TV No Longer Free ?

A few years ago the Government quietly passed responsibility for “free TV licenses for over 75’s” over to the BBC.    It was announced in the Chancellor’s budget statement, but attracted little comment.  The Government used to foot the bill of over £750m annually for free TV licences for the elderly.  But the BBC now has to start “sharing the cost” and from 2020 take it over in full.   Having thought about this for a while, the BBC has woken up to this impending catastrophe.  Now it seems the chickens are coming home to roost.

The BBC is feeling the pinch.  Its stars are demanding more money.  Hundreds of thousands of pounds are just not enough for reading the news or hosting quiz shows.   Nor are they anywhere near the going rate for chatting about football or swanning about on Strictly on a Saturday night.

Then there are all the behind-the-camera staff toiling away as producers, assistant producers, editors, assistant editors, sub-editors and assistant sub-editors.  And don’t forget sound technicians, lighting technicians, stage managers, and writers and costume designers and set designers and prop purchasers and wardrobe mistresses, and transport managers and logistics aides and outside broadcasters and inside broadcasters.  They obviously need more money for the excellent work they do on our behalf.

The BBC are desparately seeking to pay for all these hard working people.   So now they are looking at the budget for the years ahead and that promised free TV license is in their sights.   Who knows what the next news headlines will be?

It looks like it is Gary Lineker, Claudia Winkleman, Holly Willoughby et al verses the over 75 year olds.


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2 Responses to TV No Longer Free ?

  1. Alex Robinson says:

    I think what is more likely to happen is that we will all have to have set top boxes which take a smart card and BBC services will become encrypted. I suspect the majority already have such a box but not,crucially, older people. Our licence fee will buy the card to access free-to-air television. This will finally put an end to all the free loaders who watch television without a licence and, perhaps, improve the BBC’s income? Unfortunately the government missed a trick when we all had to get set top boxes for the “big digital switchover” – they could have insisted on the smart card capability then.

    But I think the more crucial question (rather than free licences for the over 75’s) is “What do we want the BBC to be?” Do we want it to react to commercial pressures like all the other channels or not?

  2. Dear Oh Dear! The thunderer has returned, and alex has responded. I do wonder as Alex and John ”what next”??? The whole system of broadcasting requires a steady hand at the tiller, and a wise person as the Captain!
    I sincerely believe we need a national broadcaster, who is or reflects the views of the truth in world affairs and that the ” propaganda both political and commercial are severely monitored” by an independent panel? {Dream on Mac Duff- that may be impossible}
    With respect to entertainment in its broadest sense then the BBC [or the national british nation broadcaster] has too:or should produce programmes for the British people of all tastes, and ethnic orientation, broadcasting in all mediums of radio/film and television. Some times I have trouble in reflecting, do we have or does the Existing BBC as we know it broadcast at home and overseas on too many channels?
    In the UK we now have many TV channels broadcast on the ”NET/satellite etc.” which take old favorite and popular programmes including films and ”Belt them out constantly as repeats” as the cook says- WE ARE WHAT WE EAT-
    i STILL BELIEVE in Lord Reith’s motto for the national broadcaster {BBC] inform/educate and entertain.
    WE are all not right in our opinion as individuals, but together we are a nation!
    How much does this all cost? is not a ‘kings ransom’ but a fair price: do we PAY? that is the question at hand???

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