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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:04 pm 
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Another 'forum' I watch posted an article regarding the BBC's vision to try and get alternative funding for their services as they see there being a large drop when the Government make non payment of the licence fee a civil matter. Their favourite seems to be a levy on the connection of Broadband to homes which they say will generally be 'cost neutral'.

https://ukfree.tv/article/1107052568/TV ... dband_levy

(containing a link to the Guardian article)

They do not seem to have considered (or noted) a hybrid of making BBC1 (and maybe Radio 1) commercial and the other channels subscription, which I think (with little real thought) would have been my preference given that the other 60-70 Freeview channels are commercial and manage to exist along with 'premium' subscription channels. Scrapping the licence fee would take away the costs of collection and enforcement, and the problem of free over 75's access, reducing the overall cost of operation.

Obviously without getting political, wondered what the view of the UKS collective was (expected to be a broad range of opinions and ideas!).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:26 pm 
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I think keep the structure as it is, non commercial, do away with the licence fee and take it out of general taxation.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:46 pm 
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I would not be too averse to that but they seem to think it would put the service subject to political interference. Also their estimate of 0.61% of taxation revenue seems quite high to me?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:57 am 
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TWSaab wrote:
Obviously without getting political,


That's a challenge as the changes to the BBC funding formula were clearly political. The Beeb Governors should not have accepted the funding formula back in ~2015 which transferred over 75's licences from general taxation to existing licence fee resources

I too am spending much less time watching BBC news. I have watched some old coverage of election night programmes on the Parliament channel, and once you look through the fashion and technology differences, the difference in journalistic quality and presenting style becomes very apparent. It used to be much more factual and informing rather than "setting the agenda" or "pursuing a conversation" which is the current style. If I wanted preaching or propaganda I would go to church or some other similar institution.

I wish the BBC could be more like it was, and still really value the non commercial / no ad break format, so I would regret moving to a direct subscription model, but a levy on broadband is simply indirect general taxation with new clothes on it. Why spend more taxpayers money on administration of another tax ?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:18 am 
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I used to be an ardent viewer/listener of BBC news & current affairs. It's always had a certain bias, which I understood and tolerated. I generally like to consume a variety of news sources and try to filter out their inherent bias, somewhere in amongst it all must be some vision of fact and truth. However, in the last ~10 years, I've noticed a real shift in the Beeb's journalistic style and inherent biases - it's become much more sensationalist, something I'd expect from a red top tabloid in delivery and 'agenda setting'. Every news source has their own narrative to portray, but all the rest are funded by sales or advertising, so they have a responsibility to be self supporting and financially solvent. The Beeb is protected by being funded by what is essentially a taxation on television ownership. Something has to change - I never would have thought ten years ago I'd be saying such a thing.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:14 am 
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The BBC does some things very well but others are questionable. Documentary film making, Music in general and The Proms in particular are very good but news has been going down hill for some time and the web site/s is/are a mess. I don't think the current license fee is too unreasonable however I am beginning to wonder whether it makes sense for the few times a year we watch TV or listen to the radio. One thing I an sure of though is that I wouldn't watch, or listen to, a commercial BBC channel.

I agree that something has to change but I haven't a clue what or how. Younger people aren't using the BBC and if they aren't using the service they will, rightly, ask why they should be paying for it. The same argument applies to council tax for schools so paying for something you don't use is already part of life in the UK.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:59 am 
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We use BBC for childrens programs almost exclusively.
It has the big advantage of no adverts, so our daughter is not being told every 15 minutes that she needs the latest piece of plastic tat in order to be happy.

She also watches some programs on Amazon, but the only adverts on there are for more programs.


I have no problem with paying a license or tax for the BBC. I don't watch it very much, only once a week for Saving Lives at Sea at the moment, also programs like Eat Well for Less, and formerly Great British Bake Off.
I also read BBC news on the app, and use BBC weather app. I find the Reality Check articles on the app particularly interesting.

