The business of being Auntie (2015 update)

In the light of rumblings about BBC licence fee after the general election I thought I would update this, originally posted in 2013.

*A tweep (thanks Steve W!) posted on Twitter… “The continuing BBC saga is a farce. You do not have payoffs that large in any business without the full knowledge of the board!”

That. Right there. Is the rub.


The BBC is not run like a business.

The BBC is the equivalent of an 18 year old getting their hands on a very large trust fund.

If you own a television in Blighty you have to buy a television licence**. It’s not something we choose to buy. It is LAW to buy. And this television licence costs, at present, £145.50 ($233) per year. This licence fee doesn’t go to television channels in general, this license fee goes ONLY to the BBC. The consequence of this fee is that the BBC does not have to advertise like all of the non BBC channels to get revenue, they just sit back and the money comes pouring in.

The fact that the BBC doesn’t have to fight for every penny makes it easier to provide new, high quality programming, right? When it is new, it is high quality, but as for new… I just did a quick calculation on the two main TV channels (BBC1 & BBC2) for Monday last;

BBC1: About 5 hours new programmes. About 11 hours of news and weather, About 6 hours of repeats.
BBC2: About 4 hours new, 4 hours news, politics, weather, and about 14 hours of repeats.

Twenty hours of repeats across 2 channels in 24 hours.

Now I do watch the BBC, I love a lot of its programming. Its Wimbledon coverage is very good, and the likes of Luther in the drama genre, Pointless in the quiz show genre, and Masterchef and Strictly Come Dancing in the reality genre, are much loved in this household. But that doesn’t mean I like the way the BBC spend OUR, yes OUR money. All those repeats? WHERE IS the money from 20 odd million households going then..?

Well perhaps it was ABSOLUTELY necessary to allegedly send/pay 407 people from the BBC to cover the Glastonbury festival in 2009. Only 30 more covered the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (allegedly).

And maybe it was ABSOLUTELY crucial to (allegedly) give 150 departing people/bosses a combined £25 million in payoffs over 3 yrs (2009 – 2012). TWENTY FIVE MILLION POUNDS!!

So as not to appear London centric perhaps, BBC allegedly spent around £1 Billion building a new television centre in Manchester. ONE BILLION POUNDS!!

And to perhaps ensure that London centric people actually moved to Manchester, around 850 people were given allegedly about £11 million, to cover moving costs, as well as alleged ‘encouragement’ in the form of a lump sum. ELEVEN MILLION POUNDS PLUS!!

I see! Well that’s ok then.
Our money is being spent wisely.
The people in charge are being entirely responsible.

I am daft for feeling that it is criminal the way the BBC it seems has no regard for where the money comes from and that it must be made to think more carefully before it spends…

Like all of the other non-BBC channels have to.

*Steve may have been talking about one of the occurrences’ listed, he may not. The word BUSINESS was the pull for me.

**If you watch bbc IPlayer, & non-live programming, on a laptop (not sure about internet enable TVs/devices attached to tv) you may not need a licence.

NB. Added 13th May 2015

A current addition… BBC cancelled the Omnibus edition of Eastenders recently. If I do watch it, I only watch this edition, on split screen, with no audio and subtitles. It seems less painful that way! I’m not too bothered as I don’t watch it properly but there is a principle. Here’s why… A search online found a quote from a BBC spokesperson that effectively said “The viewership of the Omnibus edition of Eastenders has declined in recent years so we stopped it.”

Perhaps BBC, the viewership declined because the Omnibus was moved from being aired at around three on a Sunday afternoon, to around midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning?? What do you think BBC? Anything?

This sort of decision is what annoys us licence fee payers. We know we need the BBC, but we know we need the BBC to change.

The business of being Auntie (2015 update)

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