back to article may cut BBC licence fee in 2012

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt reiterated over the weekend that the BBC’s licence fee could be cut in recognition of the “very constrained financial situation” the country currently faces. The Tory MP, in an interview with Saturday’s Daily Telegraph, accused the Beeb of being guilty of “extraordinary and outrageous” waste in the …


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  1. irish donkey

    Is the BBC Spending really the problem?

    Or is it the other websites charging for content which the BBC provides for free?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh but its NOT free

      Anyone resident in the UK who owns equipment capable of receiving a live "broadcast" whether over RF or over the internet is forced to pay for this. If you don't then ultimately you're going to jail.

      That is the problem. It is OUR money coerced from us under the threat of imprisonment. People tend to think that they ought to have a say in how that money is spent.

      Lets not even go into BBC bias - and no I'm not talking Labour/Tory cos they are much of a muchness. Try going to Scotland and watch the BBC news/political output. Fantasy central.

      I mean why the hell should some idiot (male or female) get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to front the news and that alone? In the commercial world then fine, let them do it. Their customers pay and they have a choice.

      When you are compelled to pay for these idiots though, well that's when people get irritated.

      Is the BBC worth the license fee? In England it probably is. Scotland - heh, you're having a laugh; ditto Wales and NI.

      1. Citizen Kaned


        scotland gets a bloody good deal to be honest. welsh and scottish TV per capita are much more expensive than english stuff. wasnt it the BBC that spent ~£70M to get a scottish language channel. met anyone scottish that speaks this dialect? i havent. there are more polish and asian people in scotland that scottish speakers. yet the suckers in england pay for this again. same with wasting cash on welsh tv channels. if the welsh are that in need of welsh language channels you pay for them, dont expect others to pay. in all countries english is the main spoken language, so why should anything other than that be paid for by us?

        let us not forget, my southern friend, that wales, scotland etc are all catered to better than anyone north of watford. but then thats the case for everything in the uk anyway. try watching the weather for lincolnshire, you see our region on the UK map for about 1 second, then watch it pan all over the UK.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Missed point: it went that way...

          The original poster did not say anything about quality per capita, he just said it was crap.

          Since the number of people in Wales and Scotland are each way less than that in England, I think it is fair to say that it being better per capita but still crap overall are not incompatible situations.

      2. MYOFB

        I think you will find this interesting

        You are not required (or to use your parlance: FORCED) to pay the licence fee if you own/purchase equipment capable of receiving a "broadcast" TV signal.

        The requirement to pay is if you *DO* use it for that purpose. How do I know this? Here's how!

        "If you watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV you must, by law, be covered by a TV Licence, no matter what device you're using."

        Taken from:

        The operative portion of the above being: " . . . as they're being shown on TV . . . " ie *Broadcast*!

        You can watch any amount of TV programming you want to Catchup on at the likes of iPlayer, 4OD, etc . . . so long as it's not at the time it is being *Broadcast*!

        BTW, next time you go to purchase any equipment capable of receiving a TV Broadcast and are asked for your name and address, tell the sales droid to FOAD as it's not a legal requirement to provide that info to allow you to buy a telly, etc . . . !!

        PS: I have a 32" *TV* that I hook up my Wii, DVD player and laptop to . . . An aerial, WTF for . . . TV is ess-aitch-one-tee!!

    2. Defiant


      Are you for real, the BBC does nothing for free. They hold an entire country to ransom which is how they get their £3.7 BILLION budget

  2. andy gibson

    Won't work

    The BBC will still continue to pay out the high salaries to the likes of Wogan, Forsythe and Graham Norton, and will just spend less on programmes (101 ways to leave a gameshow anyone?)

  3. Michael 28

    Same result as the RBWM bin collections then?

    .....the fee will be frozen at £145 , but you get free M&S vouchers (aka food stamps).

    BTW.... Blind people get the licence at half price .. WTF? .Never understood that. And why can't you get a bill in braille at the allpay places?

    ps ... can we have a "Bodgers" icon?

    (Bodgers Senor? we don' need no steenkin' Bodgers!)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, if they do that I will be much better off!


