Pages tagged "Axe the TV Tax"
Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association chatted with David Stephenson, TV Editor of the Sunday Express. They explored what the future will look like for the print media in the UK and the BBC. Does the TV licence fee have a future? Will the BBC have to explore alternative funding models? Spoiler alert: the answers to the last two questions are no and yes respectively!
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By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
The new chairman of the BBC, Richard Sharp, has described the licence fee as the "least worst" way of funding the BBC and has said that he opposes decriminalisation. He also thinks that the licence fee is "terrific value". That depends on how much BBC content one consumes. I seldom listen to BBC radio. The same can be said for BBC television. We mostly watch programmes on Netflix, which, for us, at £5.99 a month really does represent terrific value.
When I was a child, the BBC's main rival was ITV. How things have changed. The BBC's main rivals now are Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix, for example, spends millions of pounds per episode on series' such as The Queen's Gambit - a drama about a young female chess player. The BBC cannot compete, and when it comes to 2027 (the year its Royal Charter is due for renewal) may eventually realise that the licence fee restricts its creative output.
I have said it before and will say it again: the licence fee is an analogue funding solution in a digital world. When it comes to 2027, live television schedules as we know them may not exist. The BBC needs to get real to ensure its survival.
Oliver Dowden (pictured left), the new Culture Secretary, gave a speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference yesterday. He told the audience that "in the coming years we will of course be taking a proper look at our public service broadcasting system and the BBC’s central role within it." He also said that we need to consider three questions. Does the BBC truly reflect all of our nation and is it close to the British people? Does the BBC guard its unique selling point of impartiality in all of its output? Is the BBC ready to embrace proper reform to ensure its long term sustainability for the decades ahead?Read more
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Responding to the judgement in the High Court this morning, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association, said:
"I am delighted that Sir Cliff Richard has won his case in the High Court this morning. The BBC should have accepted that it had acted wrongly by invading his privacy in this most disgraceful way. But instead, the BBC is considering appealing against today's judgement describing it as a 'dramatic shift against press freedom'.Read more
I didn't spot this in The Times last week, otherwise I would have written about it sooner. Here's an excerpt:
'The BBC is making money by hiring out its studios to RT, the television channel controlled by Moscow. The state-owned network has been described by US intelligence officials as “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet”.Read more
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We now know that Gary Lineker, apprentice Socialist and presenter of Match of the Day, earns somewhere between £1,750,000-£1,799,000 a year. Chris Evans earns even more. On the flip side, I can't believe how the BBC is getting away with paying Andrew Neil so little (£200,000-£249,000) in comparison to someone like Huw Edwards, who gets paid £550,000-£599,000 a year. There is also a perceived gender pay gap. On his LBC show yesterday, Iain Dale asked Theresa May if Gary Lineker was worth ten Claire Baldings. That is a question that's going to hang around for a long time.Read more
It is not the first time that Jeremy Paxman has criticised his former employer. In 2014 he said that Newsnight was made by 'idealistic 13-year-olds' who 'think they can change the world.' He certainly went much further, though, in an interview for yesterday's Sunday Times Magazine.
He said the BBC was 'biased and politically correct'. As for the licence fee, he described it as 'antediluvian'. He said that 'if Amazon and Netflix can do it, so can they.'Read more