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Gov May Scrap BBC TV Licence Once Fast UK Broadband is Universal

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 (8:51 am) - Score 33,480
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The UK Government’s Minister of State for Media and Data (DCMS), John Whittingdale MP, has indicated that the BBC’s TV licence fee could be scrapped once everybody in the country finally has access to faster broadband connectivity. The idea may be considered for when the corporation’s royal charter expires in 2027.

At present a standard TV licence costs £157.50 per year (up £3 on the previous fee) and that will rise to £159 next month. Generally, you are considered to need a TV licence if you watch live channels or programmes live on any online TV service, including Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, ITV Hub or All 4. You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever use online services to watch on-demand or catch-up programmes, except if you’re watching BBC content on iPlayer.

NOTE: So-called “Superfast Broadband” (30Mbps+) ISP networks currently cover c.97% of UK premises, while “gigabit-capable” (1000Mbps+) services cover upwards of 37%.

However, under the current rules you could be prosecuted if they find that you have been “watching, recording or downloading programmes illegally,” which remains a historically awkward and controversial topic. The maximum penalty is a £1,000 fine (or £2,000 in Guernsey) plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.

The problem is that more and more of us have been switching our viewing habits to consume content on other platforms, such as Netflix, NOW TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV and so forth. As time goes on it is thus becoming increasingly hard to justify the current approach to TV licencing.

Meanwhile, for politicians, there has often been a love / hate style relationship with BBC News. The right wing of politics tends to view the corporation as being too left wing, while the left wing tends to see it as being too right wing (this yo-yos as Governments change). On the other hand, politicians have rarely ever enjoyed having their flaws and mistakes aired for all to see, but then the BBC aren’t the only news producer in town who can do this.

Future TV Licencing Models

The Government via John Whittingdale MP are currently busy negotiating with the BBC about the level at which the licence fee should be set from 2022 to 2027 (it’s currently aligned to inflation). One of the proposals could eventually see it being replaced with a Netflix-style subscription model, but Whittingdale suggests (The Times) that this might have to wait until closer to 2027 so that universal coverage of faster broadband can be achieved.

John Whittingdale MP said:

“Young people are turning more and more to video-on-demand services. That does beg the question about whether or not the licence fee model, which has been based on the fact that everybody used the BBC, can continue.

The rollout of broadband is very fast, we will reach universal coverage, and there will come a time when it would be possible for us to move towards a full subscription service for everybody, but that time has not yet arrived.”

We assume that the remark about achieving “universal coverage” is meant to reflect the current government’s £5bn UK Gigabit Broadband Programme, which aims to help extend “gigabit-capable” UK network coverage (mostly via FTTP) to a minimum of 85% by the end of 2025 (commercial projects alone may reach 70-80% by around 2025) – before getting “as close to 100% as possible” (i.e. the gigabit scheme will focus its help on the final 20% of predominantly rural and semi-rural premises).

The catch here is that we don’t yet have a solid target for achieving universal gigabit coverage and Whittingdale himself only mentions “broadband,” without defining what sort of performance he may be expecting. Equally, DCMS has already warned that the “final 1%” of premises “could be prohibitively expensive to reach,” which is also proving to be true for the much weaker 10Mbps USO (here). Suffice to say that come April 2027, there may still be a gap in coverage left to fill. Lest we forget that Government’s and policies may change by 2027.

Last year also saw the BBC propose an alternative funding model, which included one suggestion that the TV Licence fee could be replaced by a levy or tax on consumer broadband bills (here), which would be very tricky to implement and seems unlikely to attract much support from the voting public. Some 86% of our readers (from a poll of 3,195) objected to the idea. Speaking of polls..

Do you think the BBC TV Licence should be replaced with a Netflix-style subscription model in 2027, assuming universal "broadband" (gigabit) coverage is achieved?

  • Yes (69%, 1,235 Votes)
  • No (22%, 386 Votes)
  • Undecided (9%, 160 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,781

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
97 Responses
  1. Anthony Goodman says:

    So that means never, as even the best case estimates predict its only going to be 99% coverage.

    But in terms of the story. In all honesty, I would much rather pay an Internet Tax than a BBC tax if it meant constant high grade universal fast internet access to all for free.

    1. Optimist says:

      Starlink etc. will serve the areas not reachable by traditional broadband quite soon I think.

    2. Mike says:

      The BBC is the propaganda arm of the state, I doubt even in 2027 they will give it up.

    3. Salad says:

      The BBC has become commercial organisations acting like mob

    4. Brian says:

      I have said this time and time again.
      I live in a social housing association area and I registered an interest with Hyperoptic for 4 years and this led to nothing because they are not interested in social housing which will never be included in the FTTP roll out

    5. jason hendry says:

      Personally I think the TV licence should be gone even before high speed broadband. Broadband services are already fast enough but that’s not the point. Speed or not it should be a choice people make. Do you want BBC or don’t you. A choice we currently don’t have which means millions of peoe can’t chose the services they want without forced into the BBC liecience fee.

