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Finless
20-05-2015, 05:29 PM
Well, is the Beeb a good thing or not? Is it worth its corn?

It is being rumoured that the Conservative government is 'looking at the Beeb' and some are saying they want to get the Beeb for its 'left wing bias' and anti Tory spin (allegedly / I don't know).

I, personally, like the BBC because there are not any adverts (which piss me of mightily). On Sky, for example, a documentary that lasts an hour actually has about 25 mins of content (once you account for adverts and 'recaps' from the previous part)!

Although ALL TV seems to be 'dumbing down', there are some gems on the BBC due to its Charter requirements. BBC4 seems to be very good?

All in all, I don't mind paying for the BBC so long as 'standards don't slip'.

As we all know, divers are a 'cut above the rest' (apart from when we are/were lower than the rest) so, what say you, oh opiners of much wisdom?

Mikael
20-05-2015, 06:03 PM
A lot to be said for the BBC. As for this claim of being left wing in their bias one gripe I have with the Beeb is their failure to take to task the incumbent government at that given time sufficiently, particularly when it makes 'less then honest' statements.

Where the beeb is good is in providing advert free programmes for a whole range of audiences (Asian network radio, documentaries,...). Some of their shows like Sherlock are top notch. Personally I think they should leave all the Singing with stars type shite to the commercial channels but that is my preference. While I have no great interest in the bake off I quite like master chief.

All of that said I think the TV licence mechanism needs a rethink. Its a faff to collect and with streaming on the up people can increasingly avoid paying for it.

Spell check
20-05-2015, 06:15 PM
I really like the bbc and think it does good work. However I think that chanel 4 is doing a much needed job of making sure that the bbc keeps the standards riseing (ch 4 was setup on a public service charter and is a not for profit company similar to the bbc).
I think the talk of getting rid of licence fee is in response to Europe trying to make I Player accessible to everyone one in Europe (without paying for it!).

Hickdive
20-05-2015, 06:37 PM
Can I say "Bingo"?

PhilPage
20-05-2015, 06:46 PM
I think the Beeb (as a whole, but large aspects of it are execrable) is "worth" the licence fee, but I'm not convinced they need the licence fee.

IanB
20-05-2015, 06:55 PM
Watching anything in real-time on a commercial channel is an utter pain becuase of the adverts, for that alone the licence fee is worth it.

timbo
20-05-2015, 07:03 PM
I will pay 3 a week just for Radio4 :)

Tens
20-05-2015, 07:09 PM
When friends tell me how much they pay for their particular Sky deal, I am amazed. And there's nothing as good as Happy Valley, W1A, Sherlock etc. How much does Sky charge on a pay per view Formula 1 race?

I remember a handful of years ago they said they were backing out of doing the "copy cat" dumbed down crap of the commercial channels. I still see far too much of this, but I suppose they have to do something to please the mouth breathers.

To be honest, I am surprised they can do so many channels, so much radio and for so many hours per day on the pittance that is the licence fee. I watch at most an hour a day and would gladly pay double the current fee.

MarkP
20-05-2015, 08:16 PM
I think the Beeb (as a whole, but large aspects of it are execrable) is "worth" the licence fee, but I'm not convinced they need the licence fee.Yeah, because programmes make themselves for nothing and webmasters work for free.

PhilPage
20-05-2015, 08:46 PM
Yeah, because programmes make themselves for nothing and webmasters work for free.

Yeah 'course - you can do it all on YouTube nowadays.

Pfffft - that's not what I meant. The Beeb has a stupendous amount of dosh from loads of revenue streams. It is also an organisation notoriously wasteful of cash. As I understand it, the licence fee isn't even their largest source of income, and has one of their largest single cost overheads to administer.

However, not being an expert, I may be wrong - hence the non-commital "I'm not convinced".

dwhitlow
20-05-2015, 09:02 PM
The Beeb has a stupendous amount of dosh from loads of revenue streams. It is also an organisation notoriously wasteful of cash.This sounds somewhat like the government. Are the Beeb now running the country? ;)

notdeadyet
20-05-2015, 09:03 PM
Left wing? I guess we should replace it with Fox, then. I'm not a supporter of the death penalty but I'd happily see the entire Murdoch clan in the ground. I'd drown Rupert in his soup quite readily.

Like the NHS, you don't realise how good the BBC is until you experience the shit that other "civilised" countries have to put up with. Ever watched Italian or Spanish TV?

I don't watch much TV apart from BBC4, Film4 and the ten minute freeview on the adult channels. I'd be very pissed off to lose BBC4.