    In fact, if they scrapped the license fee entirely I'd probably not notice either and it certainly won't make a noticable difference! How poor do you have to be for any of these things to actually make a difference to you?

    1. Semaj


      It's not about it making a personal difference. It's the principal.

      Besides, why should I have to pay a hundred and fifty quid for something that I do not use?

      (Though in fact I have recently told them to naff off seeing as I now have no TV receiving equipment so we'll see how that turns out)

      (GO to the government about reducing the fee - preferably to £0)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    What I said would happen

    Sadly what I said would happen pre-election. Hunt has alot of pressure put on him.

    I'm not just talking Murdoch but the likes of Tindle Newspapers, from Hunts own constituency, who I strongly suspect have voiced their opinions to him. Sadly the outcome is the BBC will be held responsible for the decline of local newspapers and small scale radio stations. The reality is of course the media environment is changing, but Hunt must be seen to prop up the people who have given staunch financial support to the party.

  6. Michael B.

    ConDems repaying Murdoch's loyalty

    I wondered how long it would take for the Conservatives to have to repay the free election campaigning that the Murdoch stable gave them. I really shudder at the thought of the dismantling of the BBC in favour of Sky's vision of the Broadcast media. We should also not forget that Sky has a budget about 600million higher than the BBC it is not playing second fiddle to the BBC as the Murdoch papers would have us believe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you arrive at the wrong website?

      Here's a helping hand www,

  7. Anonymous Coward

    And now...

    Let the torrent of people misspelling 'licence' with an 'S' commence. If you're American, you're forgiven. If not, you can join a certain British journo from El Reg who I believe does it deliberately (for reasons never explained).

    Pedantic grammar Nazi logo because...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Cut all compulsory 'license fees'

    The day public broadcasters start dying from having to face the market (oh, the horror!) would be a happy one for European consumers.

    While we're at it, just have them pay back all 'license fees' accrued over the years!

    1. Jimmy Floyd


      "would be a happy one for European consumers"

      Because the quality of our TV and radio would be determined by market forces? Yeah, for example American television leads the world in quality, happiness and "fair & balanced" commentary. Don't they?

      I do love how critics of the BBC licence fee often point towards a market-based system as the better way. More expensive than the licence fee, with lower quality, and subject to whatever political whims Rupert Murdoch wants you to believe today. SkyFox: coming soon to a media oligopoly near you. First up on the new channel: "Why The Newspapers Owned By The People Who Own This TV Channel Are Great."

      I mean, who in their right mind pays a subscription fee to watch adverts? Sky customers, that's who. And people with that sort of logic don't inspire confidence in their decision making capabilities.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Quality and the market

        NatGeo or Discovery make decent programming, even if they're not subsidized.

        I'll grant you that BBC 4 is strong on the documentary side and for that alone I would pay to have it included in my cable selection. Other than that, simply robbing your neighbour who would rather watch Spanish soap operas is distasteful.

        BBC4 docus will survive, Top Gear will survive, nothing of value would be lost!

  9. Saucerhead Tharpe
    Thumb Down

    The answer is simple

    Cameron etc owe Murdoch a favour, Murdoch wants the Beeb knee-capped, this is the way to do it, cut their funding, they can't compete with him.

  10. Neil Charles

    Protests have already surfaced...

    38 Degrees again. That lot really need to pick a smaller number of issues and stick with them, rather than urging mass email campaigns on completely unrelated issues several times a week.

    I came off their mailing list not long ago because I just can't be angry about the sheer number of issues they want to campaign on. It all turns into background noise and it will very quickly turn into background noise on the recipients' end too if they don't calm down. Two days of emails that are an annoyance and suddenly dry up, then you move on.

    On the license fee cut, good. To be frank, I don't care if the Tories are using the recession as an excuse to do loads of things that they wanted to do anyway (which they are). If the BBC didn't exist and somebody suggested setting up a state broadcaster with a £3bn annual budget, paid for by a £145 tax on every home in the country, they'd be laughed out of the room.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      But if someone suggested setting up the NHS, these days they'd be laughed out of the room as well. It doesn't meant that both the NHS and the BBC aren't two of the best things about the UK though.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I may actually get one then

    As for the blind licence fee reduction, you don't have to be 100% blind to be registered blind. I used to work with a man who could only see a small area directly ahead of him, plenty for a television but not sufficient to safely walk down the street, so he was registered blind.

