The BBC, what sort of future does it have? (funding, activities etc)

Cambus731

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I must admit to generally being in favour of the BBC Licence as a way of funding the Beeb, although it is admittedly a pain when the direct debit comes round.
But from conversations with others, I have only fairly recently discovered just how much resentment there is among a lot of people in paying for a Corporation whose broadcasts they hardly ever use, if at all. And that has caused me to re-appraise my opinion.
I personally wouldn't wish to see the BBC be privatised and become just another commercial TV/Radio company.
Is it time for the BBC to be funded directly from the Treasury? Or to start featuring adverts and product placements? or to continue as it is?
A lot of people accuse it of bias, but to me it always seems to be very objective in its reporting of news and affairs, as much as there is such a thing as objective truth, of course.

What are the views of others on here?
 
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Bletchleyite

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Personally I think the other BBC services are more important than television - things like local radio and the website. I'd give consideration to funding those via general taxation (with the website possibly carrying some subtle advertising), then letting the television side go fully commercial, as it's clearly possible to produce quality television on a fully commercial basis.
 

kevin_roche

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I happily pay each month for the BBC. I do use it for TV and radio. I find their news services to be very good in comparison, to other sources. I don't watch much other TV. I have a Humax satellite box and I find it is stuck on BBC1, BBC2 or iPlayer with a very occasional change to a recording from ITV or Channel 4 or 5 where I can skip through the adverts.

I would prefer to keep things the way they are now but I suspect there will be changes.

My concern would be that the things I like to watch will be replaced by the kind of things I don't watch if they were funded by adverts.
 

Bletchleyite

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My concern would be that the things I like to watch will be replaced by the kind of things I don't watch if they were funded by adverts.
I personally find that Channel 4, which has a hybrid funding model involving advertising and subsidy, offers plenty that I want to watch. Channel 5 does to some extent, and the BBC (mostly BBC2) a bit more than C4. I don't however watch any TV at all live (other than sometimes rolling news), it is all via the players, which TBH is probably the future. Linear radio will continue as that's a "have it on all day in the background" thing, but linear TV other than rolling news I reckon has 10 years at most.

I wonder if a potential future model for the BBC might work more like Channel 4, i.e. a smaller subsidy from general taxation and a wider commercial arm helping with funding, with the whole thing being under a not-for-profit CIC type structure.
 

37424

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If you make it more commercial with advertising then it will affect the revenue of existing commercial stations.

If go to a subscription model then you will get less subscribers so you either have to charge more for the same, or charge the same and provide a lot less there are no easy alternatives.

Then you have such as the Daily Mail who I suspect would like to get rid of the BBC on 2 counts, one they believe it to be too left wing and other if they get rid of the BBC website then it's easier to charge for news and access to their site.
 

asharpe

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I'd be quite happy to pay a subscription for the BBC. Cbeebies is on the TV more than I'd like to admit, I listen to Radio 4, and I find the television news ok.

I pay for Netflix, Youtube, the Telegraph, Private Eye and others and I think the BBC would much better serve me and keep costs down if the management knew I had the option to stop paying if I didn't feel it was value for money.

I am completely against a license fee, particularly for the "Entertainment" side of things where comercial providers are more than capable of doing just as good a job if not better.

It's archaic and criminalises the poor and I think it just needs to end.

Netflix have shown that by charging a modest fee it's possible to produce high quality add free programming - people should have the choice to send their subscription money or whether to accept adverts.
 

37424

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I'd be quite happy to pay a subscription for the BBC. Cbeebies is on the TV more than I'd like to admit, I listen to Radio 4, and I find the television news ok.

I pay for Netflix, Youtube, the Telegraph, Private Eye and others and I think the BBC would much better serve me and keep costs down if the management knew I had the option to stop paying if I didn't feel it was value for money.

I am completely against a license fee, particularly for the "Entertainment" side of things where comercial providers are more than capable of doing just as good a job if not better.

It's archaic and criminalises the poor and I think it just needs to end.

Netflix have shown that by charging a modest fee it's possible to produce high quality add free programming - people should have the choice to send their subscription money or whether to accept adverts.
If it went subscription then it would be the end of the BBC as we know it there is a clue in the name ie British Broadcasting, while Netflix an American Company has more subscribers in America alone than the population of the UK.
 

JohnMcL7

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I can't remember the last time I watched anything on a BBC service since they've progressively removed everything I had an interest in however I can't vote with my feet and go elsewhere because I have to keep on paying regardless of how little I use BBC services. For those concerned about the effect of making the BBC more commercial and the effect it would have on their programming it's worth bearing in mind it's already heavily commercialised since they're not just making shows for the UK but it's key for them to be able to sell those shows outside the UK.
 