PhilPage
20-05-2015, 09:15 PM
Left wing? I guess we should replace it with Fox, then. I'm not a supporter of the death penalty but I'd happily see the entire Murdoch clan in the ground. I'd drown Rupert in his soup quite readily.

Like the NHS, you don't realise how good the BBC is until you experience the shit that other "civilised" countries have to put up with. Ever watched Italian or Spanish TV?

So much this.

BBC News isn't up to much and most of their other current affairs & science coverage is pretty horribly biased, but they make up for that in spades with the rest of the services.

AndrewRawlingson
20-05-2015, 09:44 PM
It wasn't too long ago that this topic came up. My thoughts haven't changed. Yes, the BBC is worth the licence fee, but no option to opt out seems wrong to me. I think the term licence fee is disingenuous. It should be called a BBC subscription or similar. The BBC should concentrate on high quality productions and cut the crap. A blank screen would be better than some of the drivel they put out. Either way, watching TV as it's broadcast seems very old fashioned.

Baron015
20-05-2015, 09:56 PM
I don't think we need state run TV

I'd happily pay for the channels I watch and radio I listen to, so why not move to that model instead of license fee

Hardly ever watch live TV, it's all timeshift either via PVR or a catch up service which comes via the Internet anyway, or streaming like Netflix; be much better to make this the default. The Youview style EPG where you can watch any programme from any channel from the last 7 days is moving in the right direction.

dwhitlow
20-05-2015, 09:57 PM
I don't think we need state run TV

I'd happily pay for the channels I watch and radio I listen to, so why not move to that model instead of license fee

You'd pay for fox?

Baron015
20-05-2015, 09:59 PM
You'd pay for fox?

I do pay for Fox. I watch The Walking Dead.

notdeadyet
20-05-2015, 10:03 PM
It wasn't too long ago that this topic came up. My thoughts haven't changed. Yes, the BBC is worth the licence fee, but no option to opt out seems wrong to me. I think the term licence fee is disingenuous. It should be called a BBC subscription or similar. The BBC should concentrate on high quality productions and cut the crap. A blank screen would be better than some of the drivel they put out. Either way, watching TV as it's broadcast seems very old fashioned.
The licence is for equipment used to receive live broadcasting from any channel (as opposed to on demand), not as a licence to watch the BBC. Revenue raised goes towards the corporation. Like road tax goes towards road upkeep (irony intended).

By not watching live broadcasting you can choose to not pay the licence fee. With a smart tv or a Chromecast using OD services only there is no need for a licence. Plenty of people do it. Although with a shitload of hassle from the licensing agency (I know a couple of people who did it and had a year of harassment from them).

dwhitlow
20-05-2015, 10:05 PM
I do pay for Fox. I watch The Walking Dead.

I watch neither and feel better for the experience. To be honest I watch little tv as it is mostly shit or cringeworthy adverts aimed at morons. The documentaries from the bbc are generally excellent and radio 4 is a station worth listening to and.... am I showing my age? Who cares? The weather forecast for the weekend is looking good ....

AndrewRawlingson
20-05-2015, 10:18 PM
Like road tax goes towards road upkeep (irony intended).

Google tells me otherwise, but happy to be corrected.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/2014/overview/value-for-money.html

Logun
20-05-2015, 10:19 PM
By not watching live broadcasting you can choose to not pay the licence fee. With a smart tv or a Chromecast using OD services only there is no need for a licence. Plenty of people do it. Although with a shitload of hassle from the licensing agency (I know a couple of people who did it and had a year of harassment from them).

This is what I do. Never had the need to watch anything on live broadcast. Took me about 5 mins online and never had any issues with the licencing agency, but TBF they do say they check upon people at random, so that may be what happened in that case.

Baron015
20-05-2015, 10:21 PM
This is what I do. Never had the need to watch anything on live broadcast. Took me about 5 mins online and never had any issues with the licencing agency, but TBF they do say they check upon people at random, so that may be what happened in that case.

So you don't have a TV ? Your family sits in the lounge around a laptop ?

Logun
20-05-2015, 10:23 PM
So you don't have a TV ? Your family sits in the lounge around a laptop ?

I am a student. I sit at my desk with a laptop...

Usually doing work, but on occasion I use catch up TV.

Baron015
20-05-2015, 10:27 PM
I remember being a student, there was a lot of TV watching involved. And daytime drinking.

Logun
20-05-2015, 10:34 PM
I remember being a student, there was a lot of TV watching involved. And daytime drinking.

