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The BBC has played a significant role in Britain’s development into a 21st Century society. Held in an esteem as high as British institutions such as the NHS, the BBC has become our trusted voice. Neutral and impartial, a success story of the public industry since its inception 92 years ago.

In our current political and technological climate however, calls for it to be scrapped are becoming ever louder. The likes of Boris Johnson and culture secretary Sajid Javid have both hinted in recent weeks that the fee could be scrapped. Driven by the growing popularity of online content, the way we watch TV is evolving all the time.

So, with services such as Netflix, who recently announced revenue of £65.4 million in Q1 2015, only likely to grow in popularity, is it time to retire the traditional TV licence?

 

The Legalities

Firstly, policies. The current UK TV licence sits at £145.50 (£49 for black and white). Anyone who watches or records TV as it is being broadcast has to pay the fee.

 

What you get

For that, you get access to the plethora of BBC TV stations. The licence also pays for the BBC’s online service, BBC iPlayer, and their many radio stations (a common misconception is that you need a TV licence to listen to that radio, however this is not the case). The licence applies to any electronic device that has the ability to view live TV: be it your smartphone, laptop or games console. Crucially however, the standard TV licence does not apply to watching catch up TV or on demand services.

Regardless of whether you choose to watch BBC channels or not, TV viewing in any live capacity is covered under the TV licence policy. So, any Freeview channels, other traditional (ex) terrestrial channels and even Sky’s digital platform all require an initial TV licence to avoid breaking the law- as does any live broadcast from these providers via the internet.

iplayer

 

The Alternative?

So, what is the alternative? Well, online streaming services are on the rise. Netflix are spearheading the on-demand viewing revolution, as number of entertainment hunters swap traditional methods for online streaming. Netflix added 4.9 million new users in Q1, and that figure will only increase. They are joined by Amazon’s Prime streaming service in battling for top streaming spot in the UK.

Recently launched in Australia and New Zealand, Netflix are pumping greater amounts of cash into creation of their own, original content. Not only do they supply TV giants such as Breaking Bad, 24 and The Office, but more recently they’ve rolled out a number of excellent ‘Netflix Originals’. Hits such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards have fuelled a modern shift in entertainment. For the first time, TV is competing with film for Hollywood actors, supported by original writing and huge Hollywood-sized budgets. The TV-binge has been born. This is all supplemented by a revolving door of excellent film titles, ranging from new and old AAA movies, to niche budget horror flicks.

VIEW TVS AT EBUYER

The best part? This can all be accessed on any device, as and when you need it. Releasing yourself from the shackles of traditional viewing methods is liberating. Services such as Netflix (and Amazon’s Prime service) are setting the tone for all our viewing habits in the future, and it’s happening now.

This, as outlined above, can be supplemented with other on-demand, online content providers. BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player and Demand 5 are all available for free, without the need for a TV licence. If and when this policy changes (the closing of this loophole is believed to be a priority), then customers choosing this avenue would have to adapt.

 

OISNB

 

Who might want to stick?

As it stands then, paying the current TV licence lends itself most kindly to sports fans. All the rights to major sporting events such as Premier League football, rugby and cricket, are broadcast by Sky Sports or the traditional ex-terrestrial networks. Sport, or indeed any live broadcast, is a realm the world of online streaming is yet to really embrace. Of course, many of those sporting events can be accessed on catchup services. As any sports fan will tell you though, it just doesn’t quite have the same magic.

Another major card still help by the old guard is Sky Atlantic. Sky’s answer to the TV drama revolution, Atlantic broadcast a huge number of the nation’s very favourite TV dramas. Modern cultural powerhouses such as Game of Thrones and True Detective, plus timeless classics like The Sopranos and The Wire, have created a phenomenal library of high quality televisual content. Hopes of seeing these grace the online streaming world are a mere pipe dream at present. Sky’s agreement with HBO (who have a hand in all the above shows) is a vital cog in keeping hold of their paying custom. They won’t be giving it up anytime soon.

Above all though, the TV schedule is your routine. It’s your daily catch-up on the news. It’s your favourite tea time quiz show. It’s your favourite Sunday afternoon film. Streaming services have a superb array of choice, but sometimes you just want to sit and wallow in whatever’s on.

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Price

Last, but most certainly not least, price. As we’ve already mentioned, the current UK TV license is £145.50 per year. For that, you could sign up to a year’s Netflix subscription (£5.99 a month) and Amazon Prime membership (£79 a year) and come in at roughly the same price. Whichever you consider the best value is likely to boil down to your individual needs as a viewer.

 

The Politics

Purely from a body-of-content point of view then, TV streaming more than holds its own. But this debate has an altogether more politically steeped angle too it. Does the TV licence still represent value for money? Maybe, but does the TV licence still represent the best interests of the viewer in 2015?

First introduced in 1946, the TV license made a lot of sense back then. Early adopters of a TV could pay into a centralised pot, and in return receive some quality programming. It allowed the country to embrace an emerging technology. Free from any real competition, customers either went with the BBC or went without. As outlined above however, viewing trends are changing. The amount of choice consumers now have means we spend less and less of our time with the BBC and its many services. The ability to justify an annual fee (forced for any TV viewers lest we forget), is getting harder as the years tick by. The internet has given us all innumerable sources to find our content, be it TV dramas, news or live sport. In the modern technological climate, the TV licence just seems outdated.

 

old tvWhat might it become?

All the noises coming from the appropriate government institutions suggest it will be phased out within the next 10-15 years. In November last year, Conservative backbencher Andrew Bridgen urged the BBC to adopt a voluntary subscription service, as reported in the Metro.

“The BBC should move to a subscription model as soon as it is practicable.”

“The sheer pace of technological change will render the licence fee redundant. It is a matter of when the fee goes, not if.”

More recently however, the Culture, Media and Sport select committee announced their preference of a German-style levy that encapsulated all homes. Applying to every household regardless of their use of a TV, the levy would apply to all of the BBC’s many branches. Closing the current loophole that excludes catch-up services, the levy would also likely to be considerably less than the current licence fee. How the country might react to what is essentially a media- brace- tax, remains to be seen.

That of course, would not remove the element of force, a major source of discontent for the army of TV licence-naysayers. But holding a nationally-owned, theoretically neutral, broadcast institution can hold a vital place in a 21st Century society. Placing my libertarian hat on, accessing any non-essential content provider like the BBC should be a choice for any viewer. If the BBC can create an opt-in subscription service it can become a choice for all viewers, remain ad-free and be paid for by the people (not the government as it currently), and thus remain accountable to it’s customers.

So, where do you stand on the great TV licence debate? Is there still a place in modern Britain for a neutral broadcasting institution that represents society as a whole? Or is the level of choice available to customers today just too much to justify a forced fee on users who rarely use any of their services?

 

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179 COMMENTS

  1. One of your initial statements is slightly off. You said: “Anyone who watches, or has the capacity to, watch or record TV as it is being broadcast has to pay the fee”. However, the advice from the TV Licensing website (http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/how-to-tell-us-you-dont-watch-tv-top12) is that “if you don’t watch TV at all, or you only ever watch on demand or catch-up TV, you can tell us you don’t need a TV Licence” – no mention of “has the capacity to watch” anymore.

  2. The entertainment aspect of television can never reach the threshold of a tax. Tax is there for important things like health and education etc. The fair way is subscription for the BBC. However if the government wants non entertainment services , ie news, public services and education then these should be funded out of taxation.

    The BBC also want a compulsory levy on all homes to gain a monopoly on TV and internet services. If the BBC do this people will stand together (please check out facebook groups opposed to TV Licence and Levies etc) and stop this. Any future re-shaping of the BBC must be done in a democratic way involving debate in parliament and onethat has the backing of the UK people via referendum etc. Any move to ostracise the UK public will be seen as undemocratic and people will not pay for a service that is thrust upon them without consent. The polls clearly show that the majority of people do not have the appetite for forced monies for television or internet services etc. Times have changed and we need a fair way forward and only a democratic debate will provide a solution for all.

  3. A great deal of people don’t want to pay for this licence, because they clearly do not watch the BBC. I think the BBC is to far behind the times now, I would rather watch adverts then pay this fee. I have sky to watch the BBC on and also a licence, it just doesn’t seem fair. At least with sky and virgin you could setup an additional fee for viewers if they require the BBC channel in their package. The only program I watched was Top gear and now that’s gone there is nothing else worth watching. Personally I think the BBC channel is a complete waste of time now, but I’m sure other people bag to differ. If I had the choice I wouldn’t pay for a Licence and have the BBC channel turned off on my TV so I can’t watch it, but of course they are not as advance as this yet. I vote Adverts for the BBC so they can make their money and additional fee on cable services for this channel. It about time people had the choice. People need the right to choose and not made to pay for a service they clearly can live without. RIP Top-gear you will be missed

  4. No… Having a news channel that is publicly funded – and therefore answerable to the public via the trust – means that it is obliged to deliver balanced news. Otherwise you’d be left to watch Sky News which might as well be Fox News with worse infographics. Look at the Sun today, pushing an agenda to dilute support for Labour by giving two very different leading stories on either side of the Scottish border. I, personally, would prefer to be given the facts and let me make my own mind up, rather than be told what to think by the likes of Rupert Murdoch. Maybe I’m weird…

  5. The vast majority of Netflix/Amazon content has already been on TV; and a lot of it on the BBC. Therefore if those shows hadn’t already been made, what would these services show?

    Also, there is no other model (ads or subs) for a Public Service Broadcaster like the BBC that would work to provide the widest-possible variety of content for the smallest amount of money.

    So yes, we need the TVL, or some variant of it like the New Media Tax that Germany and Ireland have recently introduced.

  6. I think that the world would be much worse without the BBC . They are always at the forefront of technology and a safety net for all of the other broadcasters . When On digital set out to introduce digital TV and it didnt work the BBC picked up the slack and got Freeview working, which helped out itv ch4 ch5 dave and the rest- not to mention the public. Who got the DAB system working ? Not the commercial sector. Who are to provide thousands of school children with small computers to learn coding on? BBC again,to the benefit of UK PLC and the kids themselves. Anyone ever seen a feature film made by BBC films? Creating jobs in the British film industry. You dont have to look very hard to see huge benefits to the UK from the BBC being involved. At this time running up to the election the BBC is not afraid to question polititions of every party.

  7. Keep the TV license but remove their powers to collect it like a tax. I.e. stop commission driven contractors trying to trick their way into people’s houses and peaking through teenage daughters bedroom windows. No other product or service I buy has a right to send me threatening and misleading letters if I choose not to renew it. I realise their budgets would be reduced if people we’re forced to pay but of course they’d immediately save their enforcement costs. Plus maybe improve analytics so they can invest in the programs people truly watch.

  8. Many years ago I was happy when I could finally pay my telephone line rental to a provider of my choice. No more money to BT. Now I am happy that I watch on demand and use my money how I wish in supporting the development of the services like Netflix. There should be more choice of services and where you can pay your money if you wish to.

  9. Many years ago I was happy when I could finally pay my telephone line rental to a provider of my choice. No more money to BT. Now I am happy that I watch on demand and use my money how I wish in supporting the development of the services like Netflix. There should be more choice of services and where you can pay your money if you wish to.

  10. I for one hate adverts be it on tv web sites or news papers.

    I watch the BBC news
    They produce minority programs that no other channel does “country file” for one.

    I hate the monotonous american programs we seem to have pushed down our throats.

    TV material was much better before the hundreds of channels we have now. 99% of which are a waste of time.