Chester1

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If it went subscription then it would be the end of the BBC as we know it there is a clue in the name ie British Broadcasting, while Netflix an American Company has more subscribers in America alone than the population of the UK.
The middle ground would be copying countries that have a TV / media / news tax on property but limit it to public service stuff. E.g. £40 a year for every home collected through council tax system would give about £1bn of income. If people want entertainment, drama etc they could subscribe to the BBC. I would happily pay a subscription too.
 

Typhoon

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If you make it more commercial with advertising then it will affect the revenue of existing commercial stations.

If go to a subscription model then you will get less subscribers so you either have to charge more for the same, or charge the same and provide a lot less there are no easy alternatives.

Then you have such as the Daily Mail who I suspect would like to get rid of the BBC on 2 counts, one they believe it to be too left wing and other if they get rid of the BBC website then it's easier to charge for news and access to their site.
Good summary.

To take up the points of providing less - obvious candidates for the chop would be World Service and the Parliament channel. They are both, I believe, paid for by license payers. The government would need to decide who pays for these in the future - I don't know how easy it is to put radio behind a paywall for instance. I suppose the government could take over both, which would be worrying, regarding their neutrality. Other areas at risk would be live classical music, jazz, folk, big band, new rock bands etc. None of these concerns me but it would limit the opportunities of the talented.

Before the government acts they might want to consider how they would have coped without the BBC. I'm not certain how many other TV channels would have altered their schedules to accommodate the PM and other ministers, sometimes at peak time. They might also want a hefty fee. My local radio also did much to push the message, particularly local initiatives for those needing and offering support; commercial radio offered Taylor Swift, Mabel and McFly.

To address the initial point though, I think the current government would like an alternative to the current arrangement because they could make it out to be a popular move (and it would be amongst many). And just now they need popularity.
 

asharpe

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The middle ground would be copying countries that have a TV / media / news tax on property but limit it to public service stuff. E.g. £40 a year for every home collected through council tax system would give about £1bn of income. If people want entertainment, drama etc they could subscribe to the BBC. I would happily pay a subscription too.
As the linear model comes to an end that would be the only way for the BBC to raise income.

At some point, probably when I get a smart TV in the kitchen and my daughter can work the remote, I'll evaluate whether I actually need a TV license.

One game of thrones ended my now tv subscription got the chop.
 

Bletchleyite

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Long term the model is probably buying programming direct from the producers. Why pay a middleman?

BBC local and factual radio is different and I think that's worth keeping - you can't do that kind of public service broadcasting as a viable commercial enterprise - if you could someone would be doing. Whereas say Radio 1 could easily be done commercially.
 

LOL The Irony

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Unless they want to start using the Worldwide money, not a good one. Nearly 1 million people cancelled their tv licence between 2018 & 2019.
I wonder if a potential future model for the BBC might work more like Channel 4, i.e. a smaller subsidy from general taxation and a wider commercial arm helping with funding, with the whole thing being under a not-for-profit CIC type structure.
As it should be. BBC Worldwide makes over a billion pounds a year, why should the elderly have to pay for a licence?
 

LMS 4F

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I admit to being a long term critic of the way the BBC is funded. There seems to me something wrong with a system that makes all users of Televisions having to pay the licence fee whether they watch it or not. Add to that criminal sanctions for failure to pay for a licence, at one time 25 per cent of all cases in Magistrates Courts were I read for non payment. This fall hardest on the least well off and their money is used to support programmes they would never watch in a million years and also to pay ludicrous salaries to the likes of Gary Lineker.
I think it should go fully commercial and takes it chances alongside all the other providers. If it supplies what the viewing public wants at a price they are prepared to pay then it will survive. If it fails to do this then it will fail and so it should.
 

asharpe

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BBC local and factual radio is different and I think that's worth keeping - you can't do that kind of public service broadcasting as a viable commercial enterprise - if you could someone would be doing. Whereas say Radio 1 could easily be done commercially.
I'm not convinced local radio really does depend on the bbc. As with the commercial sector a lot is national now anyway with interludes of local content.

And I think the online local news is harming local papers so bbc should tread carefully there too.

I do agree on the factual element to some extent, but Podcasts are quickly catching up. I think the BBC realised that and so they stopped doing podcasts and just have their own app now.

Radio comedy is hard to come by online. But Just a Minute, I'm sorry I haven't a clue and other great shows could be funded by just the studio audience.

The Now Show I'd be worried about and may well struggle in a comercial environment.
 

Bletchleyite

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And I think the online local news is harming local papers so bbc should tread carefully there too.
Local papers are harming themselves with their awful websites.