  12. Geoff Campbell

    "by announcing plans to redirect £600m into "high quality" programmes"

    Did they just admit to making crap? After all, with only £2 billion a year to spend, why should we have expected them to be focusing on quality anyway, eh?


  13. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    So because the government is raising other taxes they think it's only fair that they reduce this one. That doesn't compute. Surely in times of mass unemployment and general unhappiness what the great unwashed masses need is more TV, not less. And even eliminating the TV license completely wouldn't compensate for the other raises so that's disingenuous.

    I reckon someone's realised it's an ideal time to bash the BBC. Given that the conservatives also want to kill off Ofcom I think we can sense the wrinkled hands of Mr. Murdoch here.

    If you're going to get rid of the TVL (and to be honest I think they should) then at least be open and upfront about it. Don't try and claim to be being the people's friend.

    1. nichomach

      Now, see,

      for the first two paragraphs I was right with you, but you just HAD to tack the licence-bash onto the end...

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Down


        Why is it a 'licence bash'?

        I happen to think that overall we'd be better off without it. That's just an opinion. Hardly a bashing.

  14. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Well now they've sacked Ross...

    ... they're saving a bunch of money, so if they ditch a few more "big names" they could actually start making some quality programmes again instead of rubbish like 101 Ways to Strictly Come through a Hole in the Wall...

  15. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Oh joy,

    Now I can look for every channel full of crap, instead of merely most of them.

    Aye well, if Radio 4 and perhaps BBC2 remain, it'll not be too bad. But the day the BBC starts inserting adverts - instead of merely leaving wholes in the programmes for them - is the day I sell the TV.

    In spite of what Murdoch and his advert-ridden ilk would have you believe, there *is* a difference between the BBC and every other broadcaster in the world: the BBC's mandate is to deliver entertainment to people - and the commercial's mandate is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers.

    I'll believe Murdoch's boast that he can deliver quality programming when he offers it free of advertising, able to stand on its own merits and attracting paying customers.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Nick Carter

    less money = less quality

    How will this help cut the massive deficit? It'll just mean less money for quality programme making, the game shows and soaps will continue being churned out because they fill the hours quite cheaply but the excellent BBC4 and BBC2 documentaries and comedies will probably get axed (and quite a lot of radio too).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The BBC is far from perfect. But it's by far the best broadcaster on the planet and that's mostly due to it being independent. Yes, it's perceived as lefty and so-on, but that's because of the people an independent organisation tends to attract.

    But that's not my point - I don't want MegaMediaCorp(tm) running my Telly for profit, and I certainly don't want some megalomaniac scumbag like Murdoch in charge of said Corp. I'd like someone who is there to "Inform, educate and entertain".

    I don't want a barrow load of advertising desperately foisted on me, and I certainly don't want the random bile spewed forth by the current competition to the BBC.

    I suspect that if the BBC were butchered, people would be screaming for it back within a year, simply because of the sheer volume of crap they'd suffer if private corps took over. Or, we'd go out and do things like "socialise" or "play" because there's 500 channels of shite on the idiot box.

    I do understand the desire to reign in profligate spending on stuff that isn't really worth it. I'd like to see the license fee revised - it was a good way to fund the BBC when it was created, but nowadays with the distribution methods moving on, it's not right (but the principle that they take it from the users and not the government should stand).

  19. Philip the Duck

    @Nick Carter - are we the only ones...

    ... who are wondering exactly how *reducing* the license fee will help the deficit? Surely *increasing* the fee would bring in more funds to the gov't, some of which they would be able to siphon off with a little creative accounting... Now, *that* would help the deficit!

  20. Modjo30

    Need to be changed not stopped

    I agree with having to pay for the BBC, at least you don't get adverts, What i don't agree is the way it is put about where you will be imprisoned if you don't pay them, this needs to be changed, if you want the BBC then yes you will have to pay for it but if you don't want the BBC but still want to watch one of the other 100's of channels available, why should you pay for something you're not going to watch, things have changed an awful lot since the BBC was the only channel broadcasting, the BBC do not own the other channels available yet we have to pay the BBC to be able to watch them? how'd you figure that one out

    1. Lamont Cranston

      By a similar principle,

      childless adults do not get a reduction in tax to save them paying for schools that they are not using, and an equal portion of your council tax gets spent on policing, regardless of whether you called 999 last year.

