I am a fan of the BBC but what is its future?

Even as a supporter of the BBC I spend far more time watching both Sky (sports and the odd HBO drama) and Netflix and I am a middle aged man.   For the millennial generation I bet the percentage is even less.  In the circumstances how can the continued use of the license fee possibly be justified?  Surely it s time for the government to fund a paired back free and ad free BBC service that only does stuff nobody else is doing or not doing as comprehensively - radios 3,4 and 5, news and current affairs, perhaps a documentary channel etc and for the other stuff to become either advert funded or subscription funded.

What about me suggesting it be radically paired back - is that a surprise?

you broke the let spelling mistakes go rule of rof Peter.

I don't think that's a rule, Guy.  That's your wishful thinking.

Pedantry has long been the stock-in-trade of ROF.

(And LOL at your repeating it)

you broke the let spelling mistakes go rule of rof Peter.


Prepair to be disappointed



I think the BBC is fantastic. There may be good dramas/comedies elsewhere but all the following shows received critical acclaim and are on the BBC. And they only represent a small proportion of excellent TV programmes:-



Line of Duty

Killing Eve

Night Manager

Dr Foster


Happy Valley

Les Miserables


Dr Who


Black Earth Rising


Not saying I watch all of them but they certain have a lot of feedback.

Indeed they do but you could do a list  like that for Sky/HBO; Netflix and lots of other channels that don't a make a universal charge on everyone regardless of whether they want to watch or not.    In fact you are listing precisely the sort of popular tv that could easily be made commercially.

radio 4 is why the BBC is worth paying for. 

anyone who does not agree with that is a thicko. 




Six Nations

The Open

FA Cup

World Cup



Match of the Day

Yes they used to and could have more sports but still not a bad offering given it is a public TV network.

University Challenge too. Worth the Licence fee all by itself.

Everyone's version of what the BBC should be "pared back" to is just the radio stations and TV shows that they watch. 

Though the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon is a solid argument in favour of declaring the whole organisation a mistake and scrapping it entirely. 

BBC should not pay for sports or the stupid amount they pay to sports presenters. 


"BBC should not pay for sports or the stupid amount they pay to sports presenters."

Why so? A lot of licence fee payers enjoy sports so why should these not be provided in the same way that lots of people watch Eastenders. Sport on terrestrial television also encourages audience participation.

In respect of presenters - yes at the top end they are very expensive (notably Lineker) but so are Graham Norton and Chris Evans (or was) so I am not sure this is a sports issue.

wyn win, on your list how many were actually produced by the BBC and how many were just bought in from someone else?

Why so?


because it is very expensive and boring and the BBC adds little to no value to them. 



Everyone's version of what the BBC should be "pared back" to is just the radio stations and TV shows that they watch. 

Not mine, I think it should only do what a commercial broadcaster couldn't or wouldn't (plus news and current affairs as an independent voice in the media that cannot be purchased is necessary).  So I think Radio 3 should be retained although I never listen to it but they should not be doing free to air drama and comedy although I watch quite a bit of that.

Am happy for the BBC to do more but it should be self funding in a way that doesn't just force people to pay them money regardless of whether they want to use the service.

"because it is very expensive and boring and the BBC adds little to no value to them."

Expensive maybe, boring no.

Perhaps you can find international knitting or whatever floats your boat on one of the satellite channels.


I don't know how many were produced by the BBC but I suspect most/all of them. They advertise them as BBC drama (mostly). Certainly W1A was pure BBC comedy.

Plus I agree with the comment on sports. And Radio 4. Lots of reasons to keep the licence. Just because we all like different parts of it doesn't make any of our reasons invalid.The fact it has such wide appeal is in itself impressive.

wyn its all very well saying that but how far does its share of the viewership have to fall before charging a compulsory subscription on pain of imprisonment to the entire population becomes untenable?

We all pay towards British institutions on pain of imprisonment for failing to do so. That's where our taxes etc go. I think the BBC is worth saving without adverts. The imprisonment is extreme too.


They have put people in prison for failing to pay Council Tax and that was all about roads and bins.

I am proud of the BBC, what it makes, its output and reputation. I think it competes with the best in the world and arguably takes that title. It wouldn't be the same if it was subsidised in other ways and became commercial.

Wyn as I say part of the BBC that covers market failure should be funded by government through usual progressive taxation - if you see the license fee as a tax rather than a subscription it is a massively unfair regressive one.     There is no justification for taxing people to produce television entertainment when we are saturated with the stuff from all angles.  I agree the BBC produces quality stuff - it can have a subscription service for its ad free service or free with ads.

I like radio 4 and 3. I watch England football or rugby if it's on the bbc. I did watch and enjoy the nightmanager.  Occasionally I watch TV programmes on the iplayer.

In short, I could easily do without the BBC tv. but nobody else does the radio as well.

radio is an example of market failure and should continue funded by government (not R1 and 2 mind that just compete with commercial radio)

I don't see it as a tax but I was saying that we do not see imprisonment for non payment of taxes as so wrong. And this achieves something similar - arguably more.


I get your point but you are probably getting your money's worth even with just radio.