I do agree on the factual element to some extent, but Podcasts are quickly catching up. I think the BBC realised that and so they stopped doing podcasts and just have their own app now.
BBC podcasts are still available on all the aggregators. I mostly listen via Spotify.
 

WelshBluebird

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I'm not convinced local radio really does depend on the bbc. As with the commercial sector a lot is national now anyway with interludes of local content.
Doesn't that just prove local radio does depend on the BBC? As all the commercial ones have been bought up by the same few companies and so barely provide any local content anymore. For some places, the BBC is the only local radio.Even if it isn't as local as what it once was, it is still 100% better than the commercial options.
 

LOL The Irony

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There seems to me something wrong with a system that makes all users of Televisions having to pay the licence fee whether they watch it or not.
Their hired goons from capita, along with the threatening letters, may spin it that way, but you only need a tv licence if you watch live broadcasts.
 

Starmill

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Local papers are harming themselves with their awful websites.
They're genuinely terrible sites, but is there any way to improve them without sacrificing any revenue? I doubt it, or they'd have done it. Like many small charities, many will probably run out of money soon anyway without government intervention.
 

Senex

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I'm just about to rejoin the licence-payers (which in my case will divert to the BBC money that might otherwise have gone to print-media). I'd happily pay for a radio licence because I do think that a national radio service is potentially a strategic necessity and because I still listen to quite a lot of BBC radio despite similar reservations about some major areas of its coverage that I have to those I have about its TV services. However, I really resent paying for a television service from a broadcaster that I have come to watch less and less over the last few years. Indeed, there are often weeks now when the only BBC TV I watch is the news. I've rather gone off most of their drama, I haven't found their comedy funny for years, I resent the amount of time given to sport and the way it's so allowed to disrupt schedules, and I even dislike the rather blatant liberal left viewpoint of the news and current affairs broadcasting (note I am not saying a pro-Labour bias). (There was a nice example in the tear-jerker story about British children taken to join the terrorists in Syria and their grandmother now wanting them back and saying what a truly lovely person her daughter, one of the parents, was—all unchallenged by the interviewer.) And the so-called "talent" is paid far too much at our expense! Furthermore, the organisation is an arrogant one that is never really prepared to admit that it's in the wrong. Just watch (or listen to) some of the various feedback programmes! So why, if I dislike television so much, do I not just give it up and so not have to pay a licence at all? Well, I do watch several of the other channels on a regular basis and should not wish to lose them. But why should I pay for a BBC service I don't want and actually dislike in order to get the non-supported channels that I do want?
(And as an aside, I do so agree with Bletchleyite about the awful websites of local papers!)
 

VauxhallandI

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I think the fee is good value.

There are too many people being told to dislike the BBC, it’s the next sliver towards removing all opposition.

It’s not biased there are as many people who think it’s as pro this as it’s anti that.
It figures that it’s probably somewhere in between.
 
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Cowley

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I think the fee is good value.

There are too many people being told to dislike the BBC, it’s the next sliver towards removing all opposition.

It’s not biased there are as many people who think it’s as pro this as it’s anti that.
It figures that it’s probably somewhere in between.
I see it pretty much the same way.
I don’t think they’ve been entirely objective over this last few months, but I listen to so much stuff on BBC Sounds throughout the day that I’d be gutted to lose it and although I don’t really watch any BBC TV stuff these days the radio side of things is worth the licence fee alone in my opinion.
 

JamesT

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I think the licence fee has made the BBC lazy. It carries on doing the same things as they know they have a pretty bulletproof income, whereas a more commercial organisation would have to keep up.
Like @LMS 4F I think the principal of an imprisonable offence for not paying a tax for TV is wrong. The streaming services have shown you can do ad-free subscriptions successfully.
If the licence fee was abolished I could see a tendering process from government to retain public service broadcasting. TV companies could get money from central taxation if they committed to providing a certain level of content (news, educational programmes, etc.) on a free to air basis. That would seem fairer than just giving it to the BBC and expecting the public service part from the charter.
 

GusB

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I've somewhat grudgingly bought a TV licence (it was previously in someone else's name and I was sick of getting reminders!). At just over £13 a month, I suppose it's reasonably good value considering the amount of stuff I watch on iPlayer, and my radio rarely is tuned into anything other than a BBC radio station, but I certainly see why some people are against having to pay it.

There are a few programmes that I watch on BBC1 and BBC2, but I find BBC4 is now full of repeats and it's rare to find anything new these days.

I was slightly annoyed when it came to setting up the direct debit. They wanted a one-off card payment of £52.50, and the next two instalments will be the same amount. Only after that will the payments drop to the £13 per month. So effectively I'm paying for a year spread over three months and then next year's in advance. They don't mention that in their adverts!

