The end of the BBC?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Psypher, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. It’s an anachronism, shut it down

  2. Abolish the License fee, let the BBC become completely commercial

  3. Cut it back to purely a news organisation

  4. Turn back the clock, the BBC should make its own programming and serve the public

  1. BBC world affairs editor John Simpson says he expects to be sacked after criticising the BBC and suggesting that the Corporation is “now in its last stages.”

    The BBC has been in decline since the introduction of “Producer Choice” in the late 1980’s. Producer Choice is to the BBC what Devolution is to the United Kingdom. Eventually it's going to end in tears.
    Producer Choice does exactly what it says on the tin. The BBC engages a Producer to make a programme for the Corporation and is given a budget to do so. However, he/she is no longer required to use BBC production/post-production facilities to actually make the programme. He/she can use their budget to hire freelance cameraman, use Soho post-production edit facilities, even rent TV studios from rival companies.

    The problem was the existing BBC facilities couldn’t pitch for work from non-BBC producers. It was doomed to failure and within a few years, departments were shut down, staff made redundant and the remaining departments severely cut back. If I remember correctly the set designers were the first to go. Things improved slightly by allowing BBC production facilities to take on outside work. But it was generally too little, too late.

    Now twenty years later, the BBC makes hardly any programmes in house and most are made by independent production companies. The last time I was at TV Centre only one of the eight studios was in use and that was being used by an independent production company making a programme for ITV!

    The commercialisation of the Corporation has seen a dumbing down of programme making, making the cheapest programmes with the maximum audience – that’s basically reality shows, soaps and quiz shows. The costume dramas, documentaries, specialist interest programmes are a low priority. There’s also the anomaly of independent production companies profiting from the License fee.

    So what is the future of the Beeb?
  2. Scrap the fee and make them scrap it out with the others!
  3. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Remove it from any form of political interference. Guarantee the licence fee, so that it cannot be used by political parties to threaten the independence of what it reports, but give it very strict guidelines on its objectives.

    Easier said than done, but there you go.

    The gobment has just allowed the commercial stations much more freedom on how much advertising they can stick at us and it really p!sses me off.
  4. I think that if the BBC is to survive than that is inevitable. However, purely commercial television is not going to be pretty. The BBC will no longer have any charter to try to make non-commercial programming. Satellite and Cable companies will no longer have to compete with the License fee and you will see companies like Sky considerably raising their monthly subscriptions.

    To my mind the end result will be all round poorer quality TV and radio, and eventually at a higher cost to the public. At the end of the day the License fee is great value for money.

    Just look to the US for fully commercial television and radio. Here my monthly cable bill is about $80 per month. I have hundreds of channels but struggle to find anything worth watching. Anything of any quality with high audiences have commercial breaks every eight minutes.
  5. I'm not convinced about this. They don't compete with the licence fee now.

    There I agree!
  6. They do compete with the license fee because the British public is receiving a high quality TV and radio service for a compulsory £100-odd a year. The Satellite and Cable companies have to price their services based on that price point.

    Also the public have to pay the License fee, so that makes it harder for Satellite and Cable companies to get their business and must keep their monthly subscriptions low and make sure their output is comparable in quality to the BBC.

    The BBC is setting the bar, actually they are setting the bar in a global arena. Much of the best stuff on US cable is generally a BBC co-production or based on a BBC format.
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    They know that as an organisation they need commercial activities to pay the extra wages for the likes of the w@nker Ross and his contemporaries yet are unwilling to let go of the tax income guaranteed by law.
    They are a commercial organisation, look at its accounts, they need cutting loose and left to flounder or succeed on their own!
    edited to add; because they would still be packed with tofu eating grauniad reading west hamstead dwelling lefties if supported for any length of time, even if the clock was turned back the tosspots would still be there.
  8. I have to say that I am pretty much with you all the way here.
    All I would like to see is the rot stopping as far as dumbing down of the BBC's output goes (audience cause or effect?) and,as Biped has mentioned, I REALLY,REALLY need to see them become an unbiased news reporting outlet.

