BBC Licence Fee

The UK press is predictably angry about the BBC’s request for an increase in the licence fee. When you’re reading stories about this you should bear in mind that papers like the Sun are slightly biased as they are owned one of the BBC’s broadcasting rivals.

Many of them seem to be reporting this as a done deal instead of the more accurate picture, which is this is the amount that the BBC are asking for. There are any number of government committees to go through before the rise is approved.

And it really annoys me that people complain about spending about a tenner a month on the BBC (potentially rising to fifteen pounds in eight years time if these reports are accurate) when they’ll happily spend two or three times that each month on cable or satellite channels – where they have to suffer being advertised to as well.

I’m aware that I’m in danger of sounding like the man from the old Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch (“I would gladly sell my wife to finance the BBC”) but I do think that they provide a top class service and that even at these new levels, the licence fee is incredibly good value.

(I should, of course, point out that the BBC are my current clients, but this hasn’t altered my opinion of them)


  1. Yes, it really annoys me that you have to pay so much for Sky and there’s still adverts at least every ten minutes. Well, it would annoy me if I was a subscriber! :) Talk about having your cake and eating it. Still, I think that Freeview is probably undermining Sky to a certain extent.At least the BBC is trying to do a good job with its online services as well as the usual broadcasting that they do.I just wish that instead of commissioning so-called “stars” to produce drivel they’d use some of the money to commission more pilot shows from unknown people trying to get started in the business. I went to university and did drama with some incredibly talented writers and actors, and yet they’re doing things like working for the Yellow Pages or selling screws! The BBC is surely guilty of wasting this talent.

  2. I personally believe that the BBC is great value for money.However, the fact that you can get fined thousands of pounds for owning equipment which is capable of viewing it *even if you don’t* if you don’t pay up a fee to them is morally reprehensible.It’s like putting a usage tax on blank CD’s and giving it to the music companies. After all, if you buy a CDR you’re going to use it to steal music from them.

  3. Yes, the main objection, and an understandable one, is that this is basically just a tax that you cannot avoid if you want to view any channel at all on your TV. I don’t really want to get into a funding argument, but if a Sky subscriber could somehow be forced to detune BBC then shouldn’t they have the right not to pay the BBC license? Also, we have a TV with no arial in our house, that the kids watch videos and DVDs on – if that was the only TV we had, I’d be pretty angry at paying a license fee.
    Why don’t we just simplify the whole business and get the government to fund them directly.

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