The BBC is a public service broadcaster that is highly regarded by British viewers. When the BBC was created in 1922, it had the main responsibility of providing impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom. However, many things have changed over the years and the future of the BBC is now unclear and there are a lot of reasons why it may not continue broadcasting, especially these days with the growing number of private channels which are considered strong competitors to the BBC such as the Sky channels and other cable. One of the biggest difficulties is the funding of the BBC through the TV license system. Some people feel the TV license is therefore a tax for the purpose of funding public broadcasting, thus allowing public broadcasters to transmit television programs without advertising (Payne, 2010). In this project I will discuss how the BBC can continue to attract a large number of viewers, despite the presence of many commercial channels as competition. Will also be looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the TV license system.
The BBC has been an enormously popular broadcasting. Nevertheless, it faces increasing doubt due to there being a competition with some other channels which have many viewers. The BBC claims to have three main targets which are to inform, educate and entertain. However, in 2001 and 2002 the BBC started producing more free channels. These include BBC 3, a mixed genre, BBC 4, a channel for civilization, science the skills and ideas also two children’s channels (Brown, 2004). These channels were different changed from BBC other channels because they are linked to the viewers as a common group rather than being tailored to explicit viewers (Brown, 2004). Moreover, the BBC has since developed numerous policies to save its audience. The first of these strategies, in 2005, was that the BBC would reduce the number of employees to ‘save money to have a high quality of programming’ (BBC News Channel, 2005). As a consequence, of these job cuts the BBC has recently begun to depend on self-employed movie manufacturers for its programming. Secondly, the BBC’s channels have been attracting distinctive talent by benefiting their new thoughts so that can stimulate boundaries (Shepherd, 1997). In order to compete with commercial channels, the BBC has linked with many other channels such as, BSKYB and Crown Castle in 2002. Furthermore, in 2003 the BBC saved around 85 million by offering free-to-air with other satellite facility and withdrawing from BSkyB’s satellite encryption (Brown, 2004).
Despite these changes the BBC carbines to be funded by the public but, there are many disadvantages and advantages of the TV license.
Firstly, one disadvantage is that it may be difficult for people to pay the television fee every year especially if they also have to pay to another channel like Sky at the same time. Some people believe that it is a waste of money to give this fee to the BBC especially as they sometimes do not watch this channel and it could be worth more to spend this amount of money on other important sectors such as, education (Heilemannn, 2008). Besides, some people also avoid paying the TV license fee and they think the BBC should blame itself for this. For example, some viewers tend to use the iPlayer service which is free, so it allows people to watch some of the BBC channels. Another disadvantage of the TV licence is number of customers are fed up with paying 139.50 for their television licence and they have dispensed with their television selecting in its place to watch their preferable TV programs on the iPlayer on their own laptop (Swinford, 2008) stated that ‘we will see more people realizing they can watch TV online without a license. Funding for the BBC will decline’ (Swinford, 2008). Some research has revealed that there have been more than 220million users for shows online after the iPlayer service was established (Swinford, 2008).
On the other hand, the public can gain some advantages by paying the BBC TV license fee. Initially, the BBC does not show any advertisements on their channels, and many people prefer that way because they can watch the favourite programs without being interrupted. Furthermore, as the channels of BBC do not depend on the advertisements to fund the channels, this strategy can provide the honesty, fairness and integrity of the BBC. For example, the channels of the BBC are not prejudiced to either government or citizens (BBC, 2004). Moreover, numerous of viewers prefer to watch the BBC because they trust the honesty of this TV regarding of news and information.
In conclusion, the BBC is not only channelling the public to believe in its values of broadcasting, but also they appreciate its ability to offer some of high quality of programs. The topic of the license fee continues to be a major issue for the BBC. If watcher ratings are not maintained there will have to be a resolution made as to whether public money for the BBC should go ahead. However there are proposed solutions this is the potential that the BBC might share the license fee with another broadcasting firm, such as Channel 4 or ITV who also have good viewing. Figures and together these broadcasters can help the BBC to carfare to produces high quality programmes to general public for a cost of less than 3 per a week.
1- Brown, G. (2004) Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the reinvention of The BBC, Great Britain, Secker and WarburgCroteau.
2- BBC NEWS CHANNEL (2005) ‘BBC Job Cuts’ Monday 21st March 2005 [On-line] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4369221.stm [accessed 20-02-14].
3- Shepherd, A (1997) Working in the Media, Kogan Page.
4- Heilemann, J Wired ‘Can the BBC Be Saved’? [On-line] http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/bbc_pr.html
5- Swinford, S (2008) The Times Online ‘Rise of iPlayer users threatens TV licence.[On-line] http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article5213521.ece [accessed 19-02-14].
6- BBC (2004) Building Public Value. Renewing the BBC for a Digital World. [Online]
http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/freedom_of_information/BBCFUNDINGlicencefeeandalternatives56427.pdf [accessed 17-02-14].
7- Payne, L. (2010) Can the BBC survive the digital age? [Online] Available at: http://ojs.lincoln.ac.uk/neo/index
(Accessed 26th January 2014).
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