I don't find the news on the app particularly biased. Often badly written / edited, but not biased.
Certainly it is less overtly biased than all the print media is at the moment, which is almost all controlled by multi-billionaires who have a generally more capitalist approach to life and government (even though they are all non-resident in this country).
It's very easy to claim that something is biased if it doesn't match your own bias, and on the flip side, very easy to say something isn't biased if it does match your views, and I concede that that could be the reason I don't find it biased.

I think the main problem the government have with the BBC is that it doesn't automatically sing their praises every time they launch a new policy. They've done an awful lot of calling out the figures being used to justify various policies and perceptions, and when they challenge the government, all they usually get to report is a bland statement ignoring the question, and saying that the policy (whatever the policy) is all wonderful and that there are no problems.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:14 am 
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Have a read of this article too (ignore the author if you must), it's actually quite incisive, and expressed with regret

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10765683/prince-philip-played-by-idris-elba-bbc/


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:15 am 
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BBC income has fallen in real terms, but they are still expected to do the same things with less money.
They can't afford to get major sporting events like football or F1, because they can't charge their customers any more for them if they do get them, whereas Sky not only charge much more per month for sports than the BBC charge per year for everything, but they also get advertising revenue.

The BBC can't compete with a free market, yet everyone expects them to.
They find a good idea for a program, they nurture it, then commercial channels poach it from them because they can offer the producers more money.

carrera wrote:
Have a read of this article too (ignore the author if you must), it's actually quite incisive, and expressed with regret

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10765683/prince-philip-played-by-idris-elba-bbc/



It's not that incisive. It's more of the same stuff he normally spouts for that audience (he's very good at writing what people want to hear):
"I don't believe in climate change - despite the overwhelming evidence in it's favor"
"I don't want to hear about people who've been flooded out of their homes, and couldn't get insurance so have lost everything they had - they're not me, i had the money and job to enable me to live on a hill and not have to drive to work every day"
"I don't believe in helping others if it's going to cost me a penny more in tax, despite the fact that I earn many more times the mean salary, let alone the medium"


Ultimately it's more of the same idea of "I'm alright, Jack". The idea that if everyone just thinks about themselves, everyone will be alright.
This idea that people are only poor because they aren't working hard enough, and that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:28 am 
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They could pay their overpaid presenters less.
Smug self-righteous Lineker would be a good start.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:04 pm 
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saabHOT wrote:
They could pay their overpaid presenters less.
Smug self-righteous Lineker would be a good start.

If only it were that simple.
Imagine if you will, you are a very experienced journalist and an expert in your field (by which I mean you really know what you are talking about). Sky offer you £250,000 pa but the BBC can only afford £100,000. Which offer do you accept and why?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:21 pm 
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GeoffR wrote:
saabHOT wrote:
They could pay their overpaid presenters less.
Smug self-righteous Lineker would be a good start.

If only it were that simple.
Imagine if you will, you are a very experienced journalist and an expert in your field (by which I mean you really know what you are talking about). Sky offer you £250,000 pa but the BBC can only afford £100,000. Which offer do you accept and why?


I often think this when they send known big 'personalities' around the world on nice trips to see China, Africa or wherever. It must cost a fortune for their time and expenses, plus the crew to organise and film them. Why do they not use lesser known cheaper guys for the trips to reduce costs. But then, maybe people would not watch the programmes then (not that it would affect the BBC income as it does not rely on watching numbers). Maybe the BBC should be a training ground for new presenters which would be cheaper.

I tend to watch BBC first thing in the morning for news as I cannot stand Schofield on ITV, but most of the time the TV is on as background while I either work (occasional) or surf forums etc. There are many other channels I do find that more and more of the stuff on Freeview is repeats of repeats of repeats. I have Prime as well at present but am not too enamoured with most of their films which seem a bit amateurly made and have not really got into their 'made for Amazon programmes' and boxsets apart from The Grand Tour. Not really explored much of the other Firestick/Kodi stuff, maybe it was easier when we just had a few channels.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:01 pm 
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The overpaid personalities position is great if you wish to have an argument but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

I have looked at this before, the top 30 personalities add up to about £12m, the full funding required for the over 75's licence is £700m.

