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  #16  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

Well said Patrick - If anybody knows of how to get better value spending 38 pence per day per household please tell.

Martin
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  #17  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

You've summed up the situation very well, Patrick.

I know only too well that the debate is a pointless one. We've got to pay, it's going to happen, regardless of what anyone has to say on the subject.

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
With Digital at least the TV's can and will be converted (over 80% of the population already have anyway).
I'd question where you get that statistic from.

As I've said, we are digital by means of cable - but that's one TV. The other rooms in the house which have TVs are analogue only. Am I part of the 80% that you refer to, even though we have several TVs that can't pick up the signal unless we pay more?

How is the 80% figure derived? If over 80% of the population were already digital, then why not switch analogue off for everyone today - rather than sneaking it in the backdoor and doing the areas of least coverage first for the purpose of keeping the complaints down?

Apparently they're aiming for a 98.5% coverage for digital - but that's by population, not by area. By area it'll be around 90% - which means there will be around a million people living in that 10% area that's not covered that'll be hung out to dry when analogue is turned off and they can't get digital. If an analogue signal is weak, you can still pick it up (albeit with static); if a digital signal is weak, you get nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

The 405x625 argument is as silly as people saying it's like black&white to colour. In both those cases, quality of picture was improved. When I'm watching TV via the cable, I often switch to the analogue aerial for terrestrial TV because the picture quality is better. Digital often leads to pixellation, frozen pictures, and jumping pictures. It's not the pefect panacea of advanced future technology it's being sold as. You can pick up an analogue signal with a hand-held TV and a metal twig, not so with digital.

Digital just seems to be one of those things that doesn't need to happen.

I know I'm cynical but I see several reasons for Digital, and none of them have anything to do with the consumer. Firstly, the government want to sell off the analogue frequencies and make a vast fortune out of it. Secondly, we're being pushed to go digital now to justify the increase in licence fee. Thirdly, it's being rushed out because the future "technology" isn't digital TV at all. In 10+ years time, we'll all be getting our TV down broadband. The digital/analogue frequency debate will be irrelevant because the signals won't need broadcasting at all. If that happened today, there'd be no need to go digital, so the analogue would not be switched off (as there'd be nothing of demand to replace it with), so they couldn't make the fortune they're going to make by selling it off.

Digital broadcast TV is an expensive stepping stone that'll be replaced almost as soon as it's been rolled out - and that's the real reason they need to get it done fast and force us into it.

But I'm just a cynical pessimist, I know... Don't listen to me...
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  #18  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by Martin View Post
Well said Patrick - If anybody knows of how to get better value spending 38 pence per day per household please tell.

Martin
That's a simplistic way of looking at it. It's not quite so simple when you don't have much income, you have trouble paying your heating bills in the cold of winter, and the BBC threaten to lock you up, treating you like a common criminal no different to a murderer, for not paying £140 that you can't afford for a service you don't use. Then you're told you can't use the service you're paying for without paying even more money to upgrade your TVs.

It's far easier to say "it's just 38p" and forget those to whom £140 compulsory tax for a service they probably don't use is a small fortune.
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  #19  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
That's a simplistic way of looking at it. It's not quite so simple when you don't have much income, you have trouble paying your heating bills in the cold of winter, and the BBC threaten to lock you up, treating you like a common criminal no different to a murderer, for not paying £140 that you can't afford for a service you don't use. Then you're told you can't use the service you're paying for without paying even more money to upgrade your TVs.

It's far easier to say "it's just 38p" and forget those to whom £140 compulsory tax for a service they probably don't use is a small fortune.

At the age of 75 the license is free which covers the most vulnerable people, and if you dont have a TV you don't pay the license. With over 80% of the population now digital that argument doesn't hold water. And from what I hear not just on this web site but other forms of media its the folk that can pay that grumble the most with their 32" and bigger TV's costing hundreds.

The BBC don't themselves enforce the law the government via the legal system do that.

Patrick
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  #20  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
That's a simplistic way of looking at it. It's not quite so simple when you don't have much income, you have trouble paying your heating bills in the cold of winter, and the BBC threaten to lock you up, treating you like a common criminal no different to a murderer, for not paying £140 that you can't afford for a service you don't use. Then you're told you can't use the service you're paying for without paying even more money to upgrade your TVs.

