Beeb Wants ‘No TV’ License

The BBC wants taxpayers to pay £145.50 a year for a TV license even if they don’t own a TV, according to the Daily Telegraph, which continues to unearth stories highlighting how the publicly funded corporation apparently squanders money. 

It said BBC director general Lord Hall hopes to justify the move by saying the growing popularity of the iPlayer means people can now access TV on home computers, mobile phones and tablet devices.

He’s arguing that people view BBC content without owning an actual television.

In what appears to be an effort to sugar the pill, the Beeb announced it will make programs available to view on iPlayer for 30 days after being first broadcast, four times longer than the current seven days.

The BBC’s execs have been mulling over ways of collecting cash before presenting their plans for the government to review in 2016.

Live music promoters including John Giddings and former MAMA Group chief exec Dean James have also been critical of how the BBC’s free-entry outdoor shows provide unfair competition for their festivals.

“What it amounts to is that I’m subsidising the competition,” Giddings told Pollstar in 2012, when BBC Radio 1’s event on London’s Hackney Marshes clashed with his Isle Of Wight Festiival. “I understand that record companies want their acts to play a Radio 1 show but I’m not happy about paying for it,” he said, pointing out that he’d pay fees for acts that the BBC had got for free.

James said MAMA’s Lovebox Festival, which a week earlier had drawn only 20,000 fans per day to a 50,000-capacity site at London’s Victoria Park, said the BBC free event had  “significantly impacted” his sales.

The Telegraph also had a story on the cost of filming “Lambing Live,” a BBC Two nature program following “the life and death drama” of breeding and rearing lambs.

The paper pointed out that everyone in the team making one of the episodes spent five nights in a hotel costing £279 per night, when there was a £40 per night hotel available that was actually much nearer to the shed where the lambing action was taking place.

The Telegraph also questioned why it took 65 people to make a program about lambing.