    6. Michael Dearden says:

      Paying for a broad range subscription like sky, is not the way to go, why pay for lots of chanels or programmes when you can only watch one at a time. You could record some to watch later but there comes a point when you dont have time to watch everything.
      A more practical and cheaper way for veiwers is to pay for what you watch, nit pay for lots you dont or cant watch

    7. Anisha says:

      Scrap the TV licence completely as this channel are draining people and the public of money when currently people don’t have food to buy why should we the public pay for there presenters and celebrity s which has nothing to do with us

    8. Gary says:

      @Brian – why do you keep repeating this nonsense? Hyperoptic definitely service some social housing.

  2. Joseph says:

    Id welcome this motion, providing the above can be fulfilled. Hopefully this would also mean this money could be put towards further improving broadband for everyone.

    In this day and age fast broadband is a necessity at this point, working from home has proven that on multiple occasions.

    1. Brian says:

      There will never be improvements to broadband speeds if you live in social housing

    2. Anthony Goodman says:

      “There will never be improvements to broadband speeds if you live in social housing”.

      of course there will. I live in Social housing and 15 years ago I had 512kb/s download speeds as the fastest I could get, a couple of years later it was improved to 1mb/s, then a few after that improved to 6mb/s as the fastest possible in my area for DSL. Then in 2014 vDSL was enabled allowing 30mb/s and in the next two months CityFibre are installing 900mb/s FTTP to my area. I can bet in 5/10 years CityFibre will do what Virgin are and increase this to something like 2GB/s or 5GB/s

  3. Andrew Blackburn says:

    sorry but slight correction, you DON’T need a TV License if you watch “Streaming Live” content that is not also broadcast LIVE at the same time, ie LIVE Football / Tennis on Amazone Prime, that is NOT broadcast on TV does NOT require a TV License.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      It’s a bit tricky to tell from their catch-all style ‘Additional FAQs’:

      https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ104

    2. Paul says:

      This link says you need one for amazon prime live

      https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

  4. The Facts says:

    Is this saying broadcast terrestrial TV will be switched off and everyone will have to have broadband?

    1. Optimist says:

      What is unjust about the licence fee is that it is a protection racket levied on viewers of the BBC’s competitors.

    2. Anonymous says:

      yes. No land transmitters or satellite, just IPTV with conditional access controls per broadcaster with encrypted content, hence the “fast broadband” statement. This could then be controlled to the number of devices, type of devices etc. It’s a marketing departments “heaven” view to generate revenue.

    3. ToneDeaf says:

      Yip, I was involved in the rollout of DTV broadcast transmitters to replace analogue from 2007 and the feeling then was that they would be turned off around 2030 due to universal FTTP. Boris’s ambitious acceleration to 2025 has skewed the previous, more realistic, target of 2030.

    4. Josh Welby says:

      Yes, DTT is being replaced by Broadband
      So is Satellite TV

      DTT airwaves might all go to Mobile Phones, not sure about the Satellite Signals though

  5. Anonymous says:

    License should be from general taxation instead. Would hardly add anything onto general taxation.

    The BBC has some issues as drifted away from impartiality, but I am for reform at the top of it rather than scrap the organisation, like most Tories want to do so their vested interests in other commercial media players plays out and to hold any media news organisation by threat of Ofcom license revocation if they do anything the government doesn’t like (like Panorama investigations!).

    The Tories probably also want to sell the vast (and it really is) archive off to make a fast buck too like everything else that was British; its an asset they can immediately get bucks from like anything else before.

    At the moment for me, the BBC being there helps overall media stability and investment in UK programming than a diet of mostly American shows and helps other UK production companies.

    And certain newspapers have their own agenda hence why some can’t resist any sensationalist headline to create an anti-BBC news story every day of the week. Bash them for “offensive” non politically correct material and then bash them for putting up woke warnings before programmes, basically anything to create a story because that other media organisation has its own commercial agenda….

    So I am for reform to stop BIAS in news, stop enforcement of telling people how to live and what to say, rather than scrapping them. A lot of their output is on other satellite channels and a lot of people don’t even realise it was funded by the license fee to start with and without it, wouldn’t have happened.

    Now cue all the negative people who will say they never use any BBC service – well it will come, and in the future you really will have to pay for it as no chance of pretending you don’t use any service because its likely to be behind encrypted access. More people claiming they don’t use any BBC service (that includes online) for hope of something magically free that the few people who really don’t.

    Lets have just foreign media ownership shall we? yay!! (Sky is now Comcast owned (American) as is Virgin Media Platform and ITV previously been near to German RTL owned at one stage). The way things are going with Netflix, Apple and Disney though all UK broadcasters and even Sky are under severe funding threat. Those other players subscriptions been steadily rising and will continue, just like Sky’s rocketed though 90’s and 00’s. The only benefit is that you can stop them (whilst they haven’t got contract lock-ins or you are outside of one) but then without the FTA broadcasters majority of people would then have no TV. Once the BBC is behind a paywall, there will be no such thing as FTA; they’d all go paywall at that point.