It is the transfer of responsibility for this from state to broadcaster which is what triggered this funding issue. Bit of a difference in magnitude.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:10 pm 
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Personally I don't see why over 75s get it FOC. Yes sure, over 75s on state pension only perhaps, but there are plenty of wealthy enough pensioners on golden final salary schemes who should be paying their own way. Means tested free licenses - by all means. Age based free licenses (or anything else, incl bus passes) regardless of wealth or income - not fair.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:01 pm 
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Jules_ht wrote:
Personally I don't see why over 75s get it FOC. Yes sure, over 75s on state pension only perhaps, but there are plenty of wealthy enough pensioners on golden final salary schemes who should be paying their own way. Means tested free licenses - by all means. Age based free licenses (or anything else, incl bus passes) regardless of wealth or income - not fair.

Life's not fair!

However, there appears to be no mechanism by which an over 75 could pay if they so desired. I have a feeling that I may be eligible for a bus pass of some sort but I haven't even looked.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:59 pm 
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I have a bus pass which I got when I (semi) retired at 65. I did not realise you could have one when you were 60. The intention was that (in normal times) I would walk into town for exercise, about 25 mins, and then get the bus back if needed. Unfortunately the busses were so unreliable I only managed it once (then had a big op with complications which meant I was not fit to walk in for some time).

WRT to the free TV licence over 75, I am not sure why they feel pensioners can afford it up to that age but then need assistance. On that basis I would have thought it could be dropped but that would not be seen as acceptable politically. as has been seen.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:38 am 
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I think that is probably sailing close to the political wind for this forum, and that a number may disagree and feel they are as left of centre as ever. Maybe, with feeling each way, they are not actually too far in either direction (and I am not particularly a BBC supporter as may have been gathered from previous comments).

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:52 am 
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GeoffR wrote:
Life's not fair!


Well the whole conversation is pointless if we're having that view of it!

Jules_ht wrote:
Personally I don't see why over 75s get it FOC. Yes sure, over 75s on state pension only perhaps, but there are plenty of wealthy enough pensioners on golden final salary schemes who should be paying their own way. Means tested free licenses - by all means. Age based free licenses (or anything else, incl bus passes) regardless of wealth or income - not fair.


GeoffR wrote:
However, there appears to be no mechanism by which an over 75 could pay if they so desired.


Come off it, they could just remove the exemption then implement a mechanism for a means related exemption (that all but the most vulnerable won't bother applying for)! Incidentally they must have some sort of mechanism for implementing the age related scheme already, so really it doesn't seem a large leap towards a scheme of the type I suggest.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:08 am 
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TWSaab wrote:
Obviously without getting political, wondered what the view of the UKS collective was (expected to be a broad range of opinions and ideas!).


As above, please keep the politics to yourselves otherwise this thread will be locked.

UKSaabs is a party political free zone!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:26 am 
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Jules_ht wrote:
Personally I don't see why over 75s get it FOC. Yes sure, over 75s on state pension only perhaps, but there are plenty of wealthy enough pensioners on golden final salary schemes who should be paying their own way. Means tested free licenses - by all means. Age based free licenses (or anything else, incl bus passes) regardless of wealth or income - not fair.


GeoffR wrote:
However, there appears to be no mechanism by which an over 75 could pay if they so desired.


Jules_ht wrote:
Come off it, they could just remove the exemption then implement a mechanism for a means related exemption (that all but the most vulnerable won't bother applying for)! Incidentally they must have some sort of mechanism for implementing the age related scheme already, so really it doesn't seem a large leap towards a scheme of the type I suggest.

I think you have missed the point here. Yes the rules could be changed but what I was saying was that, today, even if they wish to pay, someone over 75 cannot do so.


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