I haven't been doing much of that im afraid. Especially not recently, but hey its less than 2 weeks until I finish my finals and surrender my student status. :D

notdeadyet
20-05-2015, 10:52 PM
I never watched tv as a student except when it was on in the pub. Maybe because I never smoked dope so didnt have the hours of watching Richard & Judy. I found MDMA far more conducive to my interests, watching the telly wasn't one of them.

You dont need a laptop for streaming services. A telly with a Chromecast is within the law provided you never watch live broadcasting.

Baron015
20-05-2015, 11:08 PM
If the telly has a tuner, then they can fine you. Even if you really promise you won't use the tuner to watch live TV. Or that used to be how it worked, anyway.

Decosnapper
21-05-2015, 06:05 AM
So...watching something on BBC iPlayer online requires no license fee.

Great.

Only one question - who is paying for the creation of the free content?

sheesh
21-05-2015, 07:24 AM
Thr bbc isn't just TV either... although there is only a licence fee for TV there is some excellent radio as well. I would be lost without radio 4 and some of the local output.

Hickdive
21-05-2015, 07:30 AM
Eurovision this weekend. Worth the licence fee for this alone.

timbo
21-05-2015, 07:39 AM
The Licence fee does partly finance the transmitter infrastructure.. Can you imagine the mish mash of masts and towers and the fragmentation of coverage countrywide if each provider had to .. oh ..hang on.. ;)

Ron MacRae
21-05-2015, 07:41 AM
Eurovision this weekend. Worth the licence fee for this alone.
So tempted to dislike. :)

notdeadyet
21-05-2015, 07:42 AM
So...watching something on BBC iPlayer online requires no license fee.

Great.

Only one question - who is paying for the creation of the free content?
Everyone else.

I tend to watch/listen online mostly. Still buy a licence because I think it is worth supporting.

Although I'd rather not see it wasted on 90% of the crap on BBC3. This week Stacey Dooley investigates animal porn in Belgium. It's like Alan Partridge without the irony.

AndrewRawlingson
21-05-2015, 07:45 AM
Thr bbc isn't just TV either... although there is only a licence fee for TV there is some excellent radio as well. I would be lost without radio 4 and some of the local output.

Ditto. I also listen to the world service. Obviously, I don't pay the licence fee which seems a bit unfair.

timbo
21-05-2015, 07:47 AM
If the telly has a tuner, then they can fine you. Even if you really promise you won't use the tuner to watch live TV. Or that used to be how it worked, anyway.
Think that was way back when a co-ax was the only input to a screen ;)

CraigofScotland
21-05-2015, 08:22 AM
There were many Anti BBC things up here last year during indyref. The vocal minority were in outrage, as always, about not getting their way and that the bbc were biast towards them etc

BBC Iplayer is great though. As are the radio. I dont watch tv live much I tend to binge watch seasons ive recorded but for the money I feel I do get good value.

notdeadyet
21-05-2015, 08:48 AM
There were many Anti BBC things up here last year during indyref. The vocal minority were in outrage, as always, about not getting their way and that the bbc were biast towards them etc

BBC Iplayer is great though. As are the radio. I dont watch tv live much I tend to binge watch seasons ive recorded but for the money I feel I do get good value.
Bizarrely a licence is required to record tv but not to watch the same programme from an on demand service.

MarkP
21-05-2015, 08:52 AM
Yeah 'course - you can do it all on YouTube nowadays.

Pfffft - that's not what I meant. The Beeb has a stupendous amount of dosh from loads of revenue streams. It is also an organisation notoriously wasteful of cash. As I understand it, the licence fee isn't even their largest source of income, and has one of their largest single cost overheads to administer.

However, not being an expert, I may be wrong - hence the non-commital "I'm not convinced".Re. Auntie's revenue streams: the only one I can make out is programme sales, some of which have been very successful - see Top Gear...

If the license fee were to go, the Beeb would have to concentrate on making saleable programmes and the BBC4 / Radio 4 many of enjoy would suffer. For instance, a year or two ago there was a superb hour-long documentary about the British team that built the probe which was dropped onto a Jovian moon. I can't see things like that being enormous international hits.

I'm happy to pay the fee as it allows fine, but commercially unpopular programmes to be made.


So much this.

BBC News isn't up to much and most of their other current affairs & science coverage is pretty horribly biased, but they make up for that in spades with the rest of the services.

I think the BBC is institutionally vaguely lefty, and though the news makes huge efforts to avoid bias, it can creep through. However, if you want lefty bias, look at Channel 4 News or BBC Radio 4 comedy. Actually, if you want real bias, watch Fox, where they have real wing-nuts on air.


I don't think we need state run TVLucky we don't have it, isn't it?