    1. DaveD says:

      You are just plain wrong, I wouldn’t assume that everyone who says they don’t use the BBC services do use it. I only ever watch Netflix and Amazon prime, I don’t ever use iplayer or use BBC for news, I quiet literally use them for nothing and I resent having to pay the BBC a penny for it.

      If people want to not pay the bbc licence and not use their service then good for them, I won’t be closed minded enough to assume they are all criminals.

    2. Randy says:

      why should funding the BBC be mandatory at all ?
      make it a subscription and those that want to pay for it can do.
      those of us who don’t shouldn’t have to fund the director and celebrities million pound salaries

    3. Colin says:

      Waah the Tories, the Tories, the Tories, rant rant. Rave rave. Foams at mouth. Tories waaah.

      Boooring

    4. Dave Bloggs says:

      I agree with Anonymous. A National Broadcaster is essential and the BBC currently get abuse from Left & Right wing, so they’re doing something right.

      I don’t watch the BBC, but like many things I am taxed for but will never benefit from; A publicly owned National Broadcaster (even one derided by both sides) is important for Society.

    5. LT says:

      “License should be from general taxation instead.” No it shouldn’t. Why should people be forced to pay for something they don’t use? The government had the perfect opportunity to do away with the TV tax when they switched the transmitters from analogue to digital. They could have subsidised a set top decryption box and encrypted the service. You want BBC then pay for a decryption card the same way you do with Sky. The TV tax is an anachronism and people are waking up to the fact that its not needed and are giving it up in droves.

    6. Brian says:

      All those who support keeping the
      BBC TV TAX must also support paying for the BBC pension fund including the huge pension deficit.
      The BBC never contributed to my pension so I will never contribute to their pension fund.

    7. ToneDeaf says:

      The BBC pension fund does not have a huge deficit. It’s only a few million behind projections

  6. 5G_Infinity says:

    Linking the Tv License fee to Gigabit broadband is fundamentally wrong, there is no linkage.

    Gigabit broadband does not currently support 500 TV channels simulataneously as there is no multicast function to everyhome, so that means 26m homes watching 2 channels generating 52m streams back to the playout servers. In-efficient and just consumes resource. It is agreed that IPTV is a good service, but that DTT, Satellite and Cable are much more efficient at delivering hundred’s of channels simultaneously.

    Funding the BBC has nothing to do with the above.

    1. mike kemble says:

      I have cancelled my licence fee as my tv is not capable of receiving so called terrestrial channels. I have no aerials either. My new smart tv could only find one channel, a SUBSCRIPTION channel called Virgin, which I pay for monthly. I never watch BBC anyway, it caters for so called minority tastes. Any channel I watch, via Virgin, is already paid for. So by definition, my tv is not a receiver but a conduit only for VM.

  7. Anthony Goodman says:

    Separate comment to this. But just thinking about the whole TV licence thing. When super fast FTTP internet comes available to all. Having TV and Radio beamed over the airwaves would become completely redundant in itself. I would say turn it off and put the frequencies open to better Wifi.

    Not just because of ease, less expense and redundancy of need, but also getting it over the internet means everyone gets perfect reception.

    Plus also, how come mobile phones and laptops can pick up a 4G network in your bedroom and stream a film in 2160p all from a mobile tower a mile away. But for a TV signal at 480i you need to have a huge arial on the roof, pointed in exactly the right direction and even then you often get only a naff picture at only 480i??

    1. ToneDeaf says:

      The Freeview system is broadcasting up to 150 TV & Radio channels simultaneously whereas you are only streaming 1 HD program via the mobile network. The Freeview system will not be buffering but your connection to your ISP will to make up for temporary bandwidth limitations.

  8. Nick cha says:

    No TV tax. No Internet tax. You fudged the question. You want a TAX to keep the BBC types in clover.
    I’ll pay for what I want to watch. I won’t pay to just have a crap service like the BBC….

    1. Billy Neary says:

      ONE to one and half million to some of BBC so called celebrities can earn is not on, BBC are a Mob. of rip off merchants.

  9. Chris Sayers says:

    Why should we be paying multimillionaire celebrity’s additional millions, I say freeze the license fee for the next 10 to 15 years, that would focus BBC management on reducing costs over time, equally over time in real terms the license will become more affordable. The BBC should be focusing on a top down approach, freeze salaries where they are, and over time reduce those saleries, if people are not happy, then they can move to the commercial sector, their are plenty of people out there who are very talented who would be able to provide high quality content, let’s face it, we have really talented nurses who earn a fraction of some BBC staff.

    1. Nev Jack says:

      Yep,freeze the licence fee for 10 yrs. Me and the wife like bbc,itv,etc . I have sky as well for sport,movies occasionally,but certainly I CANT afford netflix,disney,amazon et all like some of the comments on here!!! Some of the posts must have bloody deep wallets to afford all those other servers as well???

    2. Les says:

      If you weren’t forced to pay the bbc licence you could afford to have the choice of other service.
      I really cannot see how they have got away with this charge for so long.
      I don’t expect you to pay for my Netflix, so why should you expect me to pay for your bbc.
      It’s unconstitutional and in reality, it is legal ?

