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> The BBC and the Licence Fee, get woke
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Klaus
post Apr 28 2017, 03:46 PM
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Last year saw the renewal of the BBC Charter and the run up to that saw some political controversy over the purpose of the BBC. Additionally, there's always constant debate about the Licence Fee and whether it has now become outdated.

The Licence Fee costs 147 per year and must be paid if you watch live TV (including Sky/Virgin/Freeview) and also now if you watch programmes through BBC iPlayer. The fee helps to fund the BBC (through its TV/Radio programming and other divisions) but it still must be paid even if you do not watch/listen to any of the BBC. With fewer people watching TV live and more preferring to watch through online platforms such as the iPlayer/ITV Hub/All 4 as well as streaming sites such as Netflix, is there still a need for license fee? If you no longer paid it, you would still be able to access all these online platforms aside from iPlayer.

If the license fee were to be abolished, this may mean adverts on the BBC. However, is there even still need for a public service broadcaster in this day and age with so many other channels and TV platforms? In the US, Trump has enacted huge budget cuts to PBS, their public broadcasting service, but this is not as dominant as the BBC is in the UK. The BBC is a GIANT, holding two major TV channels, as well as further channels including a News channel as well as numerous radio stations and other divisions. Because of its dominant position, even with the large number of alternatives, should the BBC produce more specialist programming rather than programmes that other channels can make (such as The Voice & Strictly)? These were propositions made in the run up to the renewal of the Charter but were met with opposition.

What are your opinions on the BBC and the licence fee? Should both remain in tact or should there be some changes made?
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Klaus
post Apr 28 2017, 03:54 PM
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I strongly support the BBC. There may be criticisms of bias in terms of its news coverage but you hear them from both sides which highlights that they're probably unfounded. It has a role where it needs to be independent and these tougher regulations make me more trustworthy of its news coverage, especially with its rule over sources. It has produced some really high quality programming and, through this, has particularly been able to keep up with the new trends and competition. This has ranged from the more mainstream stuff (The Night Manager, The Missing etc) to the more underrated programming. It plays a really important role within not only British media but all over the world.

I do understand the criticisms with the license fee but, at this moment, (and yes I have had to pay for it) I do believe its an unfortunate offshoot. The BBC is really valuable and that could be undermined if it was no longer publicly funded.
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burbe
post Apr 28 2017, 05:08 PM
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I completely agree with everything you say. I'm a strong supporter of the BBC and you only have to look to its international reputation to see how lucky we are to have it. I'm sure in other countries they are baffled about why there's even discussions over dismantling the BBC into a sort of subscription or commercial service. It would completely undermine everything the BBC stands for - to inform, educate and entertain. We NEED a service like the BBC who acts to broadcasting with a view to public interest, otherwise we'd end up with numerous ITV clones, and no one wants that. For example, it makes a lot of brave TV commissions that many commercial broadcasters would never consider because of the risk involved. Without the BBC, would have even had something like GBBO become such a phenomenon? I doubt it.

In recent years, it has overstepped the mark a bit and acted too commercially, such as bidding for The Voice. Whilst I appreciate they do have a function to entertain, I like to see the BBC giving smaller and niche formats more of a chance and nurturing them into national institutions (like GBBO, Top Gear etc.)

There's also the issue over the BBC News Channel. It was almost cut to the point of closing last year, which would've been a disaster. Imagine having Sky News as your only major British news channel mellow.gif
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