  11. These paedophile protecting scum need to be abolished. DAB is a joke, they can’t change it because all been ploughed into it. Its heavily promoted yet an inferior system to all other forms of digital context notwithstanding that its not like FM where it was properly funded this was left to private companies with their own agendas. Car use is a joke on all but the trunk roads.

  12. A measure of a good service is how many people subscribe to such services.
    I would argue that the BBC should put its money where it’s mouth is and turn into a subscription service itself.
    But we know that will not happen as we all know too well that the vast majority of people would not subscribe, and as a result the BBC would lose its funding.

    I for one only use catch-up and streaming services for my entertainment.
    I can watch what I want, when I want, and none of it is the regurgitated “reality” TV rubbish that seems to dominate television.
    And for some people to argue that the BBC’s news programming is somehow bipartisan is laughable.

    As said, if the BBC is as confident in its value and quality, then it needs to put its money where it’s mouth is and open itself up as a subscription only service.
    As it stands now it is just another government backed propaganda machine that should have been put down years ago.

  13. The TV licence is good value for money. I cannot afford the ridiculous fees for Sky and believe it or not, not everyone has Internet access.

  14. I personally feel the BBC is still an invaluable service to the public, but I feel the licensing model is about 30 years out of date. The enforcement of it is also somewhat abhorrent. Dont tell me I need a ‘TV license’ to watch a private subscription service, additionally funded by advertising. Just bloody tax me!

  15. The real success story isn’t the neutrality of the BBC, it’s the encompassing force of the BBP. I am disappointed at this article’s obnoxious omission of the real powerhouse of modern entertainment. Why would I want to pay a licence fee to be distracted from my meaningless existence when I can instead experience the everlasting and ever-giving pleasure of the BBP? It presents an unrivaled platform of emotions and states that surpass the visual quality of the BBC, tuning into the other senses which ultimately leave the BBC sulking at their incompatibility with receiving audiences

  16. Could I just point out that the
    BBC News is no longer an impartial
    And balanced news channel. It has
    Many political bias positions on a
    Range of topics.

  17. The BBC is unbiased and produces great content. It is the gold standard that others have to aspire to. Pay for it out of general taxation, it’s worth it.

  18. I can afford it but I resent paying for something that I don’t feel I use. The only BBC product I use is the website for checking weather and sports updates. I do not listen to BBC radio (It is rubbish) I do not use iPlayer and I do not watch their utterly crap channels which are bereft of any quality. I pay Sky which is a choice I make as I am a sports nut. I literally only watch sport, something that the BBC has almost eradicated from their platform. Wimbledon and half a grand prix season with the odd FA cup game does not amount to giving the paying fans what they want. Still, as long as people can watch Eastenders and bigwigs can get huge severance packages, then I guess all is well with the world. Ovvo I am not a fan, would scrap it in an instance and the BBC should be forced to go subscription. We will then see how good people really think it is. Not very would be the answer translated from the obvious low revenue they would realise from making their services subscription.

  19. considering that the bbc has been receiving this license fee demand for over “sixty years” isn’t it about time that we the public (who are forced to pay) should “now ” be allowed to cancel this fee? the bbc receives loads of finance from the eu so it could also receive more finance via ‘advertising ‘ this would be much fairer than abusing the public by making them face a court for “non payment of the fee” which considering all other TV channels exist this way???

  20. I’m more than happy to continue paying for a TV licence. I’d rather not have shorter shows and frequent interruptions due to advertising breaks thank you very much.

  21. For years I always said I was happy to pay the license to get Top Gear, the only show that the WHOLE family, across the entire age range watched together, as a fun shared experience. If this program goes, then many people will wonder why should we support the BBC.

  22. Your description of the BBC falls in the first paragraph. Neutral and impartial? I guess you never watch it.

    It is the broadcasting arm of the Guardian, it transmits a stream of left wing dogma every day. Even it’s “neutral and impartial” audiences for political programs turn out to be left biased as the BBC eventually had to admit in the Leader’s debates.

    When Peter Sissons quit as a newsreader he said when he asked his editor how they were covering a story, the editor gave him a copy of the Guardian and said ‘it’s all in here’.

  23. Just paid licence It’s not worth it. BBC makes more money selling programmes abroad now. Watched some in South east Asia last month.
    It’s become a liberalised political broadcaster over recent years run by a bunch of lattes. A good place to be employed to make alot of money, if in management or a director.
    In time I will replace my TV with a monitor & just stream broadcasts and give up paying the licence.

  24. The current UK TV licence sits at £145.50 (£49 for black and white).
    I work in the TV service industry and have not seen a single customer using a monochrome TV in the last 15 years.
    surely when analogue TV was turned off so should the black and white TV licence.
    Having just got back from the USA I now value the BBC even more, anyone who thinks we would not miss this institution should be forced to watch American TV for at least a week.
    Also if the BBC were to be funded by advertising this would remove revenue from all the other providers causing even more low budget or repeat programs.
    One viable alternative to the licence is a tax on the sale of all products capable of receiving television programing.

  25. Abolishing the licence fee and getting rid of the BBC is another step in the dumbing-down of our society.

    For a modest cost, the BBC produces a huge range of content that wouldn’t otherwise be made, educates our children and enriches our lives.

    It makes me sad to see the short sighted and narrow minded people who want to get rid of this in favour of imported drivel, endless “reality” shows, shock-jocks masquerading as news channels and so-called “sports” like premier-league football.

    If nothing else, the BBC sets a high bar that the other broadcasters have to aim for – if that was gone, do you seriously think standards wouldn’t fall?

  26. It’s interesting how the BBC still differentiate between ‘state sponsored’ and a non optional license enforced by the state. It sounds like the same thing to me. There is NO PLACE for a compulsory media subscription in modern society, this is not 1984!

    If the BBC is really worth it, then it should have no problem continuing with an optional subscription, should they?

    As for being ‘unbiased’, that’s just hilarious.

  27. I am amazed by the number of people who claim all they ever watch on the BBC is Top Gear. The BBC sells shows around the world and other countires including the USA recognise the quality of production and research which goes into these programmes. Not just period dramas. Wildlife shows, documentaries, and comedy are still produced to a high standard. Many commercial channels have taken their ideas and inspiration from BBC produced content. Childrens programmes are produced to a superior standard than any commercial network, and are safe for children to watch without being worried that a commercial product or agenda is being forced upon them. Then consider the news and current affairs coverage. Educational programmes that no commercial channel would go near. And after all that there are the Radio stations which again are produced to much higher standards than any commercial station I have listened to. Presented by people who are knowledgeable and mature and don’t just shout at you. Why does everybody want to be represented by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Jeremy Kyle?

  28. @ Grant.
    It also doesn’t say you can watch live, as it is being broadcast, without a license. So what’s your point?

  29. MPs are constantly boasting about how they have introduced fair competition because it is a consumers right to have it yet here we are with a generation old monopoly called the BBC.
    I watch very little BBC and would gladly give it up to rid myself of the enforced licence.
    Anyone who is happy to pay the licence should be just as happy to pay a subscription.

  30. The idea that it would take “ages” for the BBC to come up with a fee based system is just utter nonsense, new channels dont have that problem, and all forms of TV have the option for a subscription based service to be transmitted, even freeview

    So in a VERY short space of time the BBC and all its other channels could become pay per view or some similar variant with very little hassle

    Sky and virgin could offer BBC free packages instantly so that if either of those was your only source of programming you would be instantly free of the BBC

    as for the BBC basically charging you for watching live TV via sky or virgin its a joke

    Sky and virgin pay small fortunes for the exclusve rights to air shows, not the BBC, so you would ONLY be paying them for the privelidge, not them AND the BBC,

    The BBC also hasnt spent any money on either the sky or virgin infrastructure which was another initial excuse for having a TV tax

    The only live broadcasts that the TV license should be required for watching is BBC programs are BBC channels, and to be honest only when theyre transmitted via BBC funded infrastructure like the freeview system

    At the moment its a bit like having to pay wimpy a burger tax even if you eat at macdonalds, KFC or burger king which is ridiculous

    So the easy answer, and the one that would also answer all the debated topics surrounding the central one is to just make the BBC pay per view, unbundle it from sky and virgin packages and make it a paid extra like sports and movies are and then see how many people actually want to watch the BBC offerings enough to pay for them

    But I think the BBC has a pretty good idea how low the take up would be without their mafia style enforcement of the TV tax which is why they dont want to give up their extortion racket without a fight and their previous track record doesnt exactly show them in a good light

    rather than allowing people choice and the ability to opt out of BBC programming they have routinely added BBC channels to all alternatives they could right back to BSB so that people couldnt remove their ariels and watch BBC free channel selections

    Even before that some areas could have their TVs doctored so they could only tune to the independant channel and couldnt recieve BBC ones, so the BBC moved their channels to either side to stamp that particular exercising of a freedom of choice out

    They have also blatantly lied about what makes you require a TV licence and were ordered to ammend their web site as a result

    And there have been countless examples on video of their “representatives” intimidating and strongarming people at the doorstep

    The TV license has served its purpose but its time has passed in my opinion. The BBC should be turned into a pay per view or tiered subcription service that isnt included in basic TV bundles on sky, cable, BT or any other TV service to begin with, but can be added to them all for an extra charge IF desired

    That would take no more than a year at most, and shouldnt really take that long being honest

    Its time this ridiculous tax was scrapped and the propoganda arm of the government was removed from main stream compulsory scheduling

    because lets be honest here, the BBC relies on the government for its revenue stream and for a hands off, do what you like as long as its not too widely advertised in the media management of them which is why they can afford to waste so much money on salaries and immense bonuses

    So the claim theyre “independant” is quite laughable and insulting to anyone who hasnt been lobotomised yet

    The BBC is reliant in its current state on the grace of the government, so a symbiotic relationship is there where its obvious or not. Whereas less “independant” channels have to rely on adverts for their funding, meaning theyre not as closely tied to the government of the day

    So who is really the more independant? Its certainly not the state propoganda factory we call the BBC who seem to fail to grasp the concept of “balance” as shown clearly in their reporting of the blatant lies claimed by tony blair in the lead up to the second gulf war even though they knew the real truth

    Their idea of “balance” was to show blair and bush on almost every news show daily for months, but the other side of the story and the one that was in fact the truthful version of what was going on in Iraq got 15 minutes on BBC news 24 at 2am and was never repeated again

    So as bad as other news organisations might be, the BBC is no better, but because we are forced to pay for it that actually makes it far worse because of that when it blatantly perpetuates stories it KNOWS are outright lies and then fails to give the truth the same amount of prime time air space and coverage

    So good riddance

  31. The TV license as it stands today is one big huge ripoff to the british public as bbc1 one and 2 have both lost all major sporting events to sky and other competitors and nobody listens to crap radio 1 there is no justice in this country to force people to pay a fee of any kind.

    1. scrap the fee
    2. make new channels with adverts instead.

  32. Buzz, find the David Frost documentary about the BBCs biased coverage of the lead up to the Iraq war and you will how politically biased the BBC is

    You seem to miss the fact that the government “allows” the BBC to squander its money on what it wants, that it continues to allow the license fee to exist to give them that money to waste without needing to compete in the market space and you naively believe there is no quid pro quo? Seriously?

    They are MORE biased than any other TV network, because all of the others can switch allegiences at the drop of a hat, all of the others are dependant on completely independant (to the government) funding

    The BBC is the ONLY network for which their funding is mostly facilitated by the government, and as such they ARE quite heavily tied to, and dependant on the government of the day and as such function pretty much as their propoganda arm

    wake up

  33. There is quite a bit of content my wife and I like to watch on BBC, not to mention F1 GP, scrapping the Licence, or, getting rid of the BBC is not a solution, for the amount of BBC programs I watch over a year, makes the licence cost reasonable.

