What a load of cobblers/
"The worst part of this is it's unfair. If a flagship BBC program goes up against an ITV one and wins the audience it may make the Beeb look good, but it f***s ITV, whose revenue is derived by advertising which in turn depends on audience share. They are then forced to work even harder for mass appeal on an ever lower budget, so the effect of the Beeb's "competition" is to drive down the quality of television overall."
Am I supposed to feel sorry for a company that operates as a commercial broadcaster knowing that the BBC exists as a publicly-funded broadcaster and which can loosely be considered to "compete" with them?
Because it's not going to happen.
If ITV want to get eyeballs on screens, they can do so the same way any broadcaster does it - show content audiences want, whether it's original material or something you've licensed from elsewhere. If that then means they go for cheap lowest common denominator, well, that's the decision ITV's execs have to take.
Neither the Beeb nor ITV nor any commercial broadcaster has to take any responsibility for "driving down the quality of television overall", because that's a totally subjective and bullshit metric.
Television is primarily an entertainment medium for the majority of audiences, and as such broadcasters cater to what they think will get them audiences and thus allow them to command higher advertising rates. Let's not pretend otherwise. In that context, I'll take the Beeb over anyone else because they create at least some content that's not rubbish, and I still find the licence fee better value for money than the alternatives on offer.
As for those folks stating that Murdoch has a point, I've yet to see any evidence that Sky would provide loads of educational/informative quality content at the same overall cost as the licence fee if only those pesky villains at the Beeb would go away. And, well, if they're not going to commit to something like that, why are we listening to their blatantly self-serving arguments in the first place?