Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Sunday Express: End of the TV Licence


"End of the TV Licence" is the eye catching headline on the front of tomorrow's Sunday Express.

It appears that 50 backbench Conservative MPs, led by Andrew Bridgen, are calling for the £145.50 TV licence fee to be scrapped and replaced by a voluntary subscription model.

In a letter to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, Mr Bridgen is quoted as saying: "(The TV licence) is increasingly becoming unsustainable and out of keeping with the modern media environment".

Mr Bridgen added that "it is one of the most regressive taxes in the UK today".

Andrew Allison, of the Freedom Association’s Axe The Tax campaign, said: "The BBC should move to a subscription model as soon as is practicable.

"It is the only way forward and the ­corporation should realise this. The sheer pace of technological change will render the licence fee redundant. It is a matter of when the fee goes, not if."

At the moment, regardless of how seedy its scandal or woeful its output, the BBC is handed £3.6 billion of licence fee revenue on a silver plate. The licence fee stems back to an era when the BBC was the only broadcaster. In the 21st century, with hundreds of rival broadcasters sharing the airwaves, it is obscene that every TV viewer is legally compelled to fund the frivolous spending habits and corrupt practices of the BBC.

The TV Licensing Blog would actively encourage a move towards such a voluntary subscription model. It is only right that the BBC should live or die on its own commercial merits, the same as every other broadcaster.

If the BBC produces quality content, then people will be willing to pay for it. If it continues to cover up scandal, report biased news and reheat archive content, the audience will turn elsewhere and the BBC deserves to die.

Make no mistake that the BBC would fight tooth and nail to retain the TV licence fee, as it provides a guaranteed annual cash injection for very little effort. We can expect champagne-quaffing BBC executives to extol the virtues of retaining the licence fee over coming days. No doubt they'll recite well-rehearsed horror stories about the collapse of obscure BBC radio stations that virtually no-one ever listens to. How, pray tell, could the nation ever survive without BBC local radio to provide round-the-clock traffic updates and programmes about gardening? Very easily is the answer.

The BBC has already issued the following statement in response to the article: "At just £2.80 a week the BBC Licence Fee is excellent value for money - only this weekend newspapers have been reporting the rising costs of subscription services. It's vital that programmes like EastEnders, Strictly, Sherlock, Doctor Who and Match of the Day can been watched by everyone - not a select few; and support for the Licence Fee has actually risen by 22% since 2004 and remains the most popular way of funding the BBC."

Remember that for the equivalent of the licence fee you can subscribe to both Netflix and Amazon Prime, neither of which legally requires a TV licence. More information in our earlier post.

3 comments:

TheKnightsShield said...

"At just £2.80 a week the BBC Licence Fee is excellent value for money - only this weekend newspapers have been reporting the rising costs of subscription services. It's vital that programmes like EastEnders, Strictly, Sherlock, Doctor Who and Match of the Day can been watched by everyone - not a select few..."

First off, a £9.99 new release dvd from HMV is great value for money when Tesco might have the same film priced at £10.99, but at least we can CHOOSE which one we buy. Also, you could buy the new release dvd from HMV and only have to pay £9.99 for it, where as the BBC will charge you £2.80 A WEEK just to watch maybe one or two programmes. How is that considered "excellent value for money"?! Isn't "value for money" supposed to imply that there is a CHOICE?!

Secondly, PLEASE explain why it is "vital" that EVERYONE can watch a few specific programmes?! I don't HAVE TO watch anything I don't want to, thank you very much!! The BBC are full of single-minded people these days!!

WHEN the TV licence is abolished, we'll see just how much people like watching the BBC's output. You can bet that they'll keep spending 6 figure sums on leaving execs and still send 3-4 times as many reporters to special events as any other broadcaster. If so, I truly hope the BBC dies a quick death!! If what the BBC produce is such "excellent value for money", try giving people the choice to show their support instead of holding a gun to their head while demanding money.

Sorry for such a heated response, but it had to be said. :(

Good luck to those 50 backbenchers and Mr. Bridgen, I hope you are joined by many more soon. :)

Anonymous said...

£2.80 buys a loaf of bread and a fair portion of the sandwich making ingredients we use to make our packed lunches for the week - that to me is vital, not watching soap operas and sport.

I have always felt that the BBC should provide one radio station providing national and international news - that to me should be the main focus of a national broadcaster. One single outlet for essential broadcasts and news - that's it. Soap operas are not a public service - private enterprises can provide them.

I'm going to email my MP and ask that he support Mr. Bridgen in his very sensible proposal.

Fred Bear said...

With today's technology, it shouldn't be difficult for the BBC to develop ways of supporting itself by voluntary payment methods. Not just a monthly subscription, but pay per view, Pay As You Go etc. They could package their output with Sky or Cable TV providers.

The problem is that the present system is a very comfortable one for the BBC management - they have a more or less guaranteed income for several years ahead and only have to decide how to spend the money.

One thing I am sure about is that people should not be forced into paying for the BBC if they don't watch it.