  10. M. Avis says:

    I like the way it is,no more privatisation.
    Stop all subscription services would be a better idea.

    1. Les says:

      What a silly and selfish attitude.

  11. Chris says:

    I have virgin media, I only watch bt sport at the weekend plus some Netflix so why should I pay a TV licence to the BBC I have no interest in watching, Im paying virgin media already for the channel I watch, I should be able to have the choice by awswering virgin to switch off the BBC TV licence channels , I don’t see why I need to wait till 2027 technically Virgin are broadcasting this to me through now box so they should pay the TV licence if they are not willing to switch it off

  12. James Dykes says:

    Bbc is bias anti brexit .pro eu.
    During brexit they had EU flags all over.with idiots with banners.
    Overpaid just to read audio cue
    And avertise someone who has big ears and like crisps.

    1. dr says:

      Your comment was quite hard to decipher. Better luck next time.

    2. Nev Jack says:

      Eh??

    3. Tracey says:

      It is: ADVERTISE. not Avertise.

  13. David Farrow says:

    Just have the BBC take advertising to pay for programming, it works for all the other TV stations.

    1. Graham pitt says:

      Whyi prefer bbc no adverts Happy to pay for that it’s still by far cheapest form of entertainment in my opinion except to much sport on it. Less than 10 pounds a week even with the price rise.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So many statements not true on here but I am all for reasoned debate.

    Advertising plummeted last financial meltdown (hence ITV HD services are on subscription packages). Free to air ITV only just about survived. If you have advertising, you end up ONLY doing populist programmes to maximise revenue (X Factor, BGT, I’m a celebrity).

    Brexit or anti-brexit – that is case for reform of News BIAS not argument for scrapping the whole organisation. Many remoaners will complain they were biased for Brexit. At one point both sides was complaining saying BIAS to the other.

    “5G_Infinity” is completely wrong. IPTV *WILL* become the standard simply because transmitters cost a fortune to run, even if they are outsourced and similarly with Satellite carriage costs including EPG position costs and encryption for those broadcasters who want to encrypt their service. The BBC was originally paying millions to Sky until they broke away and did Freesat instead.

    Only the top level management and media “stars” and senior journalists are paid lots of money – see the public disclosure document which is factual on this. The BBC is known for underpaying normal staff against other companies and public documents state that a large majority of buildings in locations have closed, and in other cases moving to much more smaller efficient buildings. The government of the time forced the move to out of London such as Salford and current government with Channel 4 out of London.

    There is no need for anger with those purporting to not use any services – the pay wall will be coming and that will end the argument. It just won’t be until as John Whittingdale says, when fast broadband is universal.

    1. Scott says:

      Tend to agree with a lot of Anon’s comments on this.
      I do think that the BBC should be asking companies that supply encryption controlled TV services (ie. Sky/BT/Talk Talk etc) to link into the TV License DB to verify service enablement now.

      The STBs should be capable of blocking access to the channels to those who don’t return a positive response. This should be the starting gun for an alternative payment collection scheme where ISPs collect payments through bills.

    2. DaveD says:

      Again, you say purporting to not use the services, implying that there is some inaccuracy with their claim, why is it such a far reach for you to understand that some people just don’t use it?

  15. Rahul says:

    It makes no sense to scrap the BBC license fee just because the entire UK is upgraded to an FTTP infrastructure. TV is TV and the Internet is Internet. These should not be mixed up. Just because you can watch live streaming online, that should never warrant a TV license nor can it replace good quality aerial.

    I watch TV and I have Satellite system such as Astra and Hotbird communal aerial. Before that I had a 90cm motorized dish in my balcony across 15 satellites via Technomate receiver, sadly it had to be removed due to building renovation works.

    Over the years from my experience watching football or any sporting action on television and then comparing online TV I have seen issues where online streaming cannot fully replace a proper TV aerial system.

    Example: Watching live football via live streaming results in a 1-2 minute broadcast delay. A match that displays as 60th minute on TV will show as 58th minute on live streaming and sometimes worse delays depending on the quality of the live stream. There is currently no cure for this, even after upgrading to FTTC last year, this has made no difference despite 3-5ms ping response time.

    And it appears that FTTP doesn’t rectify this issue either. Trust me, we’ve all tried it, if this really worked everyone will stop paying subscription to BT/Sky Sports and we’ll all be watching live sports for free using streaming services.

    FTTP is good for a lot of things, but unfortunately it still isn’t good enough to replace your satellite dish just yet!

    1. The Facts says:

      @Rahul – Digital TV has a ~10s delay, HD more then SD. What’s the problem?

    2. Andrew Clayton says:

      > Example: Watching live football via live streaming results in a 1-2 minute broadcast delay.

      Actually this is something the BBC has been looking into
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2018-09-latency-video-streaming

    3. Rahul says:

      @The Facts: Depends on the HD channel. BBC and BBC News HD have 3-4 seconds broadcast delay compared to SD. But other channels do not. For example Euronews HD on Hotbird is ahead of Euronews SD on Sky. Sky Sports and BT Sports in HD as far as I’m concerned are identical.