    We cannot afford to let whatever gobmint that is in power to wield the BBC as its own propaganda service.As is happening now.Aunty should be free to give the political finger to whomever she choose's,not to have to pander to goverment under the threat of extinction.

    Oh and make another series of Rome while they are at it.
  9. I'm not totally convinced by that either. Going on what you suggest, Sky and the cables would be charging a comparable price. From a quick search, the minimum subscription to Sky is approx £17 a month giving you a handful of useful channels. Add to that installation and the box and you are looking at well over £200 a year. Thats 60 quid more than the Beeb charge for all the channels they provide.

    Remember, the licence fee isn't just about paying to watch BBC, its about paying for the ability to receive live TV broadcasts; regardless of who they come from. If the BBC licence fee was binned, you can bet your arse some other legal requirement (and cost) would be brought in to enable you to view the telly.

    If the BBC want to survive, they need to ensure that the revenue they receive from the public is used to serve the public. They used to epitomise the height of broadcasting standards renowned worldwide. Unfortunately, they have allowed themselves to become subjective to the degree that their overall quality has reduced to quite a marked level and are becoming very down market. They used to set the standards. They are now merely reflecting the standards pushed by others; the government for instance.
  10. Scrap the license fee.

    Anyone else have the problem with Sky where there's 900 channels but you struggle to find something decent to watch nowadays?
  11. It's an impossibility. Every person, no matter how apolitical, has set of beliefs and opinions about good and bad, right and wrong that are in sympathy with one or another group of political teachings; and projects these beliefs on any subject from pub closing times to war in Iraq... It's natural to expect that those who will issue strict guidelines on BBC objectives will consult their own beliefs thus making guidelines biased.
  12. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Exaccerly!!!! Would a commercial outfit have made a 'Rome'? I doubt it, and the whole watching process would have been ruined by constant, brainless advertising. The advert break used to be something to enjoy so you could make a brew and have a p!ss, but, let's face it, with the current regulations on advertising time being relaxed, just how many friggin brews am I supposed to have?

    Let's look at the licence fee shall we? £100 odd sovs per year, which is what, £8.33 per month, with some excellent programming and no adverts to spoil a film, documentary, soap, news report or anything else.

    Compare that to Sky - yes, lots of programs and the like, but it costs on average something like £600 per year if you want the full gamut of stations, all of which are smothered in appalling advertising and the programming is not necessarily better than BBC output.

    What's the problem with the BBC? Political interference, bias and outright lies. Put a stop to that and you've truly got world beating TV.

    The BBC basic ethos: To inform, entertain and educate.

    Let's make that: To inform, entertain and educate with complete indendence from advertising and political interference.

    I'd pay £200 per year for that.

  13. CDS, CGS, CAS seem to come across as fairly apolitical.

    Not impossible really, just needs the right people and a robust set of 'guidelines' scrutinised by a neutral body. Unfortunately, the BBC Trust should be doing that but dont seem to have the teeth.
  14. I am not particularly fussed about the licence fee. What pis*es me off most about the BBC is its unending left wing and anti-US bias. Programmes like Newsnight or Question Time - which are always used by the BBC's proponents as highlighting the quality of its programmes - are very poor at disguising their inevitable bias. It is only in the last couple of years that we have started to see any mild criticism of the Labour Party. From 1997 until about 2006 it was almost embarrassing seeing how uncritical the BBC were of Labour and how inversely critical they were of anything US. Anyway, scrap the Beeb and let consumer choice reign.
  15. OK let me put it this way. Say the License fee is scrapped tomorrow.
    What will happen with Sky's monthly subscription pricing over the next few years?

    A. It will stay the same or reduce;
    B. Go up in line with inflation;
    C. Increase to subsume the current License fee?

    In my opinion the answer will be C and without an improvement in the quality of programming.

    Over a period of time the public will end up paying more for a generally poorer service.