  34. Scrap the TV Licence Tax
    Replace it with voluntary subscription
    Until then, boycott the BBC and all live terrestrial broadcasts in the UK
    They desperately want us to listen to and watch their propaganda and psychological social programming
    They will eventually scrap the TV Licence, but watch out for another form of taxation to replace it !

    Note:
    The BBC has been for a long time in breach of it’s contract with Licence payers
    Therefore, the BBC’s continuous demand of Licence payment is tantamount to criminal extortion

  35. The article makes the mistake of many in saying that the BBC is funded by the government. It is funded by the licence fee and this keeps the BBC at arms length from any colour of government we may have. It has a remit to provide all types of programmes for both TV and radio. The only say that the government has is in the level of the licence fee. It is the envy of many countries because of these unique facts. Problems with concentrating too much media ownership in few hands has been seen in Italy with Sylvia Berlusconi controlling a majority of media outlets, printed & broadcast then becoming the head of government. There is no doubt in my mind that we are now seeing this in the UK with the Murdoch empire having been given permission to own too much of the media and then, despite agreement to leave editorial freedom, instructing his news media to do everything possible to prevent a Labour victory in May. Big Business in general has too much influence over our fragile democracy but when this is in the media it becomes worse. The BBC is independent of Big Business and is a pillar for free speech not only here but via its World Services has worldwide acclaim. I do not support the BBC in everything, but I support its right to do it free and unfettered by politicians, and this can only happen with a direct levy like the licence fee.

  36. Tv licence is no longer needed for today’s entertainment world. I only payed the licence for a handful of shows, mainly top gear. Since the show stopped the tv has not been used to watch live tv, only for my media center and games consoles.

  37. Having not to pay the TV license for 10 years I can say I don’t miss it, and when I start to feel I might be missing something I go to my parents or a family member and realise there is nothing on TV. Until I stopped watching it I didn’t realise how bad the programing was (on all stations), it’s only when you look at what you’re watching and ask, if I could pick what I watched would this be part of it, shockingly about 95% of the time the answer for me is no. (it helps I don’t like watching sport I’d rather be doing it).

    The BBC won’t survive as it is in any way, other than with the support of a tax (which I already see it as because no one believes you can live without TV, especially the TV licensing agency). The BBC has some good shows, personally I like the comedy quizzes, some of their period dramas have been very good (think Pride and Prejudice) unfortunately for me they have lost 2 people I found entertaining those being Chris Moyles and Jeremy Clarkson both of which had to be taken with a pinch of salt and weren’t what you might call role models and were both very expensive, however they were entertaining and that’s what your there to do, entertain us.

    The one thing I can see the BBC doing even privatized is the news, yes they aren’t as neutral as they should be but then go to the USA and look at a new program there, it will make you slightly sick by how US centric the news is, how little they cover the world as a whole and how much they push a specific view to their viewers.

    I hope the license is scrapped, and I hope that decision makers in the BBC read these sorts of comments from your customers (or possible ones) and take it upon themselves to utilise a subscribed BBC to push quality boundary’s and turn the corporation around. You have had a huge amount of money coming in for decades which you never had to earn, it’s time to start and to make yourself valuable to your customers or you will just be a foot note in the history books.

  38. @ mike
    Nobody pays the BBC for the privilege of watching via Sky or Virgin.
    Nobody pays Sky or Virgin for the privilege of watching the BBC.
    You pay for the privilege of watching the BBC on any format that transmits broadcast TV.
    You don’t have to pay the BBC anything at all. Just buy the right kit, set it up so you can’t receive the broadcasted signal, and stop whingeing about something you wrongly think you are forced to do.

  39. Our political ‘masters’ would love to abolish the license because it would destroy the BBC which is a constant thorn in their sides – this applies to all parties. So would Murdock and his SKY organisation which would love to own broadcasting. The BBC is the most innovative and watched television service in the UK and beyond. The license fee may seem a lot, but it’s cheaper than Murdock is charging to broadcast programs made and financed by the BBC.
    I, for one, wish to keep the BBC. If you don’t like it go to the USA and watch commercials!

  40. Witnessing the commercial saturated TV of the US makes me thankful we have the BBC. Without it, we’d be more exposed to political and business interests. I can see why certain factions want to get rid of the BBC. I personally think £150 is worth paying.

  41. I have only recently become a BBC ‘fan’, the BBC is envide the world over. Not only is the TV advert free, so is the radio. If I watch any other channel, I record it as it seems that there is only 35 to 40 minutes of programme per hour.

    If you choose to subscribe to Sky, then that is your choice. You obviously have enough money to have Borg. If you hadn’t gone over to Sky, then Sky wouldn’t have the money to buy up the rights fot football and F1. So we could all watch them for free.

    It is like moaning because you only drive on certain roads and don’t want to contribute to the up keep of the ones you don’t drive on. Or you own 2 cars, but only drive one at a time, so you only want to pay road tax on one of them. Or moaning because you hire DVD’s, so don’t watch the films that the BBC show.

    The fact is, Netflix etc. are just an enhancment in your life, a luxury that a lot of us can’t afford. So I don’t understand why you think you can now cntrol what we all can, or can’t watch.

  42. I have only recently become a BBC ‘fan’, the BBC is envide the world over. Not only is the TV advert free, so is the radio. If I watch any other channel, I record it as it seems that there is only 35 to 40 minutes of programme per hour.

    If you choose to subscribe to Sky, then that is your choice. You obviously have enough money to have Borg. If you hadn’t gone over to Sky, then Sky wouldn’t have the money to buy up the rights fot football and F1. So we could all watch them for free.

    It is like moaning because you only drive on certain roads and don’t want to contribute to the up keep of the ones you don’t drive on. Or you own 2 cars, but only drive one at a time, so you only want to pay road tax on one of them. Or moaning because you hire DVD’s, so don’t watch the films that the BBC show.

    The fact is, Netflix etc. are just an enhancment in your life, a luxury that a lot of us can’t afford. So I don’t understand why you think you can now cntrol what we all can, or can’t watch.

  43. They should scrap this outdated TV licence and do advertising to pay their costs, the same as other TV stations. The thing is, the BBC will always live in the 50’s, eventually all the ‘old boys’ will be gone and some new blood will move the company into the here and now, but that might take them another 20 years, such is the engrained ‘old boy’ network. As for the Licencing Authority, why would they agree to scrapping the licence, it keeps hundreds if not thousands of jobsworths in work, chasing round looking for people that aren’t paying their licence fees.

    I stopped watching TV 20 years ago because there was so much rubbish and hardly anything of quality. News is always bad news, apart from maybe 0.05% such as a big lottery winner or something. I moved to internet streaming TV, well ahead of the crowd. I used to watch streaming music videos from The Basement Club, Sydney, Australia, with no adverts. I watched streaming movies on a German channel (it had German subtitles and the sound was in English, I did this way before Netflix even got popular.

    When I threw the TV out I started getting letters from the Licencing Authority, horrendous letters they are too, they tell you you have done something illegal and must pay up, yet I didn’t even have a TV!! I had inspectors come to my house and I showed them I didn’t have a TV, they said they were happy and would update their records, but a month later other inspectors arrived and a few months later more arrived, and the letters didn’t stop. I considered taking out a court injunction against them for harrassing me, but the cost would have been too much. How may old people without TV’s have been pressed into paying for a TV licence they didn’t even need?

    The TV licence has had it’s day a long time ago, it should go in the bin.

  44. They should scrap this outdated TV licence and do advertising to pay their costs, the same as other TV stations. The thing is, the BBC will always live in the 50’s, eventually all the ‘old boys’ will be gone and some new blood will move the company into the here and now, but that might take them another 20 years, such is the engrained ‘old boy’ network. As for the Licencing Authority, why would they agree to scrapping the licence, it keeps hundreds if not thousands of jobsworths in work, chasing round looking for people that aren’t paying their licence fees.

    I stopped watching TV 20 years ago because there was so much rubbish and hardly anything of quality. News is always bad news, apart from maybe 0.05% such as a big lottery winner or something. I moved to internet streaming TV, well ahead of the crowd. I used to watch streaming music videos from The Basement Club, Sydney, Australia, with no adverts. I watched streaming movies on a German channel (it had German subtitles and the sound was in English, I did this way before Netflix even got popular.

    When I threw the TV out I started getting letters from the Licencing Authority, horrendous letters they are too, they tell you you have done something illegal and must pay up, yet I didn’t even have a TV!! I had inspectors come to my house and I showed them I didn’t have a TV, they said they were happy and would update their records, but a month later other inspectors arrived and a few months later more arrived, and the letters didn’t stop. I considered taking out a court injunction against them for harrassing me, but the cost would have been too much. How may old people without TV’s have been pressed into paying for a TV licence they didn’t even need?

    The TV licence has had it’s day a long time ago, it should go in the bin.

  45. I believe the biggest reason for scrapping the TV licence is the rude, untrue and pushy TV Licensing Authority. I own a holiday flat with no live TV reception, so am exempt on that property. In spite of informing them via their web of that position I get up to monthly reminders that I need a TV licence which become ever more threatening.

    Also look at the utter waste of our money (I have 2 other licences for home and work) when they moved from London to Salford. See this article suggesting it has cost us £12 million to move staff.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385558/BBC-Salford-Billion-pound-state-art-HQ-wants-work.html

    I am so angered by waste and bully boy tactics like that I say scrap the BBC.

  46. The abolishing of the License fee seems to be reserved for those who are ‘anti-BBC’. It is synonymous with ‘lets close-down the BBC’.

    Fortunately the vast majority of the UK population still want the BBC so it will not happen soon.

    Mixing in debates about internet, Sky and Netflix are just designed to confuse.

  47. @ John
    I love it when idiots like you come along.
    “the BBC will always live in the 50’s, eventually all the ‘old boys’ will be gone and some new blood will move the company into the here and now”
    You do know that probably all of the “old boys” will be either dead, or very nearly dead. Unless of course, these “old boys” were ten years old or so when they were running the Beeb.
    “but that might take them another 20 years, such is the engrained ‘old boy’ network.”
    Hilariously making it worse for yourself.
    Laugh a minute.
    Keep it up.

  48. The alternatives to the TV licence:

    1. Scrap the BBC, fund an appropriate public service element from general taxation. Popular programmes would be taken up by other broadcasters.

    2. Advertising – the problem being that a large increase in available ad space, would be a shock to the market, probably resulting in lower ad revenue and more ads.

    3. Subscription – since many choose to subscribe to a range of extra channels, this would mean fair competition, with the organization facing a much needed reality check when people don’t have to just swallow the latest increase.

    The BBC are in a position of ultimate unfair competition, as while the charge is called a “licence fee”, it is really a compulsory subscription, insulating them from the realities of todays multimedia marketplace.

  49. Scrap the licence … so how will the BBC be funded?

    Maybe by advertising – and who will pay for that advertising? Yes, you the consumer with more and more repetitive adverts.

    Every product that is advertised includes a cost in their final price to cover the advertising. So, greater costs for the manufacturers are passed on to customer. And the increases will be everywhere – on food, software, clothes, PCs, TV, cars and more.

    A friend in the industry suggest that every household in the country is paying around £500-600 every year to fund ITV Ch4 and Five along with the commercial radio stations. The BBC provides several channels, national radio and local radio for a fraction of that – a lot better value and no need to watch mind-numbing repeats of the same advert every 15 minutes.

