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Discussion Starter #1
I've sent the following to the Director-General of the BBC and to my MP (who will, if he notices I've called for his de-selection, probably bin it :D ).


I may say right away that I do not wish to see the demise of the BBC but I do feel that its costings require to be brought under control - by Government intervention and senior appointment if necessary.

TV licences for the over-75s have been free since November 2000 but now, the BBC has decided to make over 75s pay.
By doing so they are giving themselves a huge unearned revenue increase.

Let's look at a few figures to the nearest million:

In 2000 the population of the UK was: 59m with 4.6m over 75
In 2015 the population of the UK was: 65m with 5.4m over 75
In 2025 it is forecast to be: 69m with 5.9m over 75

So, before 2000, a total population of 59m/(household size) was paying for a TV licence.
In 2015 an under 75 population of 60m‬/(household size) was paying for a TV licence.
In 2025 an under 75 population of 63m‬/(household size) will be paying for a TV licence.

Clearly, even with the over 75s excluded from paying, the number of households contributing to this tax is steadily rising.
No matter how many viewers, the cost of making a program remains the same.

Turning to costs:

SALARIES (I removed most of this from the DG's copy, pointing out that he knew already)

Let's remember that the BBC is a Publically Owned, State Funded Broadcaster, not dependent upon ratings for advertisement revenue yet it pays eye-watering sums to several employees.

Presenters etc: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-44792074

Gary Lineker - £1,750,000-£1,759,999
Chris Evans - £1,660,000-£1,669,999
Graham Norton - £600,000-£609,999
Steve Wright - £550,000-£559,999
Huw Edwards - £520,000-£529,999
Jeremy Vine - £440,000-£449,999
Nicky Campbell - £410,000-£419,999
Alan Shearer - £410,000-£419,999
Nick Grimshaw - £400,000-£409,999
John Humphrys - £400,000-£409,999
Andrew Marr - £400,000-£409,999
Stephen Nolan - £400,000-£409,999
Claudia Winkleman - £370,000-£379,999
Simon Mayo - £340,000-£349,999
Vanessa Feltz - £330,000-£339,999
Eddie Mair - £330,000-£339,999
Ken Bruce - £300,000-£309,999
George Alagiah - £290,000-£299,999
Scott Mills - £280,000-£289,999
Jason Mohammad - £260,000-£269,999
Nick Robinson - £250,000-£259,999
Evan Davis - £250,000-£259,000

The rest of the list:

£230,000-£239,999
Nick Knowles
Lauren Laverne
Gabby Logan
Jon Sopel

£220,000-£229,999
Mark Chapman
Mishal Husain
Laura Kuenssberg
Emily Maitlis
Dan Walker

£210,000-£219,999
Victoria Derbyshire

£200,000-£209,999
Jeremy Bowen
Martha Kearney
Amol Rajan
Sophie Raworth

£190,000-£199,999
Sue Barker
Mary Berry
John McEnroe
Mark Radcliffe

£180,000-£189,999
Jonathan Agnew
Clare Balding
Fiona Bruce

£170,000-£179,999
Katya Adler
Mark Easton
Greg James
Shaun Keaveny
James Naughtie
Jo Whiley
Ian Wright

£160,000-£169,999
Kamal Ahmed
Sarah Montague
John Simpson
Moira Stuart
Justin Webb

£150,000-£159,999 About what a TOP BA CAPTAIN IS PAID but BOTTOM of the BBC list.
Ben Brown
Rachel Burden
Tina Daheley
Jane Garvey
Simon Jack
Fergal Keane
Trevor Nelson
John Pienaar
Sarah Smith

Executive staff: https://www.bbc.com/aboutthebbc/whoweare/staff#b
+ expenses & pension.

Director-General - £450,000
Deputy Director-General - £435,000
BBC Group Commercial Director - £316,000+
Director, News and Current Affairs - £340,000

PRODUCTION

I fear that there will never be enough money for those who have an almost bottomless public purse at their disposal and can indulge their egos as they make programmes to satisfy their own grandiose artistic schemes.