Ron MacRae
21-05-2015, 09:12 AM
I think the BBC is institutionally vaguely lefty, and though the news makes huge efforts to avoid bias, it can creep through.

The BBC is more than vaguely lefty. It has all the biases of the people it imploys who decide on program content. Largely left wing, London centric, and relatively rich. They don't seem to really care about things that happen outside London or the issues of the relatively poor. You can see this most evening on the running order of the minor items of the news.

MarkP
21-05-2015, 09:22 AM
The BBC is more than vaguely lefty. It has all the biases of the people it imploys who decide on program content. Largely left wing, London centric, and relatively rich. They don't seem to really care about things that happen outside London or the issues of the relatively poor. You can see this most evening on the running order of the minor items of the news.Compare it to the wing nuttery of Fox.

To approach it it would have to run endless programmes advocating the state ownership of the means of production and call for the redistribution of wealth. It does neither.

This "Largely left wing, London centric, and relatively rich. They don't seem to really care about things that happen outside London or the issues of the relatively poor." appears to be vaguely self contradictory.

Ron MacRae
21-05-2015, 09:25 AM
This "Largely left wing, London centric, and relatively rich. They don't seem to really care about things that happen outside London or the issues of the relatively poor." appears to be vaguely self contradictory.

In what way? It is fairly common for people with enough money to do what they want to do not to understand or empathise with those who struggle to feed and cloth themselves.

notdeadyet
21-05-2015, 09:49 AM
The BBC is more than vaguely lefty. It has all the biases of the people it imploys who decide on program content. Largely left wing, London centric, and relatively rich. They don't seem to really care about things that happen outside London or the issues of the relatively poor. You can see this most evening on the running order of the minor items of the news.
So a channel that caters to the intellectually challenged but is right wing?

That'll be Fox then?

I suspect Mark's point is that a station that is aimed at the "poor" or at least sympathetic is hardly likely to be right leaning.

Unless it is mindless shit like Berlusconi produced.

Finless
21-05-2015, 09:58 AM
Spanish TV? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhh!

PBrown
21-05-2015, 10:32 AM
Pfffft - that's not what I meant. The Beeb has a stupendous amount of dosh from loads of revenue streams. It is also an organisation notoriously wasteful of cash. As I understand it, the licence fee isn't even their largest source of income, and has one of their largest single cost overheads to administer.

Extracted from the BBC accounts, FYE 31 March 2014 (http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/pdf/2013-14/BBC_Financial_statements_201314.pdf):
Licence fee income - 3,726m (2013 - 3,656m)
Other income and revenue Commercial (mainly BBC Worldwide) income - 1,340m (2013 - 1,446m)

Or to put it another way, licence fee is (almost) 3 times other income.

It costs 102m to collect the licence fee, (3% of all costs) which is less than half what it costs to generate the 'other' income (230m).

cheers,
Paul

PhilPage
21-05-2015, 10:42 AM
Re. Auntie's revenue streams: the only one I can make out is programme sales, some of which have been very successful - see Top Gear...
Strictly Come Arsing is the most widely syndicated TV format in the world next to The Arse Factor. It makes them a f00king mint. They also make a bundle on back catalogue sales (DVDs of Rising Damp, etc. - they have like 4 decades of near-monopoly to exploit there). Commercial archive footage, education programming, etc.


If the license fee were to go, the Beeb would have to concentrate on making saleable programmes and the BBC4 / Radio 4 many of enjoy would suffer. For instance, a year or two ago there was a superb hour-long documentary about the British team that built the probe which was dropped onto a Jovian moon. I can't see things like that being enormous international hits.

I'm happy to pay the fee as it allows fine, but commercially unpopular programmes to be made
It's not the source of their revenue that compels the programming - it's their charter. They are required to make the spread of product they do because they are the state broadcaster. The licence fee is what the Beeb was built on. Agreed, it couldn't have been built without it. However, the question now is "Does the Beeb still need it?".



I think the BBC is institutionally vaguely lefty
It's not so much a Beeb thing - they're just reflecting the dominant trend in journalism at the mo.


though the news makes huge efforts to avoid bias, it can creep through.
Bless. I'm afraid very little effort is made to avoid bias in mainstream current affairs. It's precisely what Paxo was on about. This is because, in line with pretty much everyone else in media, "news" is now just the endless regurgitation of press releases. This is true of all formats. You cannot avoid bias if your copy is just churnalism. A small caveat paragraph at the bottom saying "some inconsequential nutters disagree with the article, lol" does not constitute balance. The Beeb are as bad for this as everyone else most of the time.