  50. “Neutral and Impartial” did anyone actually see any the Scottish Referendum biased broadcasts Neutral & Impartial it was most definitely not!!!!
    Should be scrapped with immediate effect.
    A subscriber service should be the way to go so if you watch it you pay for it and if you don’t….
    Well the answer is obvious.

  51. Scrap BBC. They should be allowed to stand on their own feet . If they produce good programs we will come running.

  52. I don’t often watch TV, i think the license should be scrapped. Recent scandals have shown the BBC is not impartial.

    In fact BBC news is sanitized news. When some something happens, they only show you the cleaned up version. OK, I know some don’t like to see the reality, but that often effects peoples view. When they don’t show you the 10 dead bodies in a news item, then you’re just told the number. It’s easy to be not effected by it. However, if some politician is pushing their agenda for conflict, see the real pictures and what may happen to ‘the other’, and even UK soldiers will let people put things into perspective.

    I wonder, does the queen and her offspring pay the license?

  53. Why don’t they just call the BBC the stations of repeats.Thats all they transmit on BBC2 and a lot of the time on BBC1

  54. I am very happy to pay for the BBC TV licence. TV stuff on BBC are very educational and drama is better compared to the rubbish brain dead ITV channel, which is full of crap TV, such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ or ‘X-Factor’ and adverts and is marketed for OAP’s and housewifes (nothing wrong with that of course, which is perfect for brain dead viewing). I love BBC as they do not have adverts all the time and you can actually watch TV, especially films without ad breaks. BBC is clever and I learn a lot from their channels. I would be happy to pay up to £500 a year or whatever the cost. It’s not about the money, it’s about the quality of content. And their online TV is excellent compared to all the other online channels which struggle to play on my computer compared to BBC iPlayer. You also have the ability to download, which others do not offer. ChanneI 4 used to offer this, but stopped it years ago for some bizarre reason. I have Sky TV (which is a waste of money) and my TV is mostly stuck on all the BBC channels. I hope the license fee is not scrapped, it will be a very sad day for TV if that ever happens, …. very sad day.

  55. I only watch Doctor who? And it is costing me £145 for that privilege. I have not watched BBC for many years and I do not see why they can’t come in to the 21 century like the rest of us even if the only had adverts between programs they would make money along with selling programs dvds and any other advertising on radio (not listened to that for years either). A small nominal fee to the government would be better and free to ALL pensioners over retirement age. This would be a fairer system. On the other hand they could do the same as all channels have advertising as others do AND SHARE THE LISENCE WITH ALL STATIONS.

  56. What I hate about articles such as this is the way they seem to support the idea of a TV license.
    Not directly state that support, but more so in how it’s written.
    Another thing I hate about the TV license debate is how there is an assumption, regurgitated by many, that you need a TV license for the mere virtue of owning a television set.
    Nothing could be more further than the truth.
    If you do not watch live television, or record it as it is being aired live, then NO TV license is required. End of.

    Now, onto the question of whether the TV license should be scrapped?
    In my view, yes.
    I see no point to the BBC being funded by the license fee anymore as there are so many other channels that use advertising as a revenue stream, and make much more money in the process, that it’s simply stupid from a business point of view.
    And make no mistake, the BBC is a corporate business that makes profits.
    Like it or loath it, advertising will benefit the BBC.
    And it will take the burden off the taxpayer, thus leaving more money in the pockets of the family who do watch live television.

    If there is a general consensus that the BBC should be funded by the taxpayer then it should be done fairly.
    The idea, or one of them, that the tax for the BBC should no longer be funded directly from the user, and instead be funded through an increase on council tax is highly unfair as it will directly impose itself on those who watch catchup or those who don’t watch any television.
    In fact, it would penalise those who don’t actually own a television set.
    How can that be fair?
    Perhaps the BBC should change to a subscription service. It’s not like they don’t have the capability to do so as the UK now uses digital technology to receive broadcasts and they could easily scramble the service
    This type of system is much more fairer as those who want the BBC services will pay for them, and those that don’t won’t.

    Oh, and for those who think that the BBC is fair as it is, think about the fact that their world service is broadcast, worldwide, and guess who subsidises that?

  57. I would welcome the licence fee being scrapped. As someone who watches little tv, I’ve hobbies and better things go do in life, and who does not want all these iPlayers and internet services etc, I’m paying for things that I don’t want. I find the BBC is very biased as well especially when it comes to the news and sport. The only sport I follow is motorcycle racing ie British Superbikes, World Superbikes and Motogp, all of which I have to pay extra subscriptions to Sky and BT Sport to get. When do you ever hear the BBC doing anything for the motorcycle community, answer is NEVER, which is a disgrace. I’ve even written complaints and their attitude to it is disgraceful. They want our license fee but are not willing to support us bikers, so I’m not willing to support them.
    Yes, scrap it as soon as possible.

  58. Absolutely we need the BBC. We need the BBC as a lever against all the ad infiltrated other channels. The present system, though far from perfect, is not only about the licence fee cost. It’s a much wider concept about unbiased reporting and as many have said, a balanced view of the world around us.

    While the quality overall has deteriorated beyond belief, there are still pockets of delight in various well researched documentaries and dramas (mostly BBC2) which Britain would be a sad place without.

    Not everyone wants wall to wall sport and films. In fact, you’d be pretty brain dead if you did.

    I hope I never see its demise.

  59. Broadcast TV is an outdated way of consuming media. Imagine if YouTube or Netflix for example had channels and you had a guide to let you know what was on when. It seems so alien to me now.. I haven’t just put a channel on and hoped something good was on for years. If there’s something I want to watch.. I just put that specific thing on… no waiting…and no ads.

    I don’t pay for a TV license because broadcast TV is ancient technology and as more and more people are realising this, It’ll be interesting to see what the BBC try to do to save themselves.

  60. @ Mr Terry Hatfield
    “I have not watched BBC for many years”
    But wait !!!
    “I only watch Doctor who? And it is costing me £145 for that privilege”
    Harrrr !!!!!
    Priceless.

  61. Pay Licenses= Support Sir James Wilson Vincent “Jimmy” Savile, OBE, KCSG actions

  62. BBC is outdated, showing mainly repeats and news, make BBC a pay per view package and if people want to watch BBC they can pay to do so. I don’t and have never watched BBC, I don’t watch sports and resent paying for crap I don’t use. Scrap the very very outdated tv licence!!!

  63. If the previous commentator has genuinely never watched the BBC he is definitely qualified to comment on this issue. The BBC is the only broadcaster who produces any worthwhile programmes which are not spoilt by being broken up by brainwashing advertising.

  64. The BBC is about as impartial as David camerons Spin doctor would be

    Their gravy train exists at the whim of the government and changes in the leanings of its bias can be seen as can its ability to lie to help a current government by virtue of the media coverage leading up to the Iraq war

    The BBC is nothing but a taxpayer funded government propoganda department and should be turned into a pay per view channel

    This wouldnt HAVE to alter any of their political “neutrality” as its ONLY a different way of funding, and if the BBC is worth what the licence costs then they should surely have no problem replacing or even increasing their income. Otherwise people have been being overcharged for a substandard product

    As for any time for government programming that could and I suspect probably IS already built in to the license that ALLOWS all companies to transmit to UK audiences

  65. Can’t have internet services when you only have a 1/2mb link 🙁
    We also need quality news services.
    When BBC send a large team that other companies covering the even only send a few, you know they are taking the licence fee payer for granted. It should be heavily reduced.

  66. I rarely watch modern TV as 99% is absolute mind rotting drivel, even from the BBC. I also refuse to fund Sky just to watch a couple of good shows amongst the flood of American repeats and films which would be cheaper to purchase than subscribing to movie channels. For me I will just continue to buy the good shows and films and occasionally actually see whats on and feel TV licence is a waste of money.

  67. The most important, and relevant word in that article was ‘theoretically’, as in “theoretically neutral”. I don’t want to be forced to pay for a government propaganda service, because no matter what they pretend to say against the BBC, it is an important part of the establishment’s method of control of the masses. Not that other broadcasters are any more believable!

  68. The BBC is one of the few world class organisations this country still has.
    Can l highlight this :

    It has a world class news organisations with more reporters worldwide than many other broadcasters put together.
    It has 5 national radio + all the BBC radio stations.
    It can try new ideas as commercial short term considerations do not play a part.
    The platform Freeview did not really get going until the BBC was involved there were commercial failures along the way before.
    Who what to watch Sky where you pay + plus have adverts as well !

  69. I believe the model of public broadcasting in the USA is a better option – subscription based and with a much narrower mandate to provide educational and serviced based broadcasting; the BBC has spent too much of the past twenty years trying to compete with commercial TV channels to provide ‘entertainment’ programming. I like much of what the BBC produces; I just don’t want to have an undemocratic tax levied against me to pay for it. Like many ‘taxes’ in the UK it is unfair (car license, insurance tax etc.), it is time we stop being, as the Americans say ‘nickel and dimmed’ and pay fixed rate income tax and sales tax.

  70. I have been a big fan of the BBC all my life and known the BBC to give news and programs as it is, an unbiased, real stories of news in UK and World. Sadly, BBC has become politically biased and only show what they want to show and express only one sided option’s, like controlled media in some countries like China and Saudi’s.

    I have been shocked to see some news stories coming from BBC of recent times and how wrong they have been proven to be. Apologies are just apologies, you can’t keep making things up and apologies for it afterwards, it’s wrong!!! BBC SHOULD BE UNITING BRITISH PEOPLE TOGETHER, not make things up to cause drift!

    I am British and proud to be British.

    I was very happy with paying BBC in the past for what they provided, but now? If I wanted Science Fiction I would go to Sky and get Sci-fi channel.

  71. I’ve not watched live TV for many years & the threatening letters from capita (TV licensing) keep coming to make me chuckle each month as they attempt to bully the unsavvy.
    I would have more sympathy with the concept of a national universal fee to fund public service broadcasting, if I didn’t pay TAXES for that very reason.
    The scandalous situation of young mothers being JAILED for not paying this stupid TV Tax makes my blood boil. The BBC/ Capita / courts should be ashamed of themselves.

  72. I think the licence should be scrapped. There is nothing worth watching on the BBC just lately. Its not fair having to pay for something that you don’t watch. I wouldn’t mind so much if there was something worth watching on it, but I very very very rarely turn the BBC channel on to watch something.
    I agree with what other people here have said, the BBC channels should be an optional extra to Sky, Virgin and possibly even an add on that you can purchase on freeview boxes IF you want the BBC channels.
    They shouldn’t force you to pay for something you don’t watch.

  73. Put simply, the BBC keep telling us that most of us believe in the TV licence and feel it is good value for money. If they truly believe this then let the viewers of BBC pay for it and the ones that don’t, be free of the licence fee.

    If your so confident BBC put your money where your mouth is.

    Frankly its a load of B.S. Most people think the BBC produces repeats and shows that my grandfather watches. If they made it an opt-in the BBC would die, simply put.

    The amount of license fee’s that are wasted on stupid projects that fail is criminal, this alone should instigate the close down of this leaching corporation.

    So what are the good points of the BBC? They do have some. They historically have invented the technology, but after 50 years we have paid for it time and time again. They have a good news service, but it has become bias and verging on propaganda currently. They have a talented pool of employees that I feel are ignored as the people at the top are not listening to the talented individuals.

    I am a person that is against any form of monopoly, and the BBC is; due to its licence fee it has a steady income and has no gumption to be anything like competitive. Stop the free and the free loading and we will see the BBC wakeup and become competitive.

    The BBC really needs this step to shake this sleeping dinosaur in to life.