      It may not be 100% up to par compared to real life footage. But online streaming delays the broadcast even further compared to digital TV, we all know this. And it’s not just 10 seconds, it’s a whopping 2 minutes. It’s as if you are watching a football highlight, celebrating a goal 2 minutes later!

      I do note that I found this from 3 years ago… “The BBC said it found ways to create smaller segments that can be passed through the system more quickly. It said viewers of the resulting online streams would see action “at the same time as they would see it if they were watching on TV”.

      So far I don’t see any new progress on this. As soon as they find a way to fix the stream broadcast, only then can we consider it replacing aerial TV.

    4. The Facts says:

      @Rahul – when is it a (real) problem?

    5. Rahul says:

      @The Facts: When you are watching live streaming, particularly sports where there is no pleasure realizing a goal or score has happened 1-2 minutes earlier.

      People who only watch live news or TV programmes such as movies that are simply recorded episodes won’t see it as a problem.

    6. Nev Jack says:

      Commercial channels survive on advertising mainly thats why we have nearly 20 mins/ hour NOW! Who do you think pays for it? WE do via our shopping bills weekly! We CANT opt out…get real…

  16. Jackson says:

    The BBC says the fee is for a service enjoyed the world over, so why is that only the British tax payer funds it. Its an out of date policy for a very out of date service.

    1. Scott says:

      BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) is a commercial services supplier that generates income from selling/marketing BBC content around the world.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Studios

      Your view on license fee payers supplying content for free around the world is not accurate.

  17. Ted says:

    Good, hopefully the BBC will crash and burn and no one will be there to watch their anti-white racist extremism any longer. 🙂

    1. Scott says:

      Ted sounds like a massive gammon.
      Might be worth mods binning his little Englander comments.

    2. Guido Fawkes says:

      might be worth banning the “evil tories” and the “i’m better than you because i vote labour” type comments too. But then this would be reddit/twitter echo chamber where only approved thoughts are allowed.

    3. David Abdullahi says:

      The fact remains that the vast majority of people are not interested in political correctness and diversity issues. I cancelled my license fee years ago. The last straw for me was when I saw a travel program about UK villages and the presenter said “I’m surprised to see anywhere in Devon listed as a nice place to live as it’s mostly White, there is a distinct lack of diversity there”.

      I’m Black and chose to relocate to Devon because I actually like living in a traditional English village. I’ve never experienced any racism, am active within the community and fully embrace the local culture that exists here. I certainly do not want or need any special privileges and have decided long ago to leave my Nigerian heritage in the past. Why? because the way of life here is better.

      I don’t have the BBC in my house because I don’t want them constantly reminding my children at every opportunity that they are Black and different.

      Of course, it’s up to the BBC to produce content to target any demographic it likes, but it should be easier for the rest of us to switch off.

  18. Me says:

    Got to love the media that don’t have a clue BBC already has commercial channels and a pay for access streaming service britbox. The licence is no longer needed as all the BBC can show is 90% repeats, 10% for everything else. The fee needs scrapping and subscription service bringing in.

    1. Anonymous says:

      “jet14” – Yay, lets have a politician as head of state – just what we need. Such a good idea of yours considering the amount of money the royal family bring in, including Crown estates to the treasury. Now if you said REFORM the amount of the family who get money so that is reduced, it would have been more credible. And repeat, normal staff are lower paid than commercial equivalent with exception of media stars and upper management. That’s well known rather than put everyone incorrectly into that group. It’s similar hierarchy in most commercial companies too. The public information on staff earnings is clear evidence on that.

      “Guido Fawkes” – You don’t have to vote labour to call a Tory a Tory. If you do vote for a party generally, you can still oppose the things or policies you don’t agree with. Just cause you vote for “A” party doesn’t mean agreement with them on everything. People often vote for what they see as the best out of a bad bunch overall 🙂

  19. jet14 says:

    The bbc tax needs to be abolished, just to watch something on other channels and services doesnt equate to bbc receiving funds, which they r rolling in the money, they r getting literally £billions and enjoying themselves having all the expenses and benefits, which is not a fair system at all, why should there management who sit on the aresea all day, get hundreds of thousands and the plonker presenters are not justified millions or 100’thousands, give jobs at half price to new generation,
    No other country charges like uk. Also Royal family is another instituition that needs changing with the times, why should one family be made elitist and you have people just surving at the lower end. No TV license no Monorchy !!!

  20. Terry Stevens says:

    GREAT! It’s about time. The other 3 main channels (ITV, Channel 4 & Channel 5) rely on advertising to get much more money than the BBC get through licence payers. This should have happened years ago. The next worse thing is having to pay extra for sports channels on Sky, BT & Virgin.

  21. Lineker Walker says:

    The BBC has been making drivel for years, the ‘news’ headlines are just clickbait, skewed and biased. As for celebrities on BBC – there aren’t any I even know!

    Don’t get me started on Laura Kuenssberg either. Scrap the license, those who want to watch it do a ‘Britbox’ style fee.