      Follow your reasoning, and we'd have to have a variable rate license fee, based on which bits of the corporation's output that you chose to consume* - can I have a discount for only using Radio 4?

      *I believe that this is how Sky <spit> is paid for.

      1. Semaj
        Thumb Down


        So you would be perfectly happy to pay say £70 a year to provide everyone in the country with a free newspaper with no adverts? For example imagine that the Metro stopped advertising and went with a similar system to the BBC.

        Saying it's the same as schools or hospitals is clearly rediculous because there are no real alternatives for WHEN (not if) they are needed where as TV and radio are luxuries. And there are alternatives.

        And the quality of every single show on the BBC is atrocious. I don't know what planet the BBC fanbois here live on if they think that Little Britain is better comedy than American Dad (picked something of similar level). Once over the BBC was good when they had the likes of the Fast Show or Goodness Gracious Me and even things like the Brittas Empire but now all you get is garbage. Even their documentaries are now always incredibly biassed and seem to be trying to ram some message home constantly. Remember - what you see on the beeb is not always made by them, if it's good it's probably been aired in the USA or Australia already.

    2. John Murgatroyd

      You do not pay

      the licence fee to watch BBC.

      You pay it to operate a broadcast television receiver.

      In the case of you watching sky, you pay the licence fee to enable you to watch a commercial station with long advertisements that are drawn-out even longer by insertion of self-advertising, making it hard work to watch a program without having to note down what was happening before the ads !

  21. Rogerborg

    Uh... it iS "lefty and so on"

    Ordinary Decent Britons refer to the BBC news as Pravda for a reason. After spending 11 years fawning over zanuLabor like a roofied cheerleader, they have to expect a few backhanders from the new quarterback.

    And that's the Colonial-soccerball analogy that Hitler would have driven.

    1. Citizen Kaned


      at least the little moustachiod nutter called it football. :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I have lived in the UK for 36 years, I have never heard anyone refer to the Beeb or it's news as Pravda. As long as the Tories think that the BBC is too left wing and Labour think it is too right wing, we're on to a winner, when this stops something has gone wrong.

      And, seriously - bringing Hitler into a discussion about a reduction in the licence fee?

    3. Dave Gregory


      Wow. I'm an ordinary decent Briton, and I've never referred to the BBC news as Pravda; nor has anyone I have ever met.

      Some kind of congratulations must surely be in order for - in a single post - invoking: relationship violence, (implied) drug-rape and Godwin's law.

      Unless I'm getting the wrong end of the stick, and beating drugged up teenagers is common practice down your way, to the point that you'd actually say this in real conversation without offending anyone?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    colour me cynical

    but is this "cut" referring to the amount we will actually pay, or the amount of what we pay that the BBC will receive?

  23. Citizen Kaned

    to the guys baning on about 150/yr not being much

    tell that to the millions unemployed.

    if you imagine that the gov thinks £40/week is enough to live on (outside of london obv) if you are under 25. that means a whole months money is gone to tv tax.

    i dont mind the bbc, they make the best natural history programmes and do some of the best comedy too. but i do object to them throwing cash around. its OUR cash. its not money they make from sales etc, like a commercial entity might.

    its like the woman news reader on £100k+ (for reading an autocue!!!) who was so amazed that she had to pay for all her own clothes at work. i do and im on about 1/4 of what she is for doing a skilled job 4 days a week. they need to get in the real world. hardly any work in media couldnt be done by novices, yet they seem to think they are all worth several times the average salary.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Axe the TVL

    To those who shout the BBC is quality, ask yourself who has the worst logo's on TV today. The BBC. I cannot watch BBC3 with that giant purple crap on the screen with the occasional 'new' or 'catch up' inserted. Look at BBC4 world news, a MASSIVE animated logo filling the screen. cBBC, another animated piece of shit. The red button intruding on anything related to news or sport. Why doesn't it fade afer 10 seconds? If this is the future of the 'Best broadcaster in the world'. Then god help us. They pay their execs too much, free trips to the world cup anyone? On my money. Most people felt the pinch of the recession. But at the good old Beeb it was business as usual with the yearly price hike. If they had any shame they would have frozen it for a year. I welcome my jail cell at least TV is free inside.