  74. The TV licence is so not worth the money. I hardly ever watch the TV as I tend to watch movies from a streaming service or from my collection of DVDs. The TV licence is far too expensive for the quality of
    content that the BBC are putting out. Most of the licence money goes towards paying the fat cats
    huge pay packets and over exaggerated bonuses. Another question of, the poor being exploited for
    the sake of the rich.

  75. Firstly what law says you need to the pay the TV license.
    Please dont state a act as a law, as we are not actors we are human beings.

    But if we scraped the tv license how will the BBC be able to afford all their cover up cases covering up their pedophiles they have kept covered for so many years!
    Jim sure fixed it for them! half the BBC are involved, the police and news cover it up!

    They all need hanging!

  76. I completely agree with Buzz. We need independent news to keep other news channels on their toes. The alternative is that Rupert Murdock and the likes of powerful advertisers (like banks) will drive news agendas. As we have been hearing recently certain newspapers managed bank stories with advertising revenues in mind!

    I don’t watch ‘Strictly’, ‘The Voice’, etc, but I do know that the BBC’s commercial arm sell the formats of such shows around the world, pumping money back into the BBC so the licence fee can be kept as low as possible.

    The BBC needs to be kept under pressure on costs to ensure efficiency, but I think the creative arm is valuable to our British identity. Without the BBC many classic shows would never have been created – Monty Python would never have existed. Only ‘safe’ programmes are made for commercial TV, except perhaps some Channel 4 output.

    Public service broadcasting hardly needs any justification, it is what it says.

    The big question is – do you want to be able to trust that your news and internet content is free of commercial agendas?

    A smaller question, but equally important in my mind, is what the BBC brand does for UK PLC. I worked for an international charity and discovered that the BBC brand is known and trusted by ordinary people in every corner of the globe. You simply can’t buy that sort of loyalty to Britain, it must have a great impact on how these people feel about the myriad of other products Britain sells to them.

    My view is that the BBC needs to constantly evolve and should be paid for by the public by some kind of licence or other ‘tax’. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater by thinking the BBC is just like Sky, ITV or Netflix whose sole aim is to make money.

    Buzz, maybe I am weird too.

  77. I like watching F1, I like watching films without adverts, I like listening to the BBC radio stations etc, and I also like to hear unbiased news. I had Netflix but ended my subscription to it after I watched all the films I hadn’t seen on regular tv which wasn’t that many. 84 pounds a year for movies I’ve already watched and for films that are dire isn’t money well spent. I think I’ll stick with the Beeb! Added to that I pay 60 pounds a month for Virgin 720 pounds a year, you tell me which is the better value?

  78. It should move with the times and become a subscription service like everything else. BBC have some good shows but not enough to ask for so much money each year.

  79. Why don’t we just call the BBC the organisation of repeats.BBC 2 shows nearly all repeats or tennis ect.
    Even the news time is changed so that the tennis can be completed,even though it is on BBC2 also.
    BBC 1 is now showing even more repeats which is a joke when you see the revenue they receive of the licence fee.Not every one wants sport rammed down there throuts day in day out.I like to watch motor sports which are now mostly on BT sport ect.I pay for Virgin and think it is a ripoff paying the tv licence for repeats.
    I do watch BBC for the likes of countryfile and a few other programes.If they never payed some of the so called stars silly saleries for chat shows then they might have more money to spend on other programes.

  80. The BBC TV licence fee is tantamount to a Mafia-style protection racquet: “Give us the money or we’ll break your legs,” (or in the case of the BBC), “Give us the money or we’ll come round knocking on your door, harrassing you, sending you nasty letters and eventually summoning you to court.” What a load of bullsh*t. I cannot fathom how in today’s age of consumer choice we still have such a despotic and totalitarian scheme in place. What I don’t understand is how the public are continuing to put up with it, (or at least the majority of the public – 200,000 people ended up in court last year after all).

    Yes I own a T.V, but I subscribe to Netflix and Sky. I hardly ever watch BBC programmes live. The only thing I can remember watching in recent months is Wimbledon, and no doubt that’ll be heading out soon enough. And yet I have to cough up £145 for the privilige of contributing toward some overpaid presenters and media executives, not to mention all the BBC ‘luvies’.

    I give the current BBC licence fee another 3 years max. The revolution will be televised (and untaxed)! Wake up BBC, the masses are reaching for their pitchforks and burning torches.

  81. TV License is a rip off, after living in Australia for 30 years…no charge to switch on the tv there…and look at the size of the place..and they have the same standard of programs there…the ABC.

  82. The BBC’s ability to upset all colours of the political spectrum attributes well to its objective of neutrality, yet it still provides access for them to put forward their views,(pre election Question time in Sheffield is only one example where the all parties got both barrels of straight talking discontent from ordinary people, and SKY & there ilk provided what? Well the usual carefully staged, edited political candy floss) .

    Like all human institutions its flawed, can occasionally loose its political balance, would of course benefit from improvement, ( Newsnight a case in point, but lets not forget the innumerable interviews by Paxman & his colleagues who asked questions that have shown up before the nation, the great & the good of all parties, businesses again & again for what they are).

    The BBC it is still highly regarded world wide, it would be a tragedy lose any chance of balance and its reputation by an inappropriate change of funding.

  83. The BBC’s ability to upset all colours of the political spectrum attributes well to its objective of neutrality. It still provides access for them to put forward their views, (pre election Question time in Sheffield is only one example where the all parties got both barrels of straight talking discontent from ordinary people, and SKY & there ilk provided what? Well the usual carefully staged, edited political candy floss) .

    Like all human institutions its flawed, can occasionally loose its political balance, would of course benefit from improvement, ( Newsnight a case in point, but lets not forget the innumerable interviews by Paxman & his colleagues who asked questions that have shown up before the nation, the great & the good of all parties, businesses again & again for what they are).

    The BBC it is still highly regarded world wide, it would be a tragedy lose any chance of balance and its reputation by an inappropriate change of funding.

  84. Had enough of Sky,s 300 + channels & nothing to watch, 1/4hr of adverts for every hour viewing, that caters for the lowest common denominator that attracts the most viewing numbers to satisfies the commercial sponsors, which I pay £840/yr.
    If this is what subscription based TV gives you, then I would take great care in choosing a new fairer way of funding the BBC.

  85. To add to Tony Clark’s comment. ABC in Australia has been government funded since they dropped the licence fee. So it is still paid for by the public through tax.

    The Australian government website says ‘The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is the major national public broadcaster, contributing to and reflecting Australia’s national identity.’

    Maybe the BBC would be better off with an annual grant from government to stop the licence fee issue. The money would still come from us to provide the Australian level of quality.

  86. The BBC’s ability to upset all colours of the political spectrum attributes well to its objective of neutrality, yet it still provides access for them to put forward their views,(pre election Question time in Sheffield is only one example where the all parties got both barrels of straight talking discontent from ordinary people, and SKY & there ilk provided what? Well the usual carefully staged, edited political candy floss) .

    Like all human institutions its flawed, can occasionally loose its political balance, would of course benefit from improvement, ( Newsnight a case in point, but lets not forget the innumerable interviews by Paxman & his colleagues who asked questions that have shown up before the nation, the great & the good of all parties, businesses again & again for what they are).

    The BBC it is still highly regarded world wide, it would be a tragedy lose any chance of balance and its reputation by an inappropriate change of funding.

  87. @paul The BBC has a whole multiplex of DAB channels. They should be at the forefront of moving DAB from micro max mp2 which was obsolete in 2002 and embracing dab+ by using AAC which us even superior to mp3 the bandwidth of the streams would be smaller and either mean better quality or more choice. Instead they keep the status quo which means indie multi ‘s keep it too which is bad for digital radio.

  88. Great discussion, I especially like the point that BBC could be offered as a free option in a Sky or Virgin contract……which are at best around 50 a month, pounds that is. I say we scrap SKY and Virgin from the airways and then the advertisers would be able to get a good return on their investment on ITV 1, 2, 3 and 4,. the portion of the licence fee which goes to ITV and C4 could be removed, yes the licence fee does not only fund the BBC, and regional programming and language e.g. S4C and a the Gaelic channels could be properly funded. Most of the complaints concerning the BBC are a direct result in the influence the Murdoch empire has had on policy, with the spinning off of the Arts arm of the BBC to be adopted by Sky as a “ready made package” channel, the investment for sky was minimal and the expertise was developed by the BBC with very little return, yet again they are now criticised for using “outside contractors” namely SkyArts to provide services. Hypocrisy is great and knocking down institutions is a British habit, however when it is driven by a sanctimonious Australian with American nationality – only for business – who is on record as saying he wants the UK as a Republic, who owns most of the rest of the media and charges minimum 50×12 of our Great British Pounds per year, to front his politics then yep someone has to put the other side of the argument, the BBC can`t, that would be seen as self promotion, what we see now with too many adverts on the BBC for the BBC., ITV and C4 are blissfully unaware that they will be next and, just for info, C5 is Sky so..
    please stop complaining the licence fee is too expensive especially when you pay 600 per year to Sky, sky does not give discounts to the elderly, be thankful you are not in Switzerland, the state TV takes around 500 per year for upto (yes uptp) three channels in your language plus three national radio stations, and if you do not have a TV they take 300 for the radio, and the one in your car counts.

    Please stop knocking the BBC the level of service and the quality of product they provide from the income they receive is pretty damn amazing.

    take home message…. Keep the licence fee… if you think it is too high don’t pay the SKY subscription and maybe there would be less money in footballers pockets and more in your own, and football would be back on FTA TV.

  89. I agree with mark jones
    24 April, 2015 at 13:28
    The TV license as it stands today is one big huge ripoff to the british public as bbc1 one and 2 have both lost all major sporting events to sky and other competitors and nobody listens to crap radio 1 there is no justice in this country to force people to pay a fee of any kind.
    1. scrap the fee
    2. make new channels with adverts instead.

    I too remember the light programme and the Home service, lets just close down the BBC and sell of the assets, in my day we would not have had any of this Hipety Hoperty none sense, I remember when that upstart Franz List his syncopations, we stopped him with our pamphleting and writing to our Whiggs.

    Darn Whippersnapper

  90. The BBC needs a kick up the backside. I wish all the money went to making decent programmes instead of paying ridiculous salaries to presenters and so called celebrities. Paying a £m a year for someone to present a football programme or a daft car programme does not seem to be spending money effectively. Also, joining forces to protect people they shouldn’t.
    Am I correct in thinking the licence fee funds the BBC world service – I am still furious about the BBC world service. Why? Because I was in Ibiza in April (when the French air traffic controllers strike was in full flow) and tuned in to BBC many times a day to see if they would give out any information on an issue that was effecting thousands of Europeans; not a whisper. However, we got endless promotional videos of how good their reporters/journalists were and we did get coverage of Andy Murray’s wedding.
    Get your act together BBC or give us the option to pay and watch.

  91. An interesting and well written article in the main, but I do contest the assertion that the BBC is impartial and politically neutral. The staff at the BBC are generally very left leaning and liberal in their view of the world. This comes about because they mostly recruit their trainee producers and other management from the Oxbridge scene, so essentially their political indoctrination is inbred. In addition they are directly funded by the government, and that essentially means that in spite of their claims to be neutral, the BBC does exercise bias, especially in what gets reported on their news programs, and who gets invited as a panellist on current affairs programs.

  92. I find the vast majority of the BBC output as boring and very repetitive, if you leave the BBC breakfast on whilst eating your breakfast, you normally hear the same reports again before you have even finished eating, it loops round and round then switches to the victoria Derbyshire show which again is the same news over and over, it should be axed as it is not worth the constant repeat news, mixed with rubbish repeats and some boring history, sport or countryside stuff!

