#3943932, By mrblackett Russell Brand is the future of telly

  • mrblackett 28 Oct 2008 14:52:43 855 posts
    Seen 4 months ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Articulate-Troll wrote:
    mrblackett wrote:

    If the BBC didn't spend what they do on expensive DJs, commercial stations would get them and the Beeb would be left with the shite. Do you want the best possible public broadcasting or a pale imitation?

    I don't want to de-rail the thread but the notion that we need the licence fee to get the highest quality programming is flawed for a couple for reasons: firstly, why should only a TV broadcaster benefit from licence fees? Why not have a licensed version of the internet (which many people now use more), or licensed newspapers?

    Secondly, if the quality of the BBC is so well respected surely people will continue to watch it regardless of either advertising or a subscription charge? France abolished the licence fee on their major TV station, and that still maintained its respect and reputation. Frankly, a lot of what the BBC does is no where near as cutting edge, or innovative as you would expect from a broadcaster that doesn't have to rely on ratings to operate - shite like Catherine Tate proves this. It's not like the BBC would have to stop making decent programmes in order to function; channel 4 manages plenty of decent documentaries, and many of them are a lot more challenging than equivalent BBC documentaries.

    I'm not disagreeing with you. It is increasingly difficult to defend the license fee when the top programmes are Strictly Come Dancing and Eastenders. You're probably right that the BBC quality probably wouldn't suffer but I still think it's important to have a public broadcaster that is funded this way.

    Planet Earth would never have been made were it not for the BBC's funding. Commercial stations want content made and broadcast as quickly and as cheaply as possible. A documentary series that took five years would be completely out of the question.

    Lets say the license fee is abolished and the BBC is forced to fund itself. What happens if it just devolves into ITV, churning out piss-poor sitcom after reality TV show after X Factor rip-off and nothing with the scope and ambition of Planet Earth is made again? We won't be able to back and we'll have lost one of the truly great British institutions. One that's recognised and respected around the world. It's not a risk I'd go for.
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