Their hired goons from capita, along with the threatening letters, may spin it that way, but you only need a tv licence if you watch live broadcasts.
This isn't strictly true. You now need a TV Licence if you watch on demand content from BBC iPlayer, but not other platforms. However if you do use a platform like All4 to watch something live, you still require a licence. There's also a common misconception that it's okay to watch programmes that are recorded (because it's not live, right?) without a licence, but this still counts as live TV.
 

brad465

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I admit to being a long term critic of the way the BBC is funded. There seems to me something wrong with a system that makes all users of Televisions having to pay the licence fee whether they watch it or not. Add to that criminal sanctions for failure to pay for a licence, at one time 25 per cent of all cases in Magistrates Courts were I read for non payment. This fall hardest on the least well off and their money is used to support programmes they would never watch in a million years and also to pay ludicrous salaries to the likes of Gary Lineker.
I think it should go fully commercial and takes it chances alongside all the other providers. If it supplies what the viewing public wants at a price they are prepared to pay then it will survive. If it fails to do this then it will fail and so it should.
The salaries of anyone working in TV are, as you put it, ludicrous, whether it's for the BBC or any other channel; in an ideal world all of them wouldn't be paid so highly. Quite how such a move would be pursued is another matter. The problem the BBC have is if they cut their salaries but other channels do not, they won't get suitable staff, unless most other channels cut their staff salaries too.
 

Bletchleyite

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There's also a common misconception that it's okay to watch programmes that are recorded (because it's not live, right?) without a licence, but this still counts as live TV.
If you mean "recorded using your own equipment", it's the act of recording them that would require the licence. If someone with their own licence recorded it for you, in my understanding it would not require the licence - that's equivalent to watching a (non-BBC) streaming service for programmes not shown at the time of broadcast. But I do recall this one being quite controversial when video recorders came out!
 

LMS 4F

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I think the fee is good value.

There are too many people being told to dislike the BBC, it’s the next sliver towards removing all opposition.

It’s not biased there are as many people who think it’s as pro this as it’s anti that.
It figures that it’s probably somewhere in between.
Its surely not good value if you don't watch BBC programmes, you just pay so other people can.
 

VauxhallandI

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Its surely not good value if you don't watch BBC programmes, you just pay so other people can.
I will freely admit I'm not 100% up to date with the rules as I have no issue with the charge. Until Brexit I hadn't really heard anyone else complain too much either and certainly no one I actually know has ever mentioned it as an issue. That said I realise I don't represent everyone.

I had assumed if you didn't watch BBC content then you didn't have to pay?

Is this more of a new generation of watchers that are turning away? The content of the BBC is so far reaching I find it difficult that people of my ilk would not use any of their info ever?

I use - BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Radio 5, Radio 4, BBC website. Are the majority of people now only watching YouTube and Netflix?

I use Amazon, Netflix etc too but couldn't ever imagine not having BBC content.

Someone said BBC4 has dried up in content, one can assume the fact that shows aren't being made at the moment has been taken into consideration?

Frankly if the BBC are no longer trusted as they aren't the echo chamber desired then who do we trust? Russia Today? As long as you always overlay an open mind and a level of questioning of news etc then you'll realise its all not that bad.

Sorry all of that was directed at you LMS!
 

LMS 4F

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I will freely admit I'm not 100% up to date with the rules as I have no issue with the charge. Until Brexit I hadn't really heard anyone else complain too much either and certainly no one I actually know has ever mentioned it as an issue. That said I realise I don't represent everyone.

I had assumed if you didn't watch BBC content then you didn't have to pay?

Is this more of a new generation of watchers that are turning away? The content of the BBC is so far reaching I find it difficult that people of my ilk would not use any of their info ever?

I use - BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Radio 5, Radio 4, BBC website. Are the majority of people now only watching YouTube and Netflix?

I use Amazon, Netflix etc too but couldn't ever imagine not having BBC content.

Someone said BBC4 has dried up in content, one can assume the fact that shows aren't being made at the moment has been taken into consideration?

Frankly if the BBC are no longer trusted as they aren't the echo chamber desired then who do we trust? Russia Today? As long as you always overlay an open mind and a level of questioning of news etc then you'll realise its all not that bad.

Sorry all of that was directed at you LMS!
I don't mind anyone having a different point of view. I'm just not sure that a system created nearly 100 years ago when the BBC was all we had can be defended in these times with all the choices e have as to how we watch and listen to our news and entertainment. Also doesn't the licence fee put Everyother platform at an immediate disadvantage as one of the rivals has a guaranteed income before they start, thus skewing the market before they start.
I also think it is unfair that a lot of very well educated and connected people get very nices wages paid for by majority of the population who earn much less yet have to pay on threat of punishment.
I
 

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