
 

DDB

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I based my comments on a report I saw some time ago comparing the BBC with ITV regarding the numbers of staff sent to cover the Olympic Games. Without wishing to widen this too much from the original post I am convinced that if the BBC was a commercial organisation which had to compete in the market place then not only would it cut back on its staff it would also pay some of its staff a lot less than it does at the moment. As it is its takes from the poorest the same as the richest for its services and gives a lot of it to a few, an unsustainable model in the long run.
Where did you see this report? Now you've discovered that this report was seriously misleading by leaving out the reason for the different staff levels you need to consider did the person writing this report not do the most basic of research or did they know the answer and deliberately leave that fact out?

Also how do you know how much its staff are paid? You know because the government made them publish it but didn't make any other broadcaster publish it thus giving all the other broadcasters an advantage over the BBC who don't have to publish thier commercially sensitive information? Why do you think the government did this? Do you think it was encouraged into it by the same organisations that published that missleading report?
 

LMS 4F

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Where did you see this report? Now you've discovered that this report was seriously misleading by leaving out the reason for the different staff levels you need to consider did the person writing this report not do the most basic of research or did they know the answer and deliberately leave that fact out?

Also how do you know how much its staff are paid? You know because the government made them publish it but didn't make any other broadcaster publish it thus giving all the other broadcasters an advantage over the BBC who don't have to publish thier commercially sensitive information? Why do you think the government did this? Do you think it was encouraged into it by the same organisations that published that missleading report?
I am not aware of government thinking but as the BBC gets the bulk of its funding direc from the public who watch TV, whether or not they avail themselves of BBC service, I would think it only fair yet that the same public know where their money is being spent.
I am also aware that the present government are not big fans of the BBC but that is for them, I just wish that the idea of funding for this in my opinion out of date organisation be brought into the 21st Century. Why they could not be funded by subscription and or advertising like all other TV companies I am at a loss to understand? Do they cling to this outdated format because it enables them to continue as they always have without facing up to reality? It is apparent that we are at different end of the spectrum on this subject and will never agree and accordingly I see no point in continuing with this discussion.
 

dosxuk

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Why they could not be funded by subscription and or advertising like all other TV companies I am at a loss to understand?
A BBC funded by subscription or advertising would not be the BBC. It would be another broadcast entity entirely and would have wide ramifications across the entire UK broadcast scene. Many of the things the BBC currently does is because it is funded by the licence fee, either because of the responsibilities that entails, or the benefits (e.g. not having to worry about chasing audiences). As a result, the commercial broadcasters have to up their game to entice audiences away from the BBC, resulting in better quality programming across the board.

The commercial broadcasters also have grave concerns about a BBC competing for the same advertising cash as they currently get. Replacing the licence fee with advertising revenue will not suddenly increase the amount of money companies are willing to spend on adverts, they will just shift the cash around to chase the audience. As you can imagine, the likes of ITV and Sky are not happy with the idea of their incomes being slashed significantly.

As a final note, many people are suggesting subscription fees these days and comparing the BBC to the likes of Netflix and Amazon. This is not a fair comparison. The BBC outputs far more than either of those companies, attracting a wider audience. Yes, Netflix does make some good series and documentaries, but it's daily news coverage is somewhat lacking, and it's radio stations seem to be absent, along with a large number of the other areas the BBC covers. It's also important to remember the BBC has been lumbered with many other costs by the Government that they have no say over, which only a few years ago were seen as a state cost rather than a licence fee cost (e.g. rural broadband and world service radio and TV output).
 

87 027

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Worth saying that HIGNFY isn't even made by the BBC, it is produced by a totally separate production company and "sold" to the BBC. The production staff there will not be BBC staff members.
Conversely the BBC's commercial arm is quite happy to sell its services to the BBC's "competitors." For example, The Last Leg is filmed at the BBC Studios in Elstree but is broadcast on Channel 4.

In fact the BBC Chairman is on public record as stating that the BBC would do very well out of a Netflix style subscription model, but as has been pointed out above it would completely change the character

 
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Scotty

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Celebrity Juice is another filmed at BBC Elstree (well, except the last episode, which was filmed by each person at home), but aired on another channel (ITV2).
 

JohnMcL7

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That seems to be true, if you look at one of the panelists from HIGNFY on Friday. Set up looks to be a BBC-provided laptop with something like Zoom running on it, then a camera (with light) pointing just above the laptop for the video that goes out.

I'm surprised at how good the equipment looks because the quality when I was first watching Have I got news for you was pretty poor although I've not been watching it since as I find the format feels a bit odd so maybe they've improved it since. I'm not criticising the show as I realise they're doing what they can.

I'm working from home for my job and I will say that although I can still do my job it's a lot more challenging and time consuming than being in the office because it's not as easy to co-ordinate with other people especially those that are not very technical.

I wouldn't say the BBC are as far from audience chasing as claimed above now they're competing on worldwide platforms and looking for lucrative new franchises they can sell to around the world. I'd have no problem with the subscription system for the BBC, if Netflix or similar scrapped everything I was interested in then I'd stop paying for it and look elsewhere for content of interest but with the BBC who have scrapped pretty much everything I watched I have to keep on paying the same. I'm not at all as confident they would do well with such a system given they're so heavily reliant on old franchises and are clearly struggling with new ones.
 

AM9

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Conversely the BBC's commercial arm is quite happy to sell its services to the BBC's "competitors." For example, The Last Leg is filmed at the BBC Studios in Elstree but is broadcast on Channel 4. ...
Likemany similar programmes, The Last Leg has been made in many studios around London. I've been to the show at Riverside (Hammersmith) and Wembley, I've also seen HIGNFY at The South Bank Centre. The production companies 'Open Mic' (TLL), Metorn (Question Time) and 'Hat Trick' (HIGNFY) - and all the others, use whatever studios that can handle their specific programme needs, on the day if the price is right. The production companies use leased/hired equipment almost exclusively, and subcontract ancillary activities, (security, hospitality, - even editing/grading etc.) as they see fit. The BBC as both a commissioning organisation and maker of programmes itself fits into the contemporary visual production marketplace just like every other provider. That includes letting some of it's own facilities out for use by others.
It seems that LMS 4F has a very uninformed view of the way that the BBC operates, - maybe formed by a source that has an axe to grind.
 

Tetchytyke

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I am convinced that if the BBC was a commercial organisation which had to compete in the market place then not only would it cut back on its staff it would also pay some of its staff a lot less than it does at the moment.
The evidence is very much to the contrary.

Gary Lineker, someone the right get very exercised about, gets about £1.5m a year for his work with the BBC. His work with BT Sport nets him an estimated £3m a year. So he's actually paid twice as much in the commercial sector.

The BBC's Director General gets about £500k a year salary. Meanwhile, over at ITV the CEO Carolyn McCall gets almost £4m a year. Sky's CEO got a whopping £16m last year.

Whatever you think of the BBC's output, the one thing you can't say is that BBC staff are overpaid for the sector.
 

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