  22. Specialresident22@gmail.com says:

    Even though broad band is fast enough now it isn’t the point, just as the working from home is nothing to do with the BBC liecience fee. The fact people can’t have choice in UK from terrestrial TV like virgin and sky because the services can’t offer anything without BBC means those like me that don’t pay a TV licence fee can’t get services like sky movies or sports as I can’t have the BBC services omitted from my contract. With a BBC subscription model I can say no to BBC and get sports, get itv with adverts and get sky movies or sky one.
    The liecience fee takes the freedom of choice away from people and prevents them choosing other services that have nothing to do with it and to me this is unfair for me the customer and for say sky and virgin whose services I would use if I could avoid BBC and their bland TV programing.

    Choice shouldn’t be obstructed, it should be a god given right. A right to chose for every person and that’s fair.

    I say stop tv liecience now and force subscription.

  23. Dave says:

    I’m surprised at the number of poorly informed comments here. I understand the frustration of those who say they do not use BBC services. However, there needs to be an factual debate not just people say “I don’t want to pay for something I don’t use”. As some people here have indicated, the fact that the BBC has independent funding means that ITV and other commercial broadcasters have enough income. They don’t want the BBC to take their revenue because they might be too good at it!

    In addition advertising is paid for when you buy products from those companies, so you do pay for other services but you just don’t see it as such. Where do you think the advertising money in their budget comes from if not from you as consumers?

    However, let’s say the BBC did take advertising and channels like ITV continued to exist then that means somehow the companies that advertise are spending more money which indirectly will be charged to us. It’s never free, but maybe people don’t care as long as they can’t see they are paying for something.

    If Sky are so good at using advertising to generate income, how come they charge a subscription fee too?

    Also, the BBC has wide reach and nurtures talent in a way other broadcasters don’t. Many programmes that you see on subscription channels benefit from opportunities and skills people learned via the BBC providing opportunities. The BBC is the envy of the world so let’s not destroy it without an informed discussion.

    Reform is due for sure, but without some guaranteed income we may regret a decision to turn it in to another Sky or Netflix and not be able to recover the damage done.

    1. Nev Jack says:

      Exactly,as I posted previously, who do these pundits think pays for all the ads? 20 mins/ hour on most commercial channels? YOU DO when you go shopping! There are some prats about…

    2. Optimist says:

      Dave says “there needs to be an factual debate not just people say “I don’t want to pay for something I don’t use”.”

      Why? What is so special about the BBC that it should be funded by a compulsory levy on those who don’t want it? If you buy the Daily Telegraph, you don’t have to pay for The Guardian as well, do you?

      Numerous media companies have gone under over the years, because their revenues were insufficient to stay afloat.

      I have not watched broadcast TV at all for the last six months and do not miss it at all. I occasionally use the catchup services (but not BBC iplayer) for which I do not need a TV licence.

    3. Dave says:

      Optimist – you ask what is special about the BBC. The BBC is our main national public service broadcaster that can produce content that would not otherwise be commercially viable in order to serve groups of people that would otherwise be underserved or who can’t afford to access that kind of content. I’m very happy to pay my TV license so that they can produce programming that I don’t want that is of a wider benefit to people (such as education programming) because I think it does the country good and that we all benefit from that in some way.

      Paying for the BBC is not just about me, but paying my Netflix subscription is about me and I’m happy to pay or not pay for Netflix as I see fit and this is clearly where you are coming from too on this issue.

      Have you ever considered that if it wasn’t for the fact that people are willing to pay large subscriptions for Sky, Netflix and Amazon Prime that many programmes that have transferred to be only available on those platforms (such as a lot of sport) might still be on free to air TV and cost you less than you pay now?

      The license fee also protects the other channels with public service remits such as ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. So this isn’t just about the BBC, this is about other channels too.

      There are many things we pay for that are good for us but we never use directly. I consider public service broadcasting to be one of those things. Your view is clearly more about your own personal feelings and I understand that. My view is a wider one about the benefits overall.

    4. Optimist says:

      Dave says “The license fee also protects the other channels with public service remits such as ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. So this isn’t just about the BBC, this is about other channels too.”

      I disagree. The license feet incentivises people to STOP watching live TV and switch to streaming and on-demand services instead. From time to time I quite enjoyed old films broadcast by Talking Pictures TV, but as they are not available on-line that channel has lost a viewer.

      The BBC should be allowed to charge for BBC output only. If they want to prevent people watching without paying, then either encrypt their signals or stop transmitting on so-called “Freeview” (which should be renamed “£159view”).

    5. Trev says:

      Reading through these comments I was waiting to comment on the invisible costs of the independent broadcasters to everyone even if they do not own a television and on the fact that the BBC nurtures talent that is then taken up by others. Thank-you for putting it succinctly.

  24. Steve Mc says:

    The problem is that the BBC has become a massive, bloated waste of money, too many chiefs, too many overpaid managers and director staff who now tend to mainly produce leftist, socialist drivel.

    Too many over paid so called “talent” who are so woke it’s unbearable, they no longer represent the people they’re supposed to.

    They’re supposed to be politically impartial but are clearly on the left and won’t report on things fairly.

    They’re supposed to be non commercial but BBC Worldwide is the commercial branch of the BBC.