  25. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Quite right too!

    In other news ConDems force Sky to reduce their Sports Package and cap advertising rates at ITV to show that fairness in shouldering the burden so typical of this regime in difficult times.

    Bless their bleeding hearts ...

  26. Michael 82
    Paris Hilton

    Just cull all of the programmes which..

    feature celebrities doing this and that... I've had enough of it and I expect the fees cost the earth!

    Or it can close broadcasting down from 24hrs to 6am to 12pm like in the 80's across all channels?

    At least then Paris can find something else to watch between 12 and 6am...

  27. Defiant

    Let those who want it pay for it

    They should just scrap the BBC TV Licence and if the Socialists/Communists want it let them pay for it

  28. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    £145 = £12.08 / month.

    Most people spend more than that on alcohol each *week*.

    As for the accusations of slipping standards at the BBC: Google "John Birt" and read up on what he did to the BBC back in the early '90s. (Yes, under the previous *Tory* administration.) It was he who butchered the BBC as-was, and reduced it to little more than a shell of its former self, stuffed with middle managers and an internal "market", vastly inflating the costs of even basic programming. (Incidentally, Jonathan Ross' programmes were produced by Mr. Ross' own production company. That's why there's a big "HotSauce TV" logo at the end of the credits. This is the reason why the BBC cannot simply open up its archives for free, or even sell on many of its programmes: they don't *own* them. The new "Doctor Who" series are that increasingly rare exception: a fully in-house BBC production.)

    Most of your License Fee is actually going to middle-managers, consultants, buyers, lawyers, etc., who have to get involved whenever an outside production company is used. And, thanks to the John Major administration, the BBC *has* to use such production companies for a huge chunk of its output. Take a look at most of that 'fiiller' crud that's shovelled into the schedule and you'll find most of it *isn't* made by the BBC.

    Accusations of bias also hold little water: watch any of the satirical panel shows, like "Have I Got News For You" and you'll soon see the lie. Most people in the media distrust *all* politicians. Which is how it *should* be. However, the Tories have never made any secret of their hatred for the BBC and its ilk: they spent most of their previous administrations trying to privatise everything under the sun; it's hardly surprising the BBC felt it was going to be next under the hammer. Under John Birt's Director-Generalship, it damned near was. A pro-Public Services* bias is therefore hardly surprising.

    That said, the BBC *does* need to be heavily remodelled away from old-school "broadcasting", perhaps becoming more like a state-owned content production company instead. The BBC could retain just one or two TV and radio channels mainly for educational programming, special events, pilots and similarly uncommercial content, with less need for exp. This would also have the natural side-effect of dramatically reducing the costs of running the BBC. (These channels would not need to broadcast 24 / 7 either.)

    A separate, "BBC Syndication" arm would be concerned with selling BBC (and other production companies') output to commercial broadcasters overseas, much as a syndication company does in the US.

    A democracy can only work where there is (a) timely and accurate information, and (b) a strong, effective, educational system. Without *both*, a true democracy cannot exist. And that's why we *need* something like the BBC, because it is NOT in the best interests of *commercial* media outlets to inform, educate and entertain. They only care about the "entertain" part. So something like the BBC helps keep it all in check. It gives us a baseline measurement of quality to which its rivals can be held.

    * (Not necessarily "Pro Labour", as New Labour weren't particularly interested in keeping lots of state-owned assets on their books either.)

    1. Chris Elvidge

      Most people spend more than that on alcohol each *week*.

      Agree! Alcohol's too expensive.

  29. Spoonsinger


    Top Gear seems to have jumped the shark and the tool, (or whatever the female version is), who wrecked the world service is now in charge of Radio 4. So basically they can take their licence fee and shove it.

    bugger, can't have a Paris as well :-(

  30. Stuart Halliday

    Keep the Status Quo

    Quite honestly the BBC is one of the best things that Britain make.