It's far easier to say "it's just 38p" and forget those to whom £140 compulsory tax for a service they probably don't use is a small fortune.
TV is a luxury, I think we sometimes forget that.
If you are on a low income, there are always means to earn money.....like getting a job.

If one cant afford the license, then one shouldnt buy the TV, it is not a necessity.
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  #21  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
You've summed up the situation very well, Patrick.

I know only too well that the debate is a pointless one. We've got to pay, it's going to happen, regardless of what anyone has to say on the subject.


I'd question where you get that statistic from.

As I've said, we are digital by means of cable - but that's one TV. The other rooms in the house which have TVs are analogue only. Am I part of the 80% that you refer to, even though we have several TVs that can't pick up the signal unless we pay more?

How is the 80% figure derived? If over 80% of the population were already digital, then why not switch analogue off for everyone today - rather than sneaking it in the backdoor and doing the areas of least coverage first for the purpose of keeping the complaints down?

Apparently they're aiming for a 98.5% coverage for digital - but that's by population, not by area. By area it'll be around 90% - which means there will be around a million people living in that 10% area that's not covered that'll be hung out to dry when analogue is turned off and they can't get digital. If an analogue signal is weak, you can still pick it up (albeit with static); if a digital signal is weak, you get nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

The 405x625 argument is as silly as people saying it's like black&white to colour. In both those cases, quality of picture was improved. When I'm watching TV via the cable, I often switch to the analogue aerial for terrestrial TV because the picture quality is better. Digital often leads to pixellation, frozen pictures, and jumping pictures. It's not the pefect panacea of advanced future technology it's being sold as. You can pick up an analogue signal with a hand-held TV and a metal twig, not so with digital.

Digital just seems to be one of those things that doesn't need to happen.

I know I'm cynical but I see several reasons for Digital, and none of them have anything to do with the consumer. Firstly, the government want to sell off the analogue frequencies and make a vast fortune out of it. Secondly, we're being pushed to go digital now to justify the increase in licence fee. Thirdly, it's being rushed out because the future "technology" isn't digital TV at all. In 10+ years time, we'll all be getting our TV down broadband. The digital/analogue frequency debate will be irrelevant because the signals won't need broadcasting at all. If that happened today, there'd be no need to go digital, so the analogue would not be switched off (as there'd be nothing of demand to replace it with), so they couldn't make the fortune they're going to make by selling it off.

Digital broadcast TV is an expensive stepping stone that'll be replaced almost as soon as it's been rolled out - and that's the real reason they need to get it done fast and force us into it.

But I'm just a cynical pessimist, I know... Don't listen to me...

I take it you dont have sky+

For me, it is awesome, and (probably?) not possible without digital.

As a consumer, I am VERY happy with the service (trust me, I would be the first to complain if I wasnt) to have a hard drive, and record a whole series at the touch of a button is fantastic.

If I want to watch a film, again the touch of a button, and I have it!

Pausing TV, rewinding....all these things wouldnt be possible without digital.

I honestly cant see TV soley being delivered down the cable in the near future. That will be some way off.....but can you honestly say that you wouldnt be making the same argument for that as well?

After all, your little portable wouldnt be able to take it without a scart lead. It would also force everyone to go on a very high bandwidth broadband...... buying that and a router would be more expensive than a freeview box.
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  #22  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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TV is a luxury, I think we sometimes forget that.
If you are on a low income, there are always means to earn money.....like getting a job.
What a ridiculous statement! It's mostly people who have a job who are on the low incomes and can't afford even more compulsory taxes!

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
If one cant afford the license, then one shouldnt buy the TV, it is not a necessity.
Why should one be denied watching ITV, C4, and C5 by the BBC?

When I replaced my computer a couple of years back, why did I get a threatening letter about the TV licence when we have a TV licence here - just because it's not my name on the licence? Why did they assume I was a guilty criminal? The same happened when I bought a graphics card.

A relative of a friend moved into his own flat last year, he does not have a TV, but he got the same threatening letter. It was assumed he was guilty, and he had to jump through hoops to prove he didn't own a TV. That was made doubly-difficult by the fact of having a computer on which he watches his DVDs.
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  #23  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
I take it you dont have sky+

For me, it is awesome, and (probably?) not possible without digital.