  93. A lot of postings along the lines of “I only watch , so why should I pay all that money? I only visit my GP every few years, so why should I pay all that tax for the NHS? I don’t have kids at school so why should I pay for education? I don’t visit certain meseums, so why should they receive a subsidy that I pay for?

    Sometimes its about quality of life, producing things that are not commercially viable, so they are there, whether or not you choose to ‘consume’ them, the BBC is world renowned for its quality and impartiality. Does it make mistakes? yes of course. The alternative is to be so safe that you get ignored.

    BTW often claims of partiality equate to ‘I disagree with what they said’. I figure if half of what they say I agree with and half I don’t then its about right. You can’t please all the people all of the time if you want to stand for something. It’s in commercial broadcasters interests to product programmes that people are willing to pay for in terms of their viewing time, so they don’t really want to rock the boat too much, if they might lose viewers.

    Lets not make a short sighted and short term reaction and lose something we could never recover. As has been noted elsewhere to see a future without the BBC just look at US TV. I shudder to contemplate it.

  94. @Gwyn. From a technical standpoint I wholeheartedly agree. The only problem is that we have all those existing receivers, a lot of which will become obsolete. Wouldn’t the BBC naysayers love that? Its VHS vs Video2000 all over again (Video2000 was a superior double sides video cassette that could record 8 hours with perfect still and slow motion but it took Philips and Grundig too long to get it to market by which time VHS was unassailable)

  95. Here’s the reality of the situation: the majority of the senior people at the BBC want to see the licence gone.

    It’s places a huge restriction on what services the BBC can offer and the organisation’s long term future business model is based on the assumption that it will disappear. When it does, the Beeb will be able to offer subscription services to individuals across the globe, something that their charter precludes at the moment. That’s why you can’t get iPlayer outside the UK (without some jiggery pokery with proxies or VPNs!)

    There’s a common misconception that the BBC is clinging onto the licence fee with both hands, but the truth is very different and projects like myBBC and Redux are examples of the BBC ‘betting the farm’ on having the restriction of the licence fee removed in the not too distant future.

  96. It’s not just about telly – of which the BBC sets the world benchmark. What about all the other services? World, national and local radio. The BBC website with news, entertainment and education (children’s and adult). There is none better. The licence fee is great value for money just to be rid of adverts (you’d save more than £145.50pa simply through not watching the other (commercial) channels. Everthing else is a bonus. Scrap the licence and who would pay for the radio time code service that keeps all my clocks and wristwatch accurate, not to mention my central heating boiler?

  97. I watch Nothing on BBC channels anymore…. waste of money for me. I have all of the streaming services and still dont watch BBC content. Although… what anoys me the most is that the BBC, who we are Forced to pay for, make some good shows in the US that we either never get or get months or more later.

  98. For an all round TV service, NOTHING can touch the BBC’s breadth of programming or value for money, absolutely NOTHING.

    Of course it isn’t perfect, but nothing else is either.
    I am very happy with the BBC arrangements exactly as they are

  99. I’m sick of having this debate framed around the apparant ‘value for money’ argument when pitted against the like of Netflix (which of course carries significant BBC content).

    I’d imagine the average member of the public doesn’t take a great deal of time to consider the wealth of cultural, intellectual and technological output of the publicly funded BBC. They might not be immediately aware of the fundamental importance of public service broadcasting and unbiased (yes, actually unbiased) news output. Unless they’ve spent time in the industry or living abroad, they may not be aware of how incredibly highly regarded the organisation is by pretty much everyone outside of our borders… or of how the constant attack from government on one of our proudest institutions is viewed as utter lunacy.

    In all likelihood, they don’t give much thought to any of it, but they’re bombarded recently with trite articles like this, asserting that ‘we can stream now so why bother paying for TV?’ and encouraging them to think that not watching EastEnders means they shouldn’t have to contribute to the service.
    This dissent is manufactured… by government, and by articles like this.
    Personally, yes – I’d like to see the license fee replaced by tax based funding, if it could be protected; but since articles like this promote the ‘I don’t watch so why should I pay?’ attitude, that seems unlikely to succeed.

    The BBC is so much more than its TV content, even though it has produced and continues to produce some of the best and most highly regarded TV content in the world. The BBC is far from perfect, but it’s one of the few organisations that truly exists for the good of the people.

    If anyone reading this is actually interested in the bigger picture, a good place to start would be to google: ‘Armando Iannucci: We’re all in this together’.

  100. Will I be able to get The Archers on Netflix, or I’m sorry I haven’t a clue or Desert Island Discs or the Proms every year, leave the BBC alone and stop trying to sell it off to Tory friends like the other Nationalised industries

  101. I don’t have a licence. I don’t have a TV. My wife, three children and I often wonder how people find the time to watch. People who are boozers imagine that most others are. In the same way, boxwatchers imagine that most people are. I don’t know anyone who is a boxwatcher. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want the BBC to go. Take radio. All over the world radio is either propaganda or pop music top ten with advertisements. The BBC stands alone in producing comedy, plays and minority-taste programmes. A similar argument could be made for TV. The BBC produces programmes which are informative and not necessarily profitable. The original agenda for the BBC was to inform, educate and entertain. Notice the order.
    Advertisements on BBC is not an option. The absence of ads is one of it’s attractions. I’m inclined to agree that eventually the licence will be replaced by a monthly fee to a carrier.
    By the way, license is the verb and licence is the noun. Hence the Licensing Authority issues Licences.

  102. this TAX called tv license should be scrapped
    and tv licensing company which employs more than 3k people just to collexct the thing should be closed and they should do something positive instead.

    it would be miles cheaper to fund thing through taxation and (what is now) from selling programmes overseas.

  103. I love the BBC and what it does and am happy to pay a fee but it really needs cutting by a third to under £100 as it is a bloated and wasteful organisation. Sending 30+ people abroad to cover events when commercial stations send 3 is just one example.

  104. Put the issue to a referendum. Give the voters all the fors and againsts and let us decide. Should the BBC continued to be funded through the TV License fee or be funded through general taxation like the BBC World Service is or should the BBC be scrapped altogether?

  105. Put the issue to a referendum. Give the voters all the fors and againsts and let us decide. Should the BBC continued to be funded through the TV License fee or be funded through general taxation like the BBC World Service is or should the BBC be scrapped altogether?

  106. Yes I believe the tv licence should be scrapped another tax for the consumer. Always been ripped off by greedy establishment. Gas electricity water rates council tax car tax. These company are getting richer and normal working class people are getting poorer and poorer.

  107. I agree with everyone on here that’s against paying the license fee. TV is for ‘entertainment’ so those who want the BBC should pay a subscription and the bully boys can then stop upsetting everyone else. I mean its morally wrong to send people who don’t agree to being forced or who can’t afford the fee to court. The government has no right allowing this dictatorship and sending everyday folk to court. Certainly college students, unemployed and single parents shouldn’t be threatened.
    As for people on here who think BBC is fantastic value then you probably work for them so YOU pay for it!!!

  108. I wish people would learn that in English licence is spelt with a second c rather than an s. We are not Americans – yet !

  109. But the BBC isn’t neutral. For a start, it has fallen into the hands of people with a rabid anti Evangelical Christian bias.

  110. There is no place for a state enforced tv subscription in any modern free society.

    As for the BBC being ‘Neutral and impartial’, that’s just f’ing hilarious!

  111. But the BBC isn’t neutral. If it allows a genuine evangelical Christian to be heard at all, all media manipulative techniques are employed to take the viewer or listener’s mind away from serious consideration of what the person said.

  112. A couple of points to note from the article.
    1) The streaming services do not offer the same news and current affairs content so anyone wanting this could not get it from a streaming service. This may change in the future but somehow I doubt it (there would probably be too few viewers/advertisers/subscribers to make it commercially viable).
    2) (and probably more importantly) you stress the element of “force” in the license fee. Well I don’t watch ITV as it happens but I have to pay for the advertising on the products I buy. If (say) Persil advertises on ITV it puts this cost into the price of the product. If I buy the product I am paying for that advertising. There is no difference in “force” between someone who pays the license fee and doesn’t watch BBC and someone who pays for advertising on ITV and doesn’t watch ITV. Obviously the same applies to Sky advertising so I probably end up paying for TWO sets of advertising supporting broadcasters who I don’t watch. Just as much “force” in my opinion. Some may say “don’t buy Persil then” but if I don’t watch those broadcasters how do I know what is being advertised and if I switch to another brand they may advertise as well.
    3) Others have, quite rightly, pointed out about the pace of technological change. In almost all cases the BBC has been in forefront of those changes – actually driving them and making them happen. The iPlayer is a classic example. Everyone else followed them. Without the BBC there would be less forward drive to bring about change and commercial organisation may have more interest in keeping things as they are or only developing things they could make money out of.

    I could go on but I think that the license fee IS good value and the BBC is an extremely important part of not just this country’s broadcasting but the world’s. It is also relatively easy to collect and low cost in terms of administration. I could easily go along with the German system provided it was outside political control (e.g. setting the “price” of the levy.

  113. I think its absolutely wrong for it to be forced upon us! How can they force us to pay for something we dont want??? We have no choice. I dont pay for electricity or gas i dont use so why should i pay for the BBC?Its scandalous how much some of their people get paid,millions a year and also how much money they waste!!! BIN IT!

  114. The BBC is full of overpaid directors, managers, supposed stars right down the list and all funded by those who may not even watch the BBC or anyone of their many many TV channels, which the great majority of us probably have never watched or listened to.

    They are a very secretive and devious as plainly seen by the recent fiascos about Jimmy Saville and other sexual offenders. We will never know the full extent of how it was all kept hidden but this obviously stretches further than the BBC itself, so you could say it has helped wean this disgusting culture!

    The BBC needs a complete restructuring of their overpaid staff revamp and slimming down of TV and radio stations that are only used by a small majority.

    Something else that really gets annoys the hell out of me these days with them is their TV scheduling! Have you noticed that there are quite a lot of programs now that don’t get their full run at showing of their episodes? Take for instance the program QI and QI XL are out of sync now. At one time the extended XL version was on in the same week, but now it’s shown a few weeks later. I prefer to see the XL version but watch the normal one just in case they don’t put the XL one on, so when the XL one does appear you have seen most of it… just stupidity and thoughtless.

    Other TV channels are getting better at putting on some really good programs and we don’t pay them anything and I am sure the BBC would still survive if we didn’t pay their ridiculous licence fee.

    If all of the TV companies received something from the licence fee then we would be much happier.

    Gee

  115. TV licensing is basically an arbitrary taxation, which seems to be indiscriminately demanded of all who receive TV broadcasts, irrespective of ability to pay/afford or any other circumstance. This would seem to be unsustainable, in terms of fairness / reasonableness, and probably a few other nesses.

  116. “If the BBC can create an opt-in subscription service it can become a choice for all viewers, remain ad-free and be paid for by the people (not the government as it currently), and thus remain accountable to it’s customers.”

    This WRONG. The licence fee is not paid for by the government – it is paid for by the public – entirely funded through the licence fee. As far as I am concerned it should stay that way with some modification to include users of iPlayer. The licence fee is such good value for money. Far cheaper than any of the subscription services – a bargain.

  117. the license fee is just a cash cow for the government really (like any license) and what the BBC do with their cut beggars belief , sure they make some great programmes but waste a lot of it on jollies scrap it I say and very soon

  118. As a consumer I want to be able to choose to pay for the product I want. If our elected government wants to pay for a broadcasting service out of taxation then they have to make a case for it. A new case for it, as circumstances are not the same as they were in the last century when the license fee was first applied.

