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Television and why I've got rid of it.

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  • johneffay
    Born Again Nihilist
    • Sep 2005
    • 3394

    #31
    Originally posted by David Mosley
    Not on the BBC though, which doesn't need to take advertising because of the Licence Fee. There's no program sponsorship on the BBC either.
    They just have endless adverts for other BBC products such as magazines, and trailers for what's on all their other channels many of which are completely useless to the large section of society which doesn't have digital TV.

    I don't care about adverts because I record anything I want to watch on the commercial channels and then just skip through them. The only time I ever see adverts is when I watch Channel 4 news.

    Comment

    • johneffay
      Born Again Nihilist
      • Sep 2005
      • 3394

      #32
      Originally posted by danskmacabre
      If they really want to enforce people paying for a license, why not encryt the BBC channels and people get cards for freeview boxes for those that pay the fee
      Because they would take a massive hit in revenue.

      Actually, I don't think that your idea is a bad one: if the revenue cut meant that they just made less programmes concentrating on areas they were good at and cut down on the number of broadcasting hours, then I would happily pay for the card. However, I suspect that they would just cut the overall quality of their programmes still further whilst maintaining their broadcasting hours

      Comment

      • David Mosley
        Eternal Administrator
        • Jul 2004
        • 11823

        #33
        Originally posted by danskmacabre
        A good read David.

        From what I understand, For you the license fee is good as it is I guess (or at least in principal).
        Oh absolutely. I'm quite sure if I didn't find so much worth 'watching' on BBCs 1, 2, 3, 4, R2, R4, www, etc. (and to be honest - and only a little 'sad' about it - I feel that the new Doctor Who series fully justifies my licence fee on its own, everything after that is a bonus ) then I might just, possibly, perhaps, feel a teensy weensy little bit upset at being forced to have a licence to watch TV.

        Maybe.

        It's ironic that in America you need a licence to own a gun, but in Britain you need one to own a television set!

        Originally posted by danskmacabre
        So I don't see why I should be forced to pay for BBC programmes I don't watch.
        I think this is going to become an even more contentious issue at the next Charter Review in, what 10 years time? We're already seeing people arguing that the BBC should be scrapped, or that only those listeners who want to listen to Radio 4 should pay for it. UK TV in 2007 is quite unrecognisable compared to what it was in 1987, or even 1997 (though to a lesser degree).

        What concerns me, however, and this is why I'll fight for the Licence Fee while I have breath in my body is that currently - as a licence fee payer - I own the BBC. Contrary to some views, the BBC is not owned or run by the UK Government. It exists under Royal Charter, its 'shareholders' (for want of a better word) are the British Public, and it is (under the terms of the Charter) "free from both political and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners". (Emphasis mine.)

        On the other hand, who owns ITV? Who owns Sky TV? Who owns any other commercial public service broadcaster operating in the UK? And who are they answerable to? We've seen in the case of Celebrity Big Brother, 40,000 viewers can complain to Ofcom, and Channel 4 can just shrug and go: "We're just stimulating a national debate - nothing to do with us, guv'".

        Originally posted by danskmacabre
        If they really want to enforce people paying for a license, why not encryt the BBC channels and people get cards for freeview boxes for those that pay the fee(which is quite doable, since more and more areas are going digital now and analogue broadcasts are being phased out as we speak).
        The problem as I see it with that argument - encrypting BBC channels - is the BBC exists as a public service broadcaster whose product, like that of the NHS or state schools, is "free at the point of use". Should someone who is never ill in their life, or at least never needs to visit a GP or hospital, have to pay their taxes to finance the NHS? Should anyone without children have to pay taxes to keep schools open? Should pacifists see their hard-earned money used to finance the Armed Forces?

        If you start going down the path of saying "I don't use it, why should I pay for it?" where will it end? We all pay our taxes for hospitals, schools, prisons, armies because we all benefit - as a society and a culture - from them, even if we don't personally (appear to) benefit from them directly. So it is - I believe - with the BBC.

        Here are the things that the latest Royal Charter says the BBC must do:
        • sustain citizenship and civil society;
        • promote education and learning;
        • stimulate creativity and cultural excellence;
        • represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities;
        • bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK;
        • help to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services, and taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.
        How many other PSBs can that be said of? All ITV plc has to do - and here I am being glib - is keep its shareholders happy. All Sky has to do - again being glib - is keep Rupert Murdoch in clover.