As a consumer, I am VERY happy with the service (trust me, I would be the first to complain if I wasnt) to have a hard drive, and record a whole series at the touch of a button is fantastic.

If I want to watch a film, again the touch of a button, and I have it!

Pausing TV, rewinding....all these things wouldnt be possible without digital.
I don't have Sky+, I have Virginmedia - which now offers most of those things too.

However, you're wrong to say "Pausing TV, rewinding....all these things wouldnt be possible without digital." I do that with the terrestrial channels because it's a function of my DVD/HDD recorder. It has nothing to do with the broadcast method.

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I honestly cant see TV soley being delivered down the cable in the near future. That will be some way off.....but can you honestly say that you wouldnt be making the same argument for that as well?
Only if we were forced into it. It's not the change from analogue to digital per se, it's that we're forced into changing for the sake of others making money. If digital really gave us everything they promised, they wouldn't need to force it on us. (Which, ironically, is the same argument for the BBC TV licence.)

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
After all, your little portable wouldnt be able to take it without a scart lead. It would also force everyone to go on a very high bandwidth broadband...... buying that and a router would be more expensive than a freeview box.
That's wrong, too. Already we're seeing 25Mbps+ broadband being rolled out, in the timeframe I've mentioned we'll easily be seeing 50Mbps+ and 100Mbps+.

DVD bitrate is, what? 6-8Mbps?

It's funny that, in December, reports came out saying that we didn't need faster broadband because there's "no demand for it". By keeping UK broadband slow, they throttle back the likelihood of internet TV - thus keeping the case for Digital. If internet TV took off, which I reckon it will in a good few years, the case for Digital would be so shallow that it'd be a non-issue.
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  #24  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
What a ridiculous statement! It's mostly people who have a job who are on the low incomes and can't afford even more compulsory taxes!


Why should one be denied watching ITV, C4, and C5 by the BBC?

When I replaced my computer a couple of years back, why did I get a threatening letter about the TV licence when we have a TV licence here - just because it's not my name on the licence? Why did they assume I was a guilty criminal? The same happened when I bought a graphics card.

A relative of a friend moved into his own flat last year, he does not have a TV, but he got the same threatening letter. It was assumed he was guilty, and he had to jump through hoops to prove he didn't own a TV. That was made doubly-difficult by the fact of having a computer on which he watches his DVDs.

The TV license has been around for what, 30years..... my point is, that if you can afford to buy a tv, you should be able to buy a license. If you cant, and you want to watch the tv, there are always means to do so.

Same with cars, if you can afford the tax and insurance, then dont buy the car.
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  #25  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Originally Posted by JSR View Post
I don't have Sky+, I have Virginmedia - which now offers most of those things too.

However, you're wrong to say "Pausing TV, rewinding....all these things wouldnt be possible without digital." I do that with the terrestrial channels because it's a function of my DVD/HDD recorder. It has nothing to do with the broadcast method.


Only if we were forced into it. It's not the change from analogue to digital per se, it's that we're forced into changing for the sake of others making money. If digital really gave us everything they promised, they wouldn't need to force it on us. (Which, ironically, is the same argument for the BBC TV licence.)


That's wrong, too. Already we're seeing 25Mbps+ broadband being rolled out, in the timeframe I've mentioned we'll easily be seeing 50Mbps+ and 100Mbps+.

DVD bitrate is, what? 6-8Mbps?

It's funny that, in December, reports came out saying that we didn't need faster broadband because there's "no demand for it". By keeping UK broadband slow, they throttle back the likelihood of internet TV - thus keeping the case for Digital. If internet TV took off, which I reckon it will in a good few years, the case for Digital would be so shallow that it'd be a non-issue.
If DVD bitrate is what you say, I am on 4meg broadband, therefore if I am moving from an analogue TV, I would indeed need to buy a much higher rate broadband package, together with a router, so no, I am not wrong.....plus you can double that if you want to watch one channel whilst recording another.
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  #26  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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The TV license has been around for what, 30years.....
The TV licence first came along in 1946 costing £2. There was only one channel, the BBC. It made sense to pay for what you watch.

Today, we have to pay a licence to watch channels that do not benefit from the licence fees. It is wrong to force people to pay a licence fee to the BBC in order to watch channels that make their money from other means (commercial or subscription).