    They’re not supposed to receive 3rd party funding, they receive money every year from the EU to push EU propaganda bullshit.

    It was inevitable that this would lead to the end of the BBC, a public body that hates its own people enough to sell out will only ever come to an end.

    They could be saved but would have to mean a cut in the price of the licence, to lower the wages of staff and the talent they hire.

    Gary Lineker gets £1.4M for presenting 1 show on a Saturday night which involves him sitting around chatting about football with a couple of friends, the odd couple of other games and the shit programme BBC Personality of the Year.

    Tell me again why you believe he should get £1.4M a year for that? … Whilst forcing pensioners to pay for a licence they can’t afford.

    1. Dave says:

      Steve MC – on your point about BBC Worldwide (which is now BBC Studios) they take programming that is paid for by the license and sell it commercially. The profits are then returned to the BBC to help fund programming that is seen in the UK. This sounds like a very sensible use of the products we pay for in order to get better value for money.

  25. jet14 says:

    We need an ‘Arab spring’ moment in UK, get out with your pitchforks and jam the whole bloody country, we don’t want nonsense, back to basics, get rid of all the woke, political correctness, LGBWTQ+ stuff, No lying thief politicians,
    We need sound, right minded, truthful, respectable, humble, kind and generous people to be in charge.
    We don’t want hypocrisy and don’t need to listen to USA or Israel or France, Germany etc
    Time for a revolution, it’s still not too late.
    If only we hadn’t become lazy, selfish, cowards, racists, egoistic, self-centered & lost…?

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      I tend to agree. Its got to the point now where go can identify as a toaster and claim discrimination if you like to double butter your loaf. Then we’ve got idiots like Sam Smith who actually believes he’s both male and female, and Hasbro ditching Mr Potato head because it might offend gender neutral types….Shoot me now.

    2. Dan Keegan says:

      The Loony-Left (National) Socialists have this week cancelled Dr Seuss and Sesame street as racist! and EVEN the new Amazon Logo on the basis it looked like Hitler! I Boycott, Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerries and any other company that cancels reality. BBC easily make the list! How can anyone bear to listen to the hyperbolic garbage they pump out as news? Ignorance I guess not realising that with a little effort you can find real news from citizen journalists working on a shoestring budget, like Active Patriot or Tommy on Telegram. Probably the only real journalist true to the trade left in the UK.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Steve MC- Agree about stars wages – that needs sorting. They should bring the new talent up. Also agree with upper management staffing salaries as the lower lot get much less according to the public auditing reports.

    As I said, you don’t scrap the production and news arms just because there are things that need reform. The BBC generates a lot of tax revenues as supports many production companies employing people and exports. It also contributes a significant amount of broadcast and IT R&D to other organisations internationally.

    Remember when you got Sports coverage under your license? – Now you have to pay vast sums to commercial companies because governments were in Murdochs pocket.

    On the subject of pensioners paying. Many CAN afford to pay it, many have other subscription services. The point being is that THE GOVERNMENT should fund that shortfall not the broadcaster. Instead the government forced the BBC to agree to it (as a way of making them crash financially), forced them to fund World Service and Monitoring at similar time. They also had funds taken out for S4C/Alba and digital switch-off and broadband rollout. What other organisation do you think you could take the hit of that with flatline income and not being able to do commercial things (at that time)?.

    This is all public information. I wish people would read the facts before they spout off.

    As for jet14, I agree that forced ways of thinking (many of which are induced by Ofcom and the government!) should not be in programmes or bias news coverage, but worry at your quotes around LGB. You realise that its wrong to discriminate based on sexuality for example? It’s not a life choice and hope you realise that just as a heterosexual community, there are good and bad people in the LGB community, some loud, many quiet and dare I say it, straight acting.

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      Get real. The BBC is nothing but a woke excuse for inclusivity just to pander to the Karen brigade. Its unfit for purpose and should be disbanded.

  27. Carlton Lugini says:

    The TV licence needs to be scrapped forthwith. The BBC should be a pay per view channel like Netflix, giving people the opportunity to choose to pay for the service they watch, I don’t watch the BBC but yet I still have to pay for it. I am not on my own viewing figures for the BBC has dropped and will continue to fall, the time of the BBC be a British staple is no longer a reality.

  28. Lils says:

    I don’t watch any English TV only netflix, Disney plus and YouTube (mainly gaming videos for my son), the so called catch up TV.
    I don’t want it nor I miss a bit having live streaming TV.
    Where I am from if a TV station wants to make money they sell adverts to companies, they don’t force anyone to pay a stupid amount of money individually and per house hold only because they own a TV station… So that’s why I completely refuse to watch live TV or anything alied to BBC and I don’t need a TV license.
    They’re not more nor less than thief’s in my eyes, there’s several ways to make millions on a TV station and TV licenses are just the most absurd one that I’ve ever seen, but bare in mind that I’m not from here…

    1. Martin says:

      The BBC has the best children’s content by a long way, it’s high quality, educational thoroughly wholesome stuff. It doesn’t have adverts every twenty minutes serving young kids an almost constant bombardment of toy adverts.

