BBC: Reduce freebie viewers!

Filed under: Governance — lenand @ 5:43 am
Tags: , , ,

“The future of the BBC licence fee is threatened by political ideology and the impossibility of stopping people from watching on line free of charge.”

is quoted from Private Eye No 1341, page 12.

There are some people who watch BBC programmes on iPlayer who have a TV licence but no TV.  They stick by the condition that you need to be covered by a licence if you watch TV online at the same time as it’s being broadcast on conventional TV in the UK or the Channel Islands.  Watch it an hour later and you don’t need a TV licence.

The BBC is not obliged to provide content for free.  It is not a new idea, but they could contemplate a governance regime that licensed people to view on-line.  A personal data store could have an identity attribute for a current TV licence.  Mydex is free for personal use and would be easy for the BBC to check before a programme downloads.  Registering for viewing on-line content is commonplace and it is reasonable to change conditions to maximise revenue.

Yes, there will be ways of cheating the system – but 40pence per day is not excessive when compared to cable and satellite subscriptions or the indirect cost of TV advertising.  The BBC could then consider developing global terms and conditions which earn extra income.

So it’s not impossible – just unlikely that the BBC will attempt to reduce free viewing.

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