Its common knowledge in the UK that the BBC exists financially through its legally and compulsory enforced payment of the License Fee within the UK, its like a TV Tax as some people like to call it. Every household in the UK as to pay just for the pleasure of just switching on their TV or listening to the radio. This does not just apply to BBC channels or BBC radio stations, this applies to all BBC and commercial channels in the UK. The License Fee is the cash cow of the BBC, and they milk it for everything its worth, to the very last drop. UK commercial TV and radio stations on the other hand have to manage advertising to raise their money, but the BBC does not need to run advertising as it as its golden cash cow to milk its money. Oh, I may have forgot to mention if you refuse to pay your BBC License Fee (TV Tax) in the UK you will be prosecution by the law and summoned to the courts, heavily fined, and some cases given a prison sentence
We all now live in the digital age, internet, downloads, streaming, and the BBC was caught off guard some years ago as some people with broadband where watching TV media content and entertainment online but not via a normal TV or radio, but by their PC or laptop so then they where not legally obliged to pay the BBC License Fee. The BBC rushed ahead and got the License Fee law amended to get around this loop hole. Now all forms of electronic and digital items are included in the BBC License Fee, from TV, PCs, laptops, handheld etc, within any UK household. Any media content viewed via normal transmission, or broadband and internet is considered fair game by the BBC in the UK.
I emailed the BBC Trust to answer these obvious commercial conflicts which they responded with a classic BBC response, they ignore the problem and hopefully it will go away? This was the BBC’s response -
“BBC America is not funded by the UK licence fee but is reliant on advertising sales. BBC America is owned and run by BBC Worldwide, which is the commercial arm of the BBC. BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC and exists to maximise profits on behalf of the BBC and return profits to the BBC to be reinvested in programmes and services to help keep the UK licence fee as low as possible. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and value”.</span
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That's the best explanation the BBC can come up with? “BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC and exists to maximise profits on behalf of the BBC and return profits to the BBC” It makes a mockery of the whole BBC Charter. The BBC is free to make money through advertising around the world outside the UK, but some how the UK is sacred soil where the same market strategy cannot be applied?
The BBC argument as it tries to defend its outmoded and archaic special status is it is not a commercial media organisation, but a state funded one and does not, and cannot run adverts as stated within its BBC Charter, bla bla bla? so it must rely on its enforced BBC License Fee to stay afloat financially. All other UK media organisations must swim in commercial waters, but the BBC likes to lie on the beach, nice and safe on dry land, so to speak, free of any such troublesome problems? Even though the BBC wastes truckloads on License Fee payers money, but hey! its only other people’s money right?
The BBC is so well funded now with lots of cash in its coffers that it did not know what to do with all this extra money, so the BBC decided to leap across the pond and the BBC America channel was born. I do not doubt there may well be a BBC Asia in the future, or a BBC Africa. In the digital age the BBC wants to be a world wide brand, fine I have got no problem with that, but stop hiding behind the special status bullsh*t of the UK BBC License Fee. Get in the commercial waters and swim with other the other media organisations out there, run adverts and stop leaching of UK viewers for your funding and money?
I was unaware until recently that BBC America runs adverts on its channel to help fund itself? Interesting BBC America can run adverts on its TV channel in the USA, but some how BBC channels in the UK can not? The hypocrisy of the BBC trying to defend its archaic special status in a digital age is astounding. I think the BBC America running adverts in the USA exposes the BBC in the UK to all its double standards and hypocrisy. To the BBC, stop leaching off UK taxpayers and stand on your own two feet, run adverts and end the legally compulsory UK BBC License Fee. In this age of digital media news and drama on the internet I think the BBC is on very thin ice in keeping its License Fee special status. The BBC America comparison exposes the double standards of this gaping hole that the BBC and the BBC Trust just refuses to acknowledge this glaring problem even exists? Popular opinion in the UK is now turning against the BBC, and its culture of hey! we are the BBC and untouchable?