STATIONS and CHANNELS

The BBC has at least 7 TV channels and 56 radio stations.
Are they ALL really necessary?

So, how does the BBC justify awarding itself a huge unearned revenue increase?
 

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As an immigrant always in need of hearing what was happening across the sea I used to subscribe on cable for the BBC's North American channel and was generally very disappointed.

I now pay the equivalent of three pounds a month to get Al Jezeera English Service (where money seems no object (Qatari?) and the news coverage is very good and enounciated by broadcasters who speak the posh BBC English of my youth. Yes, I am still a bit of a snob and remember how I thought Wilfred Pickles reading the BBC News was a bit infra dig

If you can live without the BBC I strongly suggest you subscribe to Al Jazeera.

Nick
 

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Brilliant Basil.
Of course at 87 I have no intention of paying and wait with interest to see what will happen. Perhaps they will chuck me in clink which will be an experience but not much different, I suspect, from being 80 odd days at sea off the Falklands with the additional risk of being bombed or shot at.
 

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Just to point out...

The government used to pay for these free TV Licences. It now requires the BBC to find the money, thereby reducing its income.
 

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Perhaps they could desist from sending Carol Kirkwood and others, their camera crews all over the British Isles to read the weather forecast, thus saving on camera crew costs, travel, hotel and sustenance costs, they probably spend more than a £154 on one lunch. It may not sound a lot but it equates to my annual pension rise, which has just paid for the increase in my Council Tax.

Why do we have to have two outsider news broadcasters speaking to and asking each other questions standing in the same street, do they think we are that bluddy stupid we cannot understand just one

Ah! well! that's enough going for a drink and some rock n roll, salsa and American smooth and listen to a wonderful singer
 

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I still pay the TV licence fee, and will just continue to pay it when the time comes. It doesn't bother me at all, because in this day and age the gain I would have by not paying it would barely be noticeable anyway.
As for foreign stations, even R T has well spoken articulate presenters on it's English service. Doesn't stop them broadcasting a load of poo though.
 

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£3 a week.whats that a cup of coffee,1/3 packet of cigs..does not seem a bad price to pay.just give the licence free to those that need it ,same asn the bus pass.Eddie
 

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It’s time viewers were given a choice. It’s not beyond the technology for the BBC to sell its service just the same as Sky.
In this day in age of free choice why do we have to pay to the BBC for a license and then pay to SKY to watch their programs.
The provision of a set top box that allows you to watch only BBC channels could solve the problem and could be used similarly to the SKY box.
Viewers are then given a chance to choose the broadcaster they want to watch and pay accordingly.
Of course it won’t happen when the gravy train provides all those overpaid presenters with such high salaries.
Lord Hall thinks you need to pay high salaries to get the best presenters. Bet you you could get people prepared to provide the same service for a lot less.
If those working for the BBC took a fifty percent payout it would go a long way to funding the over 75’s.
If those working now did not like the cut then let them leave.
Davie
 

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Personally, I value the BBC and although it has it's faults, in general it is worth the licence fee. I was happy when the Labour government of the time introduced the free licence for 75 year olds, less so when the present bunch of austerity mongers told the Beeb they would have to finance it themselves.
So, it is what it is, and we will just have to stump up.
 

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At least with the licence fee we don't have to watch the never ending adverts that show on other channels. Some, if not all commercial channels show 3x6 minutes of adverts every hour. Include station IDs and that makes 1/3 of airtime going to advertising. The BBC iPlayer is free as well which is a big bonus.
 

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So far no licences in Oz at all. We have the ABC, commercial channels, SBS(multicultural channel) including NITV for the indigenous people. Seems to work. A lot of people go to netflix or other pay tv. options as well.
 

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I see that ABC did have a licence fee until 1973. Now directly funded by government funds, while remaining independent of government. So still paid for by the citizens, but in a different way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just to point out...