The purpose of the licence has changed.

If you buy a tin of Cross & Blackwell Baked Beans, do you expect to pay a "beans licence" to Heinz because they also make beans? That's how daft the BBC TV licence has become. You have to pay the BBC in order to watch the commercially-funded ITV. That is bonkers by any stretch of the imagination.

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
my point is, that if you can afford to buy a tv, you should be able to buy a license. If you cant, and you want to watch the tv, there are always means to do so.

Same with cars, if you can afford the tax and insurance, then dont buy the car.
If I can't afford to run a car, I walk and I don't pay road tax. I have alternatives. No one forces me to pay car tax for walking.

If I can't afford the BBC TV licence, I am denied watching ITV even though ITV have nothing to do with the BBC TV licence. I have no alternative. I am forced to pay the BBC TV licence whether I watch BBC or not.

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
If DVD bitrate is what you say, I am on 4meg broadband, therefore if I am moving from an analogue TV, I would indeed need to buy a much higher rate broadband package, together with a router, so no, I am not wrong.....plus you can double that if you want to watch one channel whilst recording another.
You're missing my point. I'm talking about over the next few years.

I'm on a 4meg service and have been told that I'm about to get a *free* upgrade to 10meg. Those on the 10meg service are getting a free upgrade to 20meg. That's happening right now. By the time digital is fully rolled out, we'll be seeing 20meg broadband as commonplace - you won't even be able to get 4meg any more.

A couple of years ago, entry level broadband was something like 128Kbps (or 150Kbps as it was from my NTL). Today you couldn't find speeds that slow if you looked for them. In a few years, exactly the same will be true for todays 2meg and 4meg services. That's the future, that's new technology - not digital TV in its current form.

Hey, I'm not trying to convince you of anything. You'll see it when it happens, because it will happen. Most broadcasters know that this is the future - even the BBC with their "iplayer" service, and other channels that allow you to watch their programmes online. It's the tip of the iceberg.

Some countries already have 100Mbps as standard. More than the increase in broadband speeds, we'll also have wireless speeds capable of streaming such footage around your house - a couple of years ago that was a pipe dream, today it's very nearly possible already.

Digital TV is nothing more than a stepping stone being forced on us in a rush to allow others to make big bucks.
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  #27  
Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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I don't have Sky+, I have Virginmedia - which now offers most of those things too.

However, you're wrong to say "Pausing TV, rewinding....all these things wouldnt be possible without digital." I do that with the terrestrial channels because it's a function of my DVD/HDD recorder. It has nothing to do with the broadcast method.


Only if we were forced into it. It's not the change from analogue to digital per se, it's that we're forced into changing for the sake of others making money. If digital really gave us everything they promised, they wouldn't need to force it on us. (Which, ironically, is the same argument for the BBC TV licence.)


That's wrong, too. Already we're seeing 25Mbps+ broadband being rolled out, in the timeframe I've mentioned we'll easily be seeing 50Mbps+ and 100Mbps+.

DVD bitrate is, what? 6-8Mbps?

It's funny that, in December, reports came out saying that we didn't need faster broadband because there's "no demand for it". By keeping UK broadband slow, they throttle back the likelihood of internet TV - thus keeping the case for Digital. If internet TV took off, which I reckon it will in a good few years, the case for Digital would be so shallow that it'd be a non-issue.

All this new ultra broadband technology you talk about costs money and has to be paid for by subscription or licence and the very low income people would find the licence a cheaper option.
There are more parts of the country without cable than with, the cable companies will not lay them without the prospect of a decent return on investment thus low populated rural areas stand no chance but will rely on broadcast television for the foreseeable future. Can broadband using telephone lines cope with the technology's you refer to? The BBC is obliged to try and reach as many people as is possible without having to look at the profit balance sheet, and thats its strength.
You also have to remember BBC is involved in research onto all this new technology as well. There is much more too the Beeb than just TV and radio
programs.
I agree the Government stands to make Billions when they sell the TV band width, but that still isn't personal gain it goes into government coffers to waste on their own pet projects.

To run the BBC money has to be raised one way or another. At least not having a TV, thus not using the service and therefore not paying the licence a choice is made. Commercial TV cost every one regardless of whether they watch or not, every item advertised on TV a percentage of its costs is advertising revenue for the TV company's and therefore there is no choice we all pay regardless.