  119. In British English, licence is the noun, and license the verb. I have a television licence, but I license my television. My television is licensed through the process of licensing.

  120. In my household we will always switch to the BBC channels first to see what’s on. If there is nothing on the BBC we will check the ITV channels and lastly all the other channels showing repeats of older BBC programs. I keep getting emails and calls from Sky to join their service but why would I want to pay to see adverts with bits of programs in between. We do use Amazon Prime (no adverts) to watch the odd film or series but only when there’s nowt on the BBC to watch.
    I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few foreign country TV offerings and the advert situation is dire. Long live the BBC and if that means we have to pay the License fee (cheaper than most peoples mobile phone bill!) then I’m more than happy.

  121. This is an extortion tax,,why should you pay it,,a person that doesn’t drive does not pay road tax,therefore tv should be made so its not tuned to bbc,therefor if you don’t tune into bbc,you should not pay for it,plain and simple,,it is EXTORTION

  122. As from 1st September 2016 you will need a licence to use iplayer.

    I really object to paying the BBC £145 a year. I now rarely watch any of their channels and am fed up with there non-stop sport coverage. First it was Euro 2016 and now wall-to-wall bloody Olympics !

    They seem to think( as they always have ) that they know best when clearly they don’t.

    Their bias against Brexit was appaling and continues still. Any bad news post-Brexit they can rake up is given prime coverage. Impartial – I don’t think so !

    The BBC is full of overpaid left wing liberals and always has been. Time they were made to live in the real economic world and time we stopped spoon feeding them money.

  123. Where do we start with this subject? The fact that people think that they can trust the BBC for unbiased news just shows how well the likes of Eastenders, and other distractions work!

    The BBC is first and foremost a means of broadcasting propaganda, both in the UK and abroad.

    First we were told that the BBC budget had to be cut by £150 million.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34851369

    with useful services such as the Red Button channel likely to be axed.

    Then we are told that the BBC is to be given “an extra £85 million a year in enhancing BBC services around the world including in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34902244

    There was a time many years ago when many countries did not have their own public broadcasters, when it was probably justifiable to use some of the licence fee money to provide basic services to them. But to cut the services to those who pay the licence fee, and then announce extra money to fund services to those in other countries who don’t pay the licence fee, makes it quite clear that the real reason for the BBC is as a broadcaster of propaganda. If we lived in a real democracy, paying the licence fee would be voluntary, not compulsory.

  124. Murdoch has been after commercialisation of the BBC for ages. Don’t let him have his way, we will only lose more of our right to balanced reporting.

  125. The statement that “BBC has become our trusted voice. Neutral and impartial” is an absolute joke, it is and always has been the establishment propaganda corporation,
    it’s had it’s time and needs to go

  126. Time and time again this question is asked, and time and time again there are arguments in favour or against.

    In an age where online media is more popular than terrestrial, cable or satellite television, like it or not the BBC is stuck in a dying format.
    It has tried to make strides by making BBC 3 online only, but this is pandering to a small percentage of a base, whose demographic would show more enthusiasm for online entertainment outside of the BBC’S limited scope.

    So, with all that being said, my simple answer to the question is this.

    If you truly, truly believe that the BBC is worth the amount of the license fee, then put your money where your mouth is and make it subscription, if only for a few months.
    Let’s see how it stacks up on a level playing field, against online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    I think we all know what the answer to that is going to be.

  127. The statement about the BBC must have been written by the BBC as it has no truthful basis.
    The people who have control of the BBC are political and seek to ensure that their views are imparted in every aspect of the reporting. The news was at one time the envy of the world now as many other institutions they impart lies and mistruths if indeed they report the actual news at all. No where will you see an unbiased report on the current migration crisis especially in Europe where rape and murder by migrants is becoming the norm.
    The BBC should not have access to our money. They should support themselves like all the other TV companies have to, that is the only way fat cat salaries and “jobs for the boys” will be stifled and ludicrous wages to stars????? will be curbed

  128. The TV licence is pretty much a joke, the BBC USED to be an impartial service often praised for its controversial and unbiased news service around the globe but more recently its become nothing more than a propaganda arm for the government of the day as we saw with the outright lies leading up to the second invasion of Iraq and its reporting on what goes on in Israel and Palestine.

    In Ireland they have now (I believe) made it a compulsory tax on owning a TV or internet connection where even if you never watch or listen to a single BBC service you STILL have to pay it merely for owning any device that can access the internet

    This is ridiculous, it would be like sky charging you for porn, sports and movies even if you only watched the basic TV channels claiming that “its there, so you should pay for it even if you don’t watch it and don’t want to watch it” or the phone companies charging you for premium rate numbers even if you never call them merely because you “could” call them

    The easiest solution and one that could be accomplished in just a year or two would be to make it a subscription service, but I suspect they avoid doing that because they know that once it doesn’t have the strong arm extortion tactics few people would actively choose to pay for it without them improving their content in line with services like Netflix

    To add insult to injury, the BBC is available in various other countries too, most of which get it for far less than we pay in the UK as well as getting extra content and some on demand items that we don’t even have access to in the UK. So once again the UK is being ripped off and is subsidising people elsewhere whilst we are paying over the odds for a substandard service

    But this does show that nothing like 10-15 years would be needed at all as the BBC ALREADY operates a subscription service in many countries

    And although they often blather on about it being “commercial free” its not, the amount of adverts for other BBC shows and services can sometimes last as long as commercial adverts on other stations anyway. So they could also introduce some advert based content rather than a subscription service without much change anyway or a hybrid approach with a lower subscription topped up by a lower amounts of adverts

    So the question is why haven’t they?

    I think this is a mixture of several reasons, why voluntarily go self supporting when you can have a state mandated income, especially when theres a chance it could be turned into effectively an “internet tax” that anyone with a smart phone or broadband connection could then be forced to pay even if they NEVER use any BBC services?

    From the governments point of view, I think the sabre rattling about scrapping the licence is just a threat, one they have used many times before when the BBC has strayed from its role as the propaganda wing of the government and has done some ACTUAL balanced or unbiased reporting or has exposed fraudulent, illegal or anti voter actions of the government of the day. But the moment they have ceased doing so after the threat was made we hear nothing about it again other than passing comments most probably designed to act as a reminder to keep the BBC on track with its propagandist role

    The BBC like any other information service should be allowed to die or thrive out in the market place and the proposals to change it into an “internet tax” even if you never access ANY of its services should be binned like the socialist idea that it represents

    Then let the customers themselves decide if they think its worth paying for

  129. The BBC used to pride its self on no advertising but now in between programs they spend ages promoting there own up and coming programs and schedule plus many other things. Then you can go through many other channels and watch old and new BBC programs and In between these programms they have advertising so not only are they making a killing on license fee they are also making a killing on selling to terrestrial channels so how much more money do they want from us watching all there old repeats on there own channel and other satellite channels. The BBC should be subscription or completely free so they can sell there programms to terrestrial channels. We have to stop lining the pockets of the fat cats

  130. Contrary to left-wing opinion, the BBC is not a sacred cow in the UK despite its weary noisy attempts at sympathy-mooing whenever it feels challenged.
    The BBC is very plainly a highly partisan media employing the average socialist worker mentality across the board.
    Any claims of “impartial reporting” must surely be one of the funniest nonsensical claims by this arrogant self-serving Guardian-style corporation.
    I cannot recall the last time I deliberately viewed ANY of the BBC Channels – Parliament Channel is good for the sleeplessness sufferers – guaranteed to resolve any insomnia !
    The TV Licence is like any other TAXATION – enforced government daylight robbery ( theft with threats is robbery by definition ).
    The debate must not be permitted to revolve around whether the “Government Pays the BBC”
    or the “British Public Pays the BBC” – the money involved in BOTH is British Taxpayer cash – the Government does not have nor does it create “Cash of its own” !!
    The debate must now be whether the BBC continues to be lavishly publicly funded, or be made to fund itself as any other service provider without recourse to the Public-Purse.
    My vote is to kill off the archane outdated and immoral TV Licence TAX and not simply replace it by another tax under a different fraudulent disguise.

  131. This is 200% legally right. It has gone to Court and TV guys lost on Human Rights aspect and on the FACT that if you don’t watch TV via your BBC aerial ( you watch through Sky Dish ), you don’t need a TV license. Fact and legal. If you do receive through BBC aerial, sorry, you will need one.

  132. Some don’t realise that a tv license is not just to watch the BBC, it is to watch ANY live tv.
    I’m against the license so much I don’t even have a coaxial cable for my tv.

    Telco line rental also comes into the ridiculous things I refuse to pay for.

  133. soon as u said the BBC was impartial i gave up reading.
    The BBC is anti british.Yet we are the idiots who are FORCED by law to pay for it.
    So YES down with the BBC.
    If anyone wants the BBC then fine – Let them pay for it – I DO NOT WANT IT,so why should i pay for a service i dont want.There would be Uproar if SKYTV tried to tax everyone just because they could recieve the service.

  134. Dont watch the shite anyway PlusNever Going to Pay for a T.V Licence in a Democracy……Over my Dead Body…nuff said

  135. The BBC license is what it is: A tax on a TV that funds political opinions which I don’t agree with. It should now be funded only by private subscription.

  136. Sick to death of the Olympics rammed down my throat morning noon and night. Even the first half of the news is about it. Why have a BBC news channel and just show the same as breakfast of a morning.
    Why is BBC 4 on at one o’clock for the Olympics but at seven o’clock normally.
    The rest of the rubbish is repeats. God help the world if we missed east enders I don’t think.
    Perhaps if they paid presenters less and they worked more than a couple of days a week.
    The whole thing is a joke at our expense.

  137. Hi,
    we tried Netflix as our son kept on asking… rubbish. There really wasn’t that much choice. A few up to date films, a couple of passable Netflix own series…
    Cancelled it…
    BBC cheap as chips when you work it out and some amazing, groundbreaking series as well as “gentle” stuff for those how like Bake-off etc, and drama’s and soaps.
    Finally, I really think if it was all switched to advertising you’d end up with American TV where the adverts literally last longer than the TV “interval”.
    Keep it – it’s great!

  138. not many people know that since the last election the conservatives have installed a director of content at the bbc news rendering the imaprtiality argument dead. the bias in reporting is becoming hilarious. just look at the spin on the recent story of jeremy corbyn sitting on the floor a crowded train, being framed as a publicity stunt and debunked by non other than virgin trains (its not as if they have anything to lose if he were to succeed in renationalising the railways?) we now are supposed to pay for state sponsored propoganda. I can’t believe how few people have cottoned in to this but I guess it just goes to show the power of propaganda.

  139. It absolutely should NOT be scrapped! I watch the BBC about 50% of the time I’m in front of the box, and I really love the lack of adverts.
    Anyone who has spent any time in the USA will appreciate what we have – their TV news is staggeringly biased – for the person who said the BBC is “Guardian” news, well US news is “Daily Mail” – not worth the paper is isn’t printed on! Ours would go the same way without the BBC.
    I have stopped watching some US TV programmes over there because the adverts were so often, intrusive, and long compared to the programme itself that it was unwatchable. US TV industry is all about making money and not about actually providing a service to their viewers.
    And as for subscribing to channels that also have adverts (Sky, I’m looking at you) how stupid do you think we are?
    The BBC is precious, and we really need to keep it, in its current form.

  140. Neutral and impartial? You’ve got to be joking, the BBC has become nothing but the mouth piece for the corrupt westminster government.