        It should be noted the ABC (the Australian equivalent of the BBC ) is solely funded by the government and there is no license fee.
        While there is no explicit licence fee for ABC, if the government funds it then it is being paid for by the Australian tax payer, whether they like it or not. At least in Britain you have - as you're doing - the right to opt out.

        Here - ripped from Wikipedia - is how the BBC says the personal licence fee breaks down each month:
        Department - Monthly cost
        BBC ONE - £3.52
        BBC TWO - £1.52
        Transmission and collection costs - £1.08
        Nations and English Regions television - £1.04
        BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and Five Live - £1.02
        Digital television channels - £1.00
        Local and Nations' radio - 68p
        bbc.co.uk - 36p
        BBC jam - 14p
        Digital radio stations - 10p
        Interactive TV (BBCi) - 8p
        Total - £10.54
        (Figures relate to 2005/6)

        I say again, that's extraordinary value! - especially when you consider a single Sky Box Office movie costs more than a month's worth of BBC 1 television alone.

        Caveat: None of which is to ignore the dangers of the BBC becoming a culturally-stagnant, Westminster-fixated, nepotistic, plutocratic monolith where everything revolves around London and nothing newsworthy ever happens north of the Watford Gap.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

        Comment

        • David Mosley
          Eternal Administrator
          • Jul 2004
          • 11823

          #34
          Originally posted by johneffay
          They just have endless adverts for other BBC products such as magazines, and trailers for what's on all their other channels many of which are completely useless to the large section of society which doesn't have digital TV.
          Doesn't the BBC have a duty to promote the programmes it spends our licence fee on so we know what it's doing with it all? In any case, at least the BBC ads go in-between the programmes not within them.

          What I object most strongly to is the (not at all unique to the BBC) habit of squeezing the end credits of programmes and/or having a continuity announcer speak over them to tell me what's on next.

          As for digital TV, eventually most of the country will have to have it because in 2012 (?) the analogue signal will be switched off. The fact that the UK Govt had made the BBC (through it's Charter) largely responsible for implementing the Digital Switchover is seen by some people - aiui - as a way to avoid having to pay for it out of public funds (i.e. taxes).

          Originally posted by johneffay
          I don't care about adverts because I record anything I want to watch on the commercial channels and then just skip through them. The only time I ever see adverts is when I watch Channel 4 news.
          Which - with the development of Tivo and HDD recorders that can automatically skip the adverts - is a major concern to commercial broadcasters. That's why absolute dross like The Mint has appeared on our screens.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

          Comment

          • Mikey_C
            Champion of the Balance
            • May 2004
            • 1511

            #35
            How much of the £3.52 accounts for Jonathan Ross's salary? Or worse still, that obnoxious tosser Jeremy Clarkson and all those nasty chefs who swear at people? Very culturally excellent (or should that phrase have read "cultural excrement"?)

            Time Team's good, though. Whoops, that's on Channel 4.
            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

            Comment

            • David Mosley
              Eternal Administrator
              • Jul 2004
              • 11823

              #36
              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              How much of the £3.52 accounts for Jonathan Ross's salary?
              Who cares?* Wossy is funny, knows his films and comics, and reckons Alan Moore is one of the greatest creative artists living today.

              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              Or worse still, that obnoxious tosser Jeremy Clarkson
              Clarkson has a very well cultivated public persona as an 'obnoxious tosser' designed to annoy all the PC, Health & Safety-conscious, left-wing, Grauniad-reading, sandle-wearing, woolly-jumper hippie brigade. His documentaries on Brunel and the Victoria Cross remain two of the best things I've seen in the past 5 years on British TV.

              He's a GOD, I tells ya!

              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              ...and all those nasty chefs who swear at people?
              You mean like Gordon Ramsey?

              Or Delia Smith?

              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              Time Team's good, though. Whoops, that's on Channel 4.
              Some stable as nasty swearing chef Gordon Ramsey then.