The government used to pay for these free TV Licences. It now requires the BBC to find the money, thereby reducing its income.
Ah, didn't I mention that? Must be watching too many politicians in action ;)

Nevertheless, with the incease in population and, presumably, households, the number of paid licences is now the same or greater than it was in 2000.
 

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Good piece Basil, in the main I agree with you, that the BBC is spending to much money on presenters and directors but as others have pointed out the original subsidy was paid for by the government.

Cheers Frank

P.s. I must have typing (slowly) this reply at the same time as you Basil
 

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Discussing this very subject elsewhere, these two links make some 'light bedtime reading' if anyone has the inclination.
I make no comment about them, however...........
BBC Annual Report http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/reports/pdf/bbc_annualreport_201718.pdf

BBC Annual Plan https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/howwework/reports/pdf/bbc_annual_plan_2018.pdf


"The amount the BBC has available to spend on services for licence fee payers has reduced significantly since the licence fee was first frozen in 2010 and additional financial responsibilities were placed on the organisation. Between 2010/11 and 2018/19, the amount the BBC has available to spend on UK public services is24% less than if the licence fee had risen with inflation. In 2010, the BBC was asked to take on the costs of the World Service, BBC Monitoring, Local TV and S4C –the Welsh language broadcaster –as well as assuming responsibility for funding the roll-out of broadband to rural communities across the UK. The level of the licence fee was frozen and its value, therefore, reduced with inflation. "

Source http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/reports/consultation/age/decision-do***ent.pdf


These links provided not by me, but a retired BBC person.
 

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I see that ABC did have a licence fee until 1973. Now directly funded by government funds, while remaining independent of government. So still paid for by the citizens, but in a different way.
A model I would happily accept here. The pretence that the BBC would remain divorced from the administration in times of national stress is an absurdity (some would say it is an absurd stance at any time). Coupling it to income tax would resolve the "over 70s" issue - those who can pay should pay. Only those who cannot should have it free. This would take the radiocommunications agency, or whatever name it tries to hide under now, out of the equation. I do not object to their being a care home for the damaged and overpromoted of the civil service. I object to them getting in the way of the real world.

For the Isle of Man the root to such an outcome might be easier and applicable sooner. With the government paying, a discount for having a zero evasion system would be one obvious advantage to both sides. There would also be the threat of withholding should the content claimed to benefit or be of specific interest to the Island not be forthcoming.
 

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The BBC has always struggled with the concept of fiscal responsibility.

An old school friend used to be employed in the radio production department, working with such personalities as Terry Wogan, and Vanessa Feltz (who became a personal friend.) In a previous cost cutting cull of staff, they paid my school chum off with a decent redundancy payment, then a few weeks later hired her back as an independent contractor, paying her more money than when she had been an employee. She worked 2 or 3 days a week for the BBC, and then lectured at a couple of university courses of media studies, earning even more money. She said being made redundant was a great career move.
 

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At least with the licence fee we don't have to watch the never ending adverts that show on other channels....
And if you don't realise how lucky that is?
Try living in a country that does not have the unique service of the BBC or its wonderful (uninterrupted viewing) productions... eg presently "Gentleman Jack" etc etc..
Imho worth every penny of a licence fee and maybe for those who cannot fork out in one go bringing back a licence by instalment program as before where (fading memory) my dear old Mum bought licence fee stamps when she could afford.
It shouldn't however detract from the dismal prospect of having your "school-milk" discontinued.
 

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I wonder how many bemoaning the salaries paid by the BBC would then be complaining about the lack of quality if they stopped paying them.

While I agree that the salaries seem ridiculously high if the BBC didn't pay them then SKY, Netflix, Amazon would attract the best presenters away. Likewise any new talent that the BBC took on at reduced salaries, if they were any good, would also be poached by other broadcasters willing to pay.

Personally I think the BBC is worth every penny of my licence fee. The recent excellent "The Planets" or almost all their wildlife programmes (Springwatch excepted, its become Top Gear without the cars in recent years) are worth the licence fee alone!
 
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