  141. Regarding the new restriction for watching BBC programmes on their IPlayer, can anyone state what new legislation has been introduced and approved to govern an extortionate fine of £1,000 if an offender, caught watching in this manner, should appear at a magistrates’ court ? The magistrates would need to know such legislation and could not act in a successful prosecution in the absence of valid legislation. It cannot be simply the BBC themselves as they are clearly not a law-making body. I did ask of the Licensing Authority, much the same question, but an answer to this was adroitly sidestepped. Two things come to mind here. To avoid the necessity for the (unrealistic and possibly implausible) quest by modern electronic means to discover which households may be viewing the IPlayer on computer or similar device, surely an easy answer would have been to create a password entry on IPlayer itself, which would be the reference number of a viewer’s current licence. Viola ! So that anyone not licensed for viewing would not be able to access this extra feature. And any supposed increase in personnel for the ‘witch-hunt’ activity by the BBC, might be averted thus saving riches to be ploughed into greater and more meaningful viewing. The second thing to be remarked upon is that in the absence of a proper piece of legislation to govern this draconian approach, the BBC has resorted to ‘scare tactics’ which should be roundly challenged as soon as possible. I think most responsible people would agree that the BBC franchise is an anachronism and has outlived its usefulness in the face of multiple channels all financed by their advertising. How long must we wait whilst wet politicians refuse to act ?

  142. Regarding the new restriction for watching BBC programmes on their IPlayer, can anyone state what new legislation has been introduced and approved to govern an extortionate fine of £1,000 if an offender, caught watching in this manner, should appear at a magistrates’ court ? The magistrates would need to know such legislation and could not act in a successful prosecution in the absence of valid legislation. It cannot be simply the BBC themselves as they are clearly not a law-making body. I did ask of the Licensing Authority, much the same question, but an answer to this was adroitly sidestepped. Two things come to mind here. To avoid the necessity for the (unrealistic and possibly implausible ) quest by modern electronic means to discover which households may be viewing the IPlayer on computer or similar device, surely an easy answer would have been to create a password entry on IPlayer itself, which would be the reference number of a viewer’s current licence. Viola ! So that anyone not licensed for viewing would not be able to access this extra feature. And any supposed increase in personnel for the ‘witch-hunt’ activity by the BBC, might be averted thus saving riches to be ploughed into greater and more meaningful viewing. The second thing to be remarked upon is that in the absence of a proper piece of legislation to govern this draconian approach, the BBC has resorted to ‘scare tactics’ which should be roundly challenged as soon as possible. I think most responsible people would agree that the BBC franchise is an anachronism and has outlived its usefulness in the face of multiple channels all financed by their advertising. How long must we wait whilst wet politicians refuse to act ?

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  144. I don’t like all the reality stuff the bbc has and am not interested but still this is not the reason I don’t pay my tv free. I only watch Netflix and my own bought blu ray collection. id like to buy and watch sky movies, sky one and some other virgin channels but I cant as this would give me the channels covered by the tv lievcience, even if I don’t watch them.
    the reasons I have issue with the bbc liecience fee is.

    1)you can have a free liecience when your 75(really why not at relirement, could it bee greed)
    2) 5 people live in a sahred halls of residence flat yet if they all have a tv in their rooms they all have to pay a liecience fee. these are students on low income what greed.
    3)years and years of lies about you need a liecience if you own a tv.
    4)years and years of threats to hundreds of thousands of law abiding sitizans. Serious harassment yet they never got done for it.

    its time to go subscription based if only so I can choose sky or other services freeliy but also its just time.

  145. Well this has to be one of the most misinformed articles I’ve read so far! 1) you do not need a tv licence if you own a tv/electrical device that has the ability to show/stream live tv. And most importantly he BBC is and has been one of the most morally corrupt, biased pile of garbage that has ever been shown on any medium. The programs it produces are beyond awful the news is far left wing propergander speed lies upon lies for the agenda of its own left wing loonie owners and its political backing. We are being forced to pay for this junk because they make it nigh impossible to avoid it. It’s only if late that it’s become a bit more common knowledge that you don’t have to have it and now with catch up TV (excluding BBC iplayer) you don’t need it!

    I have had many a disagreement with idiots over the years about how the BBC supplies content that people want to watch and surveys showing that they are well out in front in watched to shows… I say this then if that is true, scrap the the licence and give us the choice to choose what we pay for! Why have they recently decided NOT to change the law to make it a civil matter not a criminal one, because the BBC would become bankrupt over night, the powers that be would loose their main avenue of brain washing the weak minded idiots who pay for the pleasure! Why have they not decided to go the route of adverts? Why not allow an opt out and for people to choose the likes of Netflix, amazon and the many other cheaper and better tv media out their! Again because the BBC and all the left wing luvvies would find them selves out on the street!

  146. BBC..
    Get shot of the dirty swine’s.
    Saville and co.
    How dare they threaten us if we don’t pay.
    They should be in prison themselves!.

  147. It’s about time it was scrapped.
    Considering the high salaries paid to BBC presenters etc it’s about time to get rid of the licence fee.

  148. I’m with freewill and freedom of choice, BBC TV licence is from a bygone era and should be scrapped. I have been saying this since the late 80’s when our choice of TV changed.

    If they won’t scrap it, then make all TV channels, however broadcast free and share out the TV licence money to all the broadcasters…we know this won’t happen. So we are stuck in a world of dictatorship, where we must have a TV licence.

    SCRAP THE TV LICENCE

  149. Perhaps the answer to this debate is that the BBC should continue its news services for which those that require these services could pay a much reduced fee, and then hive off those parts of it that make the programs to a commercial operation that pays the commercial producers who already produce many of the programs that currently appear on the BBC to a subscription service. Provided the BBC News could could be funded economically, and the hived of remainder of what was the BBC, because it sells so many of its other programs to other providers could be perhaps much less than the sum of the News BBC channel charge and that of the new subscription SuperBBC charge.

  150. Yes please yes, take down the silly TV Licence. I am one of the people that find TV (not the actual TV device or monitor but the content transmitted via the TV cable/antenna) a fully mind retarding process where only silly and stupid things are being broadcast-ed. YouTube offers anything you need such as how to use a software, how to build something and not silly scandals where idiots are screaming at TV like animals.

    Even in the forest I would find more interesting and educational stuff than whats being shown on TV. TV sucks nowadays. Even kids know what is YouTube and don’t scream for TV anymore.

    So please take down the non sense TV Licence thing. Its useless and expensive.

  151. A lot of money just for the b.b.c to pay the top people who run it more money as it don’t get put into new things on t.v and they like wasting a lot of money with the euro vision song contest as we all know the other country’s never vote for us so scrap it let them do what i.t.v and the rest do

  152. Now we have gone digital why don’t the BBC go subscription and scramble the channel so
    if you want to watch the out dated BBC pay for it

  153. The BBC is such a whore. Remember too that the BBC receives huge funding by the EU – so, naturally, the BBC favours all things EU, and proves it’s ‘bias’ through the many hit-pieces on Brexit – where the sky will undoubtedly fall in when we leave the EU. But we are leaving the EU only in name; it’s Brexit without the exit – but that’s another discussion. The BBC wastes so much money: So many snouts in the trough – with some even so greedy they have their front trotters right in there too. So many people with ‘fake’ overpaid jobs that there needs to be a clampdown on this abuse of TV License Fee payers money – it’s simply not acceptable. Not only that, the BBC is infested with ‘graduates’ from a political ‘charity’ called Common Purpose. This insidious organisation infiltrates and destroys from within – then takes it over. Common Purpose is present in the NHS; look at the mess the NHS is in. Common purpose is RAMPANT in the Police service; look at the mess the police service is in. Even Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick has attended Common Purpose Courses. CP is everywhere from local authorities and councils to the judiciary (it seems), destroying everything it infects. CP is often called the ‘new Freemasons’ – or Freemasons 2.0. How does Common Purpose keep its charitable status?….Well, it seems The Charities Commission is infested with Common Purpose ‘graduates’ too. But back to the BBC and TV license: The BBC used to be a really good organisation back in the 70’s, and even pretty ethical, but now it knows no shame. What a disgusting transformation as each day the BBC breaks the Royal Charter in which it was founded. I hear people say: ‘if the country ever needed an enema, the pipe should be shoved right into broadcasting house. It’s not the money, it’s the principle of being forced to pay for something one doesn’t want – and if one doesn’t pay up, the ‘gang’ gets sent around make threats (accompanied by the police acting as corporate enforcers). The BBC is so out of date and is no longer fit for purpose. It does highly suspicious things which appear to be driven by the government: ‘BBC Media Action’ has been repeatedly found interfering with the internal affairs of foreign countries – then deleting content from the web when they’ve been outed for lying and misleading the public. So much for independence and impartiality. The BBC has been proven to tell lies so often its embarrassing – but the BBC knows no shame as it continues to pumps out so much fear, lies, fake news and propaganda to a public who knows exactly what the BBC are. But the BBC arrogant; they think everybody adores them – but they’re anaesthetised by the smoke they blow up their own backside about their so called ‘impartiality’, ‘honesty’, and that they would ‘never intentionally mislead the public’. The hypocrisy is palpable. It’s not the money, it’s the principle. Some people just don’t want to have anything to do with the BBC; it will never lose its stigma of having employed and protected major paedophiles. I could not live with my conscience knowing that paying the TV License shows acceptance and support of this disgusting organisation. The BBC should be forced to become a pay-for-view service so that those who don’t want it can opt-out. But how else would the government get its propaganda into the homes of the public?

  154. I agree with lots of the Comments

    if the bbc/Gov were not in the 1960,s
    and moved with the times of the computer age
    they would of give people a choice to pick subscription service for the bbc licence

  155. No other country has to pay a licence fee to watch BBC it’s disgusting we have paid enough. Having paid for the TVs Licence for sixty seven years enough is enough most of your programs are repeats or rubbish all EU countries can watch for free are you going to try and make them pay I would like to see you try. We are seventy six and seventy two and would rather move to Spain than pay another penny for your rubbish. It’s time you did the same as all the other TV channels and put adverts on instead of penalising pensioners on low incomes.

  156. You should be able, with today’s technology, to opt out of watching BBC programs if you wish. That should be a logical answer for many objectors to the license fee.
    As only a 62 year old, while I am sick of all the cookery based shows and Strictly etc, I do watch the BBC and Sky but constant adverts drive me insane and are a substantial waste of the rest of my life. PLEASE no advertising on the Beeb, though product placement is not quite so bad.
    Maybe free tv licences should be means tested for pensioners?
    As should bus passes etc, if the Government REALLY needs to penny pinch, as it seems they do, as currently the country only survives on charity as it is!

  157. Like many other older users I don’t watch a lot of TV programmes I mainly use my tv just to watch DVDs but still have to pay £150.50 for a tv Licence for BBC programmes I rarely ever watch.
    I agree TV licences should be scrapped or means tested for users like myself. I’m fed up being made to pay out this money for a service I hardly ever use.
    Steven Whittle aged 67

  158. These retards going around begging people for tv licence I feel sorry for these bastrds bbc is all fake news why do we have to pay when we pay sky if we watch stuff on our mobiles we pay for it fuck these bastrds….This like legal extortion WAKE UP PEOPLE lets have a voice against this bullsht we need to have a protest against this instead of just sitting and chatting we are being rubbed decades ago it made sense to have tv licence because we only had four channels to watch….But when sky and other private companies took over it fund them up hard hardly anyone watches these four bullshit channels they are just making people into fools they tried slapping poll tax on us but people protested it got stopped we need to do the same thing for these retards Wake Up!!!!!!

  159. all bbc needs to do is people that don’t pay licence stop all their services to them but they rather use the legal extortion way because nobody will pay them….I’m so happy sky and other private companies f them up bunch of bullies ..rubbing people for nothing

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