Do you object to your money going to private broadcasters?

June 16, 2009

It has been suggested that the BBC could be forced to give up some of its income from the licence fee to help fund regional news on commercial broadcasters such as ITV which are struggling during the downturn.

The suggestion was included in a government-backed report called Digital Britain which is aimed at helping those broadcasters such as ITV which have been hit by the fall in advertising.

The government believes there should be several suppliers of regional news, not just the BBC, and has suggested giving some money from the home of Eastenders to any organisation willing to make regional news for commercial groups.

The money would come from a section of the licence fee that was used for helping with the switchover from analogue to digital TV and that has not been spent.

If approved, the move would mark the first time in nearly 90 years that the BBC has been forced to share some of its 3.6 billion pound budget. But the corporation is likely to fight the suggestion.

Would you object to suggestions that money you have paid being given to other broadcasters or do you think the BBC should accept it needs to help out at a time when commercial groups are in dire need?


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My greatest concern about this proposal is the possibility that the freedom/independence of private broadcasters may be compromised.My experience of the BBC is that it can shy away from possibly controversial topics – especially in the areas of Government etc. On the whole the private broadcasters do not appear as concerned about addressing ‘sensitive’ areas. If private broadcasters were to get some of the BBC funds, would they become susceptible to less rigorous broadcasting?There is a danger that all broadcasting funded via BBC funds will be ‘singing to the same hymn sheet’ which may not be healthy for the broadcasting of information, fairness, rigor and the British population. However it could be a direction which suits the Government!

Posted by Grant Buckley | Report as abusive

I think the more news services the better. Helps with objective reporting. This is a good idea.

Posted by Homer | Report as abusive

I object to being made to pay for a TV licence at all – especially since I do not wish to receive TV programs. TV is a passive medium where we have no control over the content of the information and programs that are beamed at us on either the government or the corporate channels. We are still, in practice, required to buy a TV licence, even if we do not have a TV set. The government’s computer simply assumes that everyone has a TV set, so we are all harassed and subjected to intrusive surveillance until we buy a licence. It is bad enough having to buy a licence to watch establishment propaganda on the government channels, without extending this provision to the private, corporate, channels as well. It is even worse to have to pay extra taxes so that the government can pay advertising agencies to produce ‘public information’ ads promoting health fascism, scaremongering ads allegedly intended to frighten unemployed people on the assumption that (unlike MPs) benefit claimants might be committing fraud, etc. Now, to make matters even worse, they are also proposing that everyone who has a telephone line should pay for measures to allow government to control our broadband access, so that they can censor the internet.

Posted by Bill Farnaby | Report as abusive

Homer, I fear you are wrong. If funds are diverted there could be less objective reporting, if that reporting does not tie in with the government ‘slant’. No such thing as a free lunch.

Posted by maxine steele | Report as abusive

I am absolutely opposed to sharing the licence fee.The proposal is another example of the slithery way that this government pursues its agenda under the guise of giving people choice.Wouldn’t it just love to hand out money to the private broadcasters, with the proviso that they will “use their service to promote issues in the public interest” or some such double-talk. In other words, take our money on condition that you broadcast our propaganda.No, we understand very well that the BBC peddles government propaganda. We HOPE that the private broadcasters will report facts instead of spin. Let’s keep it that way.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

I am opposed to Government handouts to the media industry apart from the BBC. If media, TV or radio companies can’t make money from their output they should close or restructure their businesses. Clearly, the current model of providing free programming isn’t working so the private sector will have to charge for its output, perhaps on a pay per view basis. The next question will be whether the market really needs the number of providers that presently exist.

Posted by Neil | Report as abusive

I am opposed to this Government handout. If they have spare money does that mean that the BBC have been overcharging the public…Remember everyone has to pay the licence fee and it is therefore a TAX.If these companies can not survive and the public are not will to pay for them WHY should we all have to pay compulsory through the back door.

Posted by Scopulus | Report as abusive