The Beeb do at least have some small lights in the darkness, however. "Hard" journalism progs like HardTalk and (once upon a time) Newsnight do strive to inject some balance by being dicks to everyone. And it's been nice to see the attempts at balanced coverage in things like Question Time. Hardly mainstream though.


Actually, if you want real bias, watch Fox, where they have real wing-nuts on air.
Fox don't count - they're 100% commercial. They (sadly) have no requirement to show balance.

PhilPage
21-05-2015, 10:43 AM
Extracted from the BBC accounts, FYE 31 March 2014 (http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/pdf/2013-14/BBC_Financial_statements_201314.pdf):
Licence fee income - 3,726m (2013 - 3,656m)
Other income and revenue Commercial (mainly BBC Worldwide) income - 1,340m (2013 - 1,446m)

Or to put it another way, licence fee is (almost) 3 times other income.

It costs 102m to collect the licence fee, (3% of all costs) which is less than half what it costs to generate the 'other' income (230m).

cheers,
Paul
Nice one!

There you go then. Aunty's worth it :)

MarkP
21-05-2015, 11:01 AM
Re. Beeb leftiness:


It's not so much a Beeb thing - they're just reflecting the dominant trend in journalism at the mo.

Holy crapoly. You think our media has a leftwards bias? Are the Grauniad, Indy and Mirror the only papers you've seen? Do you have any knowledge of UK newspaper sales (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circul ation)?

The Sun, Times, Mail, Express, Star and Telegraph are left-biased? Seriously? Along with their lefty proprietors, Murdoch, Rothermere, Desmond and the tax-avoiding island-owning, Disneyesque castle dwelling loony-tunes Barclay brothers?

If you think they're left-leaning I'd hate to find out more of your politics.

On an unrelated matter, are you related to banal hack Phil Space of Private Eye fame?

PhilPage
21-05-2015, 11:11 AM
Holy crapoly. You think our media has a leftwards bias?
Not particularly. And I accept I didn't point that out very well.

No - I think our media has a lazy bias. They just churn out (sometimes with a rehash, mostly with a copy + paste) press releases that chime with the orientation of the organisation.

I don't see any difference between left & right when it comes to journalistic bias. Biased journalism is bad journalism.

notdeadyet
21-05-2015, 11:20 AM
Fox don't count - they're 100% commercial. They (sadly) have no requirement to show balance.

Yes they do, as a news broadcaster they are still bound by Ofcom's due impartiality rules.

I vaguely remember reading they had to make alterations for broadcast in the UK or the licence had to be amended or something. I think at one point there was a push to have Fox News licensed as entertainment rather than news.

Finless
21-05-2015, 12:03 PM
I think at one point there was a push to have Fox News licensed as entertainment rather than news.

Foxy News?

IanB
21-05-2015, 08:43 PM
If the telly has a tuner, then they can fine you. Even if you really promise you won't use the tuner to watch live TV. Or that used to be how it worked, anyway.No really they can't, it's easier to prove you don't watch TV if it can't be received but you basically have to be caught. I rarely watch live TV but pay the licence because I think what I get for it it worth the 12ish a month.

IanB
21-05-2015, 08:43 PM
Bizarrely a licence is required to record tv but not to watch the same programme from an on demand service.As long as it's not live you're good to go. If you try to watch iPlayer in real time you'll be asked to confirm you have a licence.

jamesp
21-05-2015, 09:12 PM
Yes they do, as a news broadcaster they are still bound by Ofcom's due impartiality rules.

I vaguely remember reading they had to make alterations for broadcast in the UK or the licence had to be amended or something. I think at one point there was a push to have Fox News licensed as entertainment rather than news.

I use FOX news as my sanity check, BBC wales forgets there is anything north of RCT; again, Sky gets a bit gobby:- switch to FOX.

The day I cant tell the difference, will be time to book the flight to dignitas.

Channel 4 seems to dig into things a bit, I tend to watch Sky news, BBC seems to be more speculation than reporting half the time.

I was recently at an event where Cameron walked out in front of a crowd and gave a 12~15 minute speech, fluently without notes. At the same event I watched the Sky politcal reporter (Fisal ?) stuff up an intro to camera three times, the ITN guy was seen doing similar. Michael Crick had been stalking around the event and I think there were a few people there who would have happily lynched him.

notdeadyet
21-05-2015, 10:51 PM
To be honest, I rarely watch the news. I find whatever is being satirised on the Daily Mash is usually as good a yardstick as any as to what is going on in the world.

I generally wait until the usual tory whiny bedwetters on here are whinging about something before it's become relevant to me :D