Patrick
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Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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The BBC is obliged to try and reach as many people as is possible
They were doing that perfectly adequately with reaching as many people as is possible with analogue. Changing to digital forces people to upgrade, and there are some who may never be able to receive the digital broadcasts.

You can receive analogue signals with a feeble aerial, albeit you get a poor picture. With digital, if you don't have a strong signal you're stuck without TV.

Digital sounds like the opposite of trying to "reach as many people as possible" to me.

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Commercial TV cost every one regardless of whether they watch or not,
How do you figure that? If I chose not to watch ITV, I don't pay ITV. If I chose to watch, I pay twice - once by putting up with the adverts for ITV and again by paying the BBC that have nothing to do with ITV.

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At least not having a TV, thus not using the service and therefore not paying the licence a choice is made.
Yes, but if you disagree with the BBC and don't like what they're doing with the licence fee, the only option is to not watch any TV at all. Why shouldn't you be allowed to watch the commercially-funded ITV without being forced to pay the BBC? To be denied all channels just because you don't support the BBC is akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

When the BBC was the only channel, the TV licence made perfect sense. Now there are hundreds of channels and the BBC are in the minority, yet we still have to pay them just to watch one of the other hundred. That's barmy.
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Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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They were doing that perfectly adequately with reaching as many people as is possible with analogue. Changing to digital forces people to upgrade, and there are some who may never be able to receive the digital broadcasts.

You can receive analogue signals with a feeble aerial, albeit you get a poor picture. With digital, if you don't have a strong signal you're stuck without TV.

Digital sounds like the opposite of trying to "reach as many people as possible" to me.


How do you figure that? If I chose not to watch ITV, I don't pay ITV. If I chose to watch, I pay twice - once by putting up with the adverts for ITV and again by paying the BBC that have nothing to do with ITV.


Yes, but if you disagree with the BBC and don't like what they're doing with the licence fee, the only option is to not watch any TV at all. Why shouldn't you be allowed to watch the commercially-funded ITV without being forced to pay the BBC? To be denied all channels just because you don't support the BBC is akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

When the BBC was the only channel, the TV licence made perfect sense. Now there are hundreds of channels and the BBC are in the minority, yet we still have to pay them just to watch one of the other hundred. That's barmy.
Most of these hundreds of channels you refer to continually show repeat after repeat in fact they have made a business solely on repeats a large number using BBC programs, so by extension those in particular rely on the BBC. Funny the BBC were castigated by the press for many years for showing too many repeats and UK Gold lives of mostly repeated BBC programs.
Margaret Thatcher wanted to kill off the BBC because they were critical of her; Tony Blair continued with this vendetta, this shows me the BBC was doing a bloody good job. The commercial companies would like to see the BBC downsized, a powerful competitor weakend. The BBC website is the most used in the UK they donít like that.
The press seem to continually bombard the BBC all in an attempt to encourage people like yourself that canít see or wonít see its value.
It not perfect and makes its share of mistakes, but itís not affectionately referred to as Aunty for nothing. If ever she became truly commercial all the others can watch out, she will be an even bigger force with the handcuffs removed, remember it has to fulfil its current charter and can be held back by that charter. There is only so much advertising revenue which has been thinned out by an increasing number of channels not to mention the internet, a commercialised BBC could lead to the possibility of TV companies facing a very tough market place. ITV is already facing one.
Itís my bet if they change the charter to make the BBC commercial the vindictive politicians will try and break her up to make her unviable.

Patrick
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Old 21-03-08
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Re: Beeb gets GP back

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Funny the BBC were castigated by the press for many years for showing too many repeats
Could that be because of having paid the licence fee for the programme to be made the first time, the BBC then expected people to pay the licence fee again to see the repeat? That's a slightly different issue.

Anyway, I get what you're saying. As I said earlier -

Quote:
I know only too well that the debate is a pointless one. We've got to pay regardless of what anyone has to say on the subject.
Perhaps the BBC will improve and we'll all end up the winners here...

I think both sides of the argument have been put down as best as we're able. Thank-you for your side of it (I've had similar discussions elsewhere before that haven't always been so civil).
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