      This is just one small way in which it is worth the fee alone, it’s a haven for the kids and a godsend for the parents.

      The radio is pretty good as well.

  29. Buggerlugz says:

    Must have plans for a broadband tax to replace it then?

  30. Dan Keegan says:

    Who are these people who think the BBC is ‘too’ right wing? PMSL!
    BBC is and has been for decades now a far-left, socialist, propaganda tool.
    I don’t watch it and I don’t fund them. I also don’t ever watch any Live TV as I hate ads, so don’t need a License anyway. If I did though I’d rather eat porridge than fund the BBC. I detest the BBC, full of middle class, lefty w***** who hate the working class while imprisoning them for refusing to fund it! Forget 2027, end it today, just stop paying!

  31. Barry says:

    Subscription models defeat the whole purpose of public service broadcasting. But then the UK does seem keen on acts of self-harm at the moment.

  32. MilesT says:

    An important issue is that certain public services that would not be profitable are maintained, for cultural reasons and to hold government to account. BBC radio, local and national news gathering (including local newspapers), children’s/educational, and cultural including major sporting (at least the current Free to air list) and some “high” culture (as this does act ad a showcase for a wider entertainment industry so is a net contributor to the economy, overall; chopping this is the equivalent of the over-hard pruning of the railways by Beeching which is only now being undone).

    To fund this, I would favour a 5% higher rate of VAT on internet data provisioning including line rental (but not voice telephony, fax, low speed data eg 56k, GPRS).

  33. Optimist says:

    Why wait for universal fast broadband? The BBC could encrypt its “Freeview” output and provide decrytion devices to its customers, rather like Top Up TV did some years ago.

  34. RICK says:

    No broadband tax, make the bbc commercial (like for example ITV) and they can sink or swim with the rest of them. i do not own or watch TV and the same goes for video content on the net. Why should i have to pay a broadband tax for services i do not use?
    They should make and show commercials like everyone else to generate revenue and if ITV, C4 SKY et al can use this model then so can the BBC – 1983 was the last time i watched a telly and i stopped back then because it was “crap”

  35. Jp says:

    As it stands, would anyone pay £13.33 a month to any other pod service, that offers such limited options as the tv licence currently covers & offers it’s viewers?

  36. shokat says:

    Scrap BBC license fee, defund BBC from public money, Consumer right of choice to cancel, advertisements on BBC won’t be sufficient to fulfil their extravagant costs,

  37. Bill C Riemers says:

    It is pretty clear the law hasn’t kept up with the technology. Really 2021 and there is still a mono license? Has any such device been manufactured this millenium? Is there really a higher BBC production cost for colour vs black and white since 1970?

    Really, you plug your phone into charge while watching a live stream YouTube video and you are now a criminal? How about a zoom meeting? VR? Using an echo show? Do these things require a license?

    Clearly the whole structure should be scrapped. This type of tax is inherently unfair for the poor. And presumably the justification is to try and make BBC content available for all. It makes no sense.

  38. Neil says:

    I will literally celebrate with a party once the BBC gets cancelled. I will vote for any party who mandates the license fee to be abolished because it’s an immoral tax that’s basically forced on the public. I know you can “opt out” but the majority of people feel forced to pay through mafia style taktics by the BBC in the form of threatening letters and goons. “They’re perfectly nice” yea… They make you and offer you can’t refuse?

  39. Aiden Jones says:

    I haven’t paid the TV license fee for the past 12 years and never will. Put the BBC behind a paywall and let’s see how many people actually pay for their endless repeats.

  40. Sean Taylor says:

    You dont need to watch live TV which in most cases is not really live. From catch-up to netflix there is plenty of entertainment excluding the use of BBC Iplayer. Cancel your license and spend the money you have saved on something more useful.The TV license is so outdated in this modern world.

  41. Skye says:

    BBC is well out of date no value for us UK Brits customers and they don’t even help or support anything you complain about to the BBC complaints …so how this for the BBC you don’t listen to us British public PEOPLE then you never will …..

    It’s all to do with money hungry greed BBC are now more they get the more and more they want out of us ….. And it will never ever end BBC just wants more and more money ….I was upset about BBC radio derby presenter Ian wickens using fake names and using other people’s real names as his radio game FONNY surname Ian sky he was known as on Trent FM and ram FM and other east Midlands radio stations he worked at but also surprise surprise also was fired from other stations in the East Midlands from century radio so he changed his radio surname yet again only using my first name as his fake FONNY radio station name as Ian skye ….when I reported this matter to BBC they didn’t care less what I was feeling and upset using my name as his fake FONNY surname for BBC radio derby and more likely other radio stations in uk …. This shows how much they really truly care about how I and others feel when we make a compliment to the BBC …… They don’t deserve anything no support or respect or trust NOTHING I THINK BBC SHOULD JUST DIE AWAY FOREVER ….THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US AND DON’T PAY THERE WAY LIKE OTHER TV CHANNELS DO BBC ITS ALL ABOUT SCREWING US PUBLIC …..THATS ALL IT IS ….

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