              Oh, and Time Team was good - about 5 years ago. (imo)

              *No, it's a serious point you make, and one that someone with the requiste math skills could work out assuming an annual Licence revenue of £4bn, 30.5m licence payers, and a monthly salary for JR of £500,000** (presumably before taxes, which also presumably would be fairly substantial). If the figure is much more than 0.02p per licence holder per month (gross) I'd be surprised.***

              **Source: Wikipedia
              ***My maths suck, btw.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment

              • L'Etranger
                Veteran Moorcockista
                • Dec 2003
                • 4772

                #37
                The public TV stations in our country that were created after 1945 based on the BBC are also financed by an obligational license fee. The amount that seems necessary to supply the public with information, entertainment and education (mission statement as defined by the constitution!) is annually revised by an independent commission. There have been endlesss discussions (often fuelled by the newer, "private" or rather commercial companies) about the pro's and con's, about about the legitimacy. There have been, as in any system, cases of misuse, sloppiness and idiocy, and a too great assimilation to the "look and feel" of the commercial stations.
                However ...
                My personal view is that with a media landscape in which you only have commercial stations, information will be on the losing side. I am convinced that certain issues will never be "allowed" to be covered "next to" beautiful commercials of tennis shoes, chocolates and credit cards - like stories from our societies' underbelly: HIV, forced prostitution, all forms of abuse, policital stuff, side-effects of ruthless globalization and anything critical. Investigative (TV) journalism and highly sensitive documentaries like this one, The Big Sellout, just would not longer "take place". (Try to see it, by the way, if you can, as the mechanisms behind the dismantling of British Rail and its results for everybody are very vividly shown in it. I am proud we and ARTE, the Franco-German Culture, channel co-produced it)


                Something else: Danskmacabre, would you kindly send me an email to discuss a certain matter. Thanks in advance.
                Last edited by L'Etranger; 02-01-2007, 02:06 AM.
                Google ergo sum

                Comment

                • Talisant
                  Champion of the Balance
                  • Dec 2003
                  • 1299

                  #38
                  There was a partially successful neo-con move in the U.S. to gut P.B.S. of it's alternative/investigative sensibility a couple of years ago, Bill Moyers was the main focus of the machination.
                  "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                  Comment

                  • nalpak retrac
                    Champion of the Balance
                    • Dec 2003
                    • 1073

                    #39
                    I don't have a TV. It's a drug.

                    Try this experiment. Don't watch it for a while--throw it out, smash the tube with a rock, whatever you have to do; just don't watch the thing. And don't watch it at school, work, or at your parents' and freinds' houses. Then, after a few months, go visit a friend who has a TV and sit with them as they watch it. You'll feel uncomfortable about the whole TV viewing scenario.

                    Honest.
                    Last edited by nalpak retrac; 02-01-2007, 09:08 PM.

                    Comment

                    • danskmacabre
                      Defender of the Runestaff
                      • Sep 2006
                      • 377

                      #40
                      Originally posted by L'Etranger
                      Something else: Danskmacabre, would you kindly send me an email to discuss a certain matter. Thanks in advance.
                      Sent, ooh I'm all curious now..

                      Comment

                      • L'Etranger
                        Veteran Moorcockista
                        • Dec 2003
                        • 4772

                        #41
                        Thanks
                        and
                        Google ergo sum

                        Comment

                        • The English Assassin
                          Champion of the Balance
                          • Feb 2007
                          • 1673

                          #42
                          Does anybody know what the score will be in the UK once the digital switch-over is complete (between 2008-2012 - I think) and owning a TV without a digital receiver? Currently I own a TV (without a licence – rock’n’roll!), which I barely watch and only really use for watching DVDs. I don't own a set-top box or any other digital means of watching TV, so after 2012 (or before, depending where I like in the UK) I won't be able to watch TV any more (in effect I won't have a receiver), so will I still - technically and legally- need a licence or not?
                          forum

                          1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                          2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                          3. a public meeting place for open discussion

                          Comment

                          • David Mosley
                            Eternal Administrator
                            • Jul 2004
                            • 11823

                            #43
                            That's really a question for TV Licensing, I guess. You might also want to try asking at the DigitalSpy forums - that's the sort of thing they might know about.
                            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                            Comment

                            • danskmacabre
                              Defender of the Runestaff
                              • Sep 2006
                              • 377

                              #44
                              Got a chance to answer this post.

                              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                              Oh absolutely. I'm quite sure if I didn't find so much worth 'watching' on BBCs 1, 2, 3, 4, R2, R4, www, etc. (and to be honest - and only a little 'sad' about it - I feel that the new Doctor Who series fully justifies my licence fee on its own, everything after that is a bonus ) then I might just, possibly, perhaps, feel a teensy weensy little bit upset at being forced to have a licence to watch TV.
                              I agree there are some things I might like ot watch, but I don't have time to watch them mostly anyway (I've seen a few episodes od Dr who)
                              I will probably just buy the DVD set instead and watch it at my leisure.