    If its license fee is reduced or abolished then it'll be the end of a golden era of public TV that will be missed when people see the crap that will replace it.

    Long may it continue.

    I for one will be writing to my MP if this goes ahead.

  31. Ashley Stevens

    Use general taxation

    The license needs to be abolished because: 1) It's too costly to collect compared with general taxation 2) If it was funded out of general taxation the government would keep a much tighter reign on it's spending. 3) The license is unconstitutional because the BBC can't be voted out of office. No taxation without representation......!

    If the BBC was funded from general taxation the government of the day would have to justify it to the electorate. I'm not against the BBC, just it's right to increase license fees and continually expand it's remit with no comeback. Some element of market forces needs to come to bear on the BBC, even if it's only those of an electorate. Currently it operates in a vacuum outside of normal supply/demand relationships.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Why not? Others do.

      Well done, Mr Stevens. Here in the Greater Antipodes we haven't had licence fees since 1973. We still manage to run 1.8 public broadcasters (20% of SBS comes from limited advertising) out of the public purse.

      Licence fees were abolished by the Whitlam Labor government, on the basis that the near-universality of television and radio services meant that public funding was a fairer method of providing revenue for government-owned radio and television broadcasters. (Quote ex-Wikipedia, sorry)

      ABC radio and TV is run on "your 8 cents a day", or about 16 pounds per person per annum at the current exchange rate of the South Pacific Peso - nearly an order of magnitude less than your colour TV licence fee. Granted, Aunty ABC makes fewer quality programmes, but at least it provides a non-commercial, (mainly) non-partisan broadcaster for those of us who can't stand the commercial stations.

      At least our national broadcaster can't shaft us directly and send us to jail, unlike the vans with the rotating roof racks in the UK.

      Anon, 'cos I lived in the UK for 18 months and never paid the licence fee.

  32. Dave Murray

    38 Degrees

    So who's running the campaign to back a reduction and suggest it's 100%? That's the one I'd join.

    All the people that think the BBC is the best TV channel on Earth and commercial TV can't compete need to watch some proper drama from FX and HBO. What does the BBC have to compete with the likes of Oz, The Shield, Dexter, My Own Worst Enemy, etc? Torchwood and Dr Who? Yet another period drama? No contest.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense

    Dismantling the last thing in the UK that isn't actually shite might well make the rest look less like a pile of shoddy mediocrity. I'm sure the market will respond admirably by producing even worse programming when there's nothing to make them look bad.

    A 'hard hitting' ITV drama anyone?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Which dire financial situation, exactly?

    There seems to be quite a lot of this coming out of the govt at the moment - proposals to reduce spending or benefits because of the "dire financial situation" that just don't add up and are joy-riding on the back of the need to cut the structural deficit. Conflation of ideas is a gift to any politician.

    The deficit, if you remember, is the difference between the amount the govt spends and the amount it gets in via taxes, etc. It needs to be reduced in the next few years, no doubt about that.

    But reducing the BBC licence fee (good idea though it may be) won't reduce the deficit, as others have noted. Nor will increasing the pension age at an earlier date than previously planned, as no money will be saved until that date arrives - and it's still some years off. In fact any plan with an implementation time of more than (say) five years isn't going to help.

    So don't let the "dire financial situation" become like "think of the children". If a politician quotes it, be suspicious and ask exactly what they mean.

  35. Rich 7

    Get rid of your aerials

    I took down my aerial long ago and therefore dont pay a licence fee. For all you 'licence fee know it alls' I dont watch broadcast TV on any device, I dont buy into fancy phones or use iplayer. Also I have informed the licence people who ask a billion questions each year. But then I didnt pay for the call, you did :-)

    Overall TV is rubbish and has been since the beginning of 2000.

    I spend my money and time elsewhere such as the gym and socialising.

    If there is a good show then I tend to put my money to the DVD, but I havnt bought a UK made DVD since about 2002 as we are so far behind the times.

    All those that complain about the fee why dont you do the same? Instead of being moody all the time or complaining that you have no money. You can get a better quality of life out of it by being more active, you dont have to spend money at the gym to do this. If you really want the BBC to start losing, tare down that aerial or dish or pull out the cable then the BBC will start losing. If you keep paying the fee, they will always get their way! Those that dont like paying the fee will always be moody until they stop paying it :-)

  36. skellious


    No, it's not free, but it is free of adverts, and I for one think having a network free of adverts is worth the £150 a year. Adverts ANNOY me, they never sell things to me and often stop me buying the product advertised, if i was going to before. They might be funny once or twice but seeing them 9999 times is a bit much...

    Like a lot of online free games with ads I would love to see the other TV channels offer a way to eleminate ads. Unfortunately I dont see such a way possible at the moment other than broadcasting a scrambled channel with the same content but no ads (which would quickly get out of sync with the ad-supported channel and cost a lot to broadcast) or recording the programmes and automatically removing the ads, which is only an automised version of sky plus (cause how many poeple DONT fast forward through ads when they can? Even the networks know this, which is why the first and last ad [often called the programme's "sponsor"] is now the most expensive spot.)

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      So buy a PVR

      > I for one think having a network free of adverts is worth the £150 a year

      So buy a PVR and stop watching live TV. I haven't watched live TV for several years now.

  37. The Mighty Biff

    Kwality telly

    I wish I could find all this quality programming everyone keeps banging on about. Last time I looked there was feck all on the Beeb that couldn't have been made by Living TV.

  38. shaunhw

    Sell it off

    The government are always looking for things to sell off. As they are hard up, the BBC will do nicely

    So why not sell the BBC on the proviso that it has to be operated from within the commercial sector and the licence fee abolished.

    Those who want advert free "qualitiy" TV should pay for it. Why should others subsidise your viewing ?

  39. Snobol4
    Thumb Down

    What's all the fuss about?

    Well, looks like I might be the only one lining up in defence. As someone who enjoys the broad range of interesting programming on BBC2 & BBC4, along with radio and the BBC website I just cannot understand what all the complaining is about. Tell me where else you can get all of this content for £145.

    I can tell you that most people in nearly every other country in the world would bite your arm off for that kind of service! Having had to face the crap and endless adverts put out in other countries believe me we are bloody lucky! For example, I spend a lot of time in Italy now. RAI charges a subscription AND shows adverts! Whenever I watch anything interesting on the UK independent channels I am faced with having my viewing interrupted (is it me, or are they becoming more frequent and longer?) by advert breaks. Don't even get me started on Sky...... When Sky launched I lived in Japan. When I came back I was talking to someone about it.

    "So, you pay £30/month. Not too bad I guess to avoid watching ads"

    Reply - "Well, actually still get ads"

    "What - you pay £30/month and still have to watch ads?"

    Reply - "Yes, and actually sometimes you have to pay per-view for some content"

    "So, let me get this straight. You now have to pay £30/month to receive stuff you used to be able to watch for free before? Are you mad?!!"

    BTW - when was the last time you saw a decent drama or factual program actually produced by Sky?

    My case rests.....

    Like all big corporations, I am sure there is waste in the BBC.However, equating that to the need to cut back on a (modest) license fee - I just don't get it. If you want an example of a group of overpaid media directors who don't know their arse from their elbow, try the current board of Channel4. Remember the interesting programs they used to make? Now.... Big Brother??!!!

    Please, please, please - understand properly what you've got and stop trying to destroy it as part of a fad hate relationship. Before passing judgement ask yourself exactly why British television is held in such high regard across the world and how much you would have to pay Mr Murdoch for such a service (with 25% "dead time" every few minutes thrown in to boot).

    A satisfied BBC customer, not related in any way to any broadcaster other than by consumption.

  40. neiljohnson

    BBC Cuts - simple solution

    The answer is quite simple - encrypt all the BBC channels.

    The BBC can then charge £145.50 subscription to watch.

    The people that want to watch can and the people that don't can't. At least let people have the choice without the threat of imprisonment.

    I'm guessing they wouldn't receive £3 billion though.

  41. Gavin Burnett

    BBC programmes I watch


    Mock the week

    Have I got news for you

    erm - that's it.

    Can I have my fee cut now please?

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