                              It's ironic that in America you need a licence to own a gun, but in Britain you need one to own a television set!
                              An entirely different subject (and a hot topic based on my experiences on other forums)

                              I think this is going to become an even more contentious issue at the next Charter Review in, what 10 years time? We're already seeing people arguing that the BBC should be scrapped, or that only those listeners who want to listen to Radio 4 should pay for it. UK TV in 2007 is quite unrecognisable compared to what it was in 1987, or even 1997 (though to a lesser degree).
                              What concerns me, however, and this is why I'll fight for the Licence Fee while I have breath in my body is that currently - as a licence fee payer - I own the BBC. Contrary to some views, the BBC is not owned or run by the UK Government. It exists under Royal Charter, its 'shareholders' (for want of a better word) are the British Public, and it is (under the terms of the Charter) "free from both political and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners". (Emphasis mine.)
                              Well, TV is becoming more and international now anyway, I won't particularly miss tv stations, what MAY end up happening is users buying content direct instead of through TV stations (maybe there won't be a BBC tv station , but BBC productions only where every buys content from )


                              On the other hand, who owns ITV? Who owns Sky TV? Who owns any other commercial public service broadcaster operating in the UK? And who are they answerable to? We've seen in the case of Celebrity Big Brother, 40,000 viewers can complain to Ofcom, and Channel 4 can just shrug and go: "We're just stimulating a national debate - nothing to do with us, guv'".
                              I agree SKY tv is generally crap and is full of repeats, which is why I'm getting rid of it.

                              The problem as I see it with that argument - encrypting BBC channels - is the BBC exists as a public service broadcaster whose product, like that of the NHS or state schools, is "free at the point of use". Should someone who is never ill in their life, or at least never needs to visit a GP or hospital, have to pay their taxes to finance the NHS? Should anyone without children have to pay taxes to keep schools open? Should pacifists see their hard-earned money used to finance the Armed Forces?
                              If you start going down the path of saying "I don't use it, why should I pay for it?" where will it end? We all pay our taxes for hospitals, schools, prisons, armies because we all benefit - as a society and a culture - from them, even if we don't personally (appear to) benefit from them directly. So it is - I believe - with the BBC.
                              Here are the things that the latest Royal Charter says the BBC must do:
                              • sustain citizenship and civil society;
                              • promote education and learning;
                              • stimulate creativity and cultural excellence;
                              • represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities;
                              • bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK;
                              • help to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services, and taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.
                              How many other PSBs can that be said of? All ITV plc has to do - and here I am being glib - is keep its shareholders happy. All Sky has to do - again being glib - is keep Rupert Murdoch in clover.

                              While there is no explicit licence fee for ABC, if the government funds it then it is being paid for by the Australian tax payer, whether they like it or not. At least in Britain you have - as you're doing - the right to opt out.

                              Ther difference between the BBC and say, the health service, is noone really NEEDS the BBC, everyone MAY (and probably will at some stage) need the health service etc..



                              Here - ripped from Wikipedia - is how the BBC says the personal licence fee breaks down each month:
                              Department - Monthly cost
                              BBC ONE - £3.52
                              BBC TWO - £1.52
                              Transmission and collection costs - £1.08
                              Nations and English Regions television - £1.04
                              BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and Five Live - £1.02
                              Digital television channels - £1.00
                              Local and Nations' radio - 68p
                              bbc.co.uk - 36p
                              BBC jam - 14p
                              Digital radio stations - 10p
                              Interactive TV (BBCi) - 8p
                              Total - £10.54
                              (Figures relate to 2005/6)
                              I say again, that's extraordinary value! - especially when you consider a single Sky Box Office movie costs more than a month's worth of BBC 1 television alone.

                              Caveat: None of which is to ignore the dangers of the BBC becoming a culturally-stagnant, Westminster-fixated, nepotistic, plutocratic monolith where everything revolves around London and nothing newsworthy ever happens north of the Watford Gap.
                              An interesting list of services that.
                              And if I didn't have other forms of media and information, I would find it useful.
                              But for me, it's not, I don't use them and will happily NOT use them, so I don't want to pay for it.

                              Comment

                              • danskmacabre
                                Defender of the Runestaff
                                • Sep 2006
                                • 377

                                #45
                                Tomorrow's the last day of receiving TV.

                                Interestingly, over the last month, there's been quite a bit in the news about on demand programmes, so I may well be paying for and downloading any programmes I actually do want to see.

                                Comment

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