back to article Big Brother man: TV viewers will swap privacy for content

The man who brought Big Brother to the UK this week painted a nightmare vision of the future where people trade their personal information for the chance to watch TV programmes. Peter Bazalgette, former chief creative officer of Endemol turned digital media investor, said old advertising models could not much longer support TV …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Stephen Fry put it best ...

    On one episode of QI, he noted the irony in Bazalgettes ancestor devising a perfect system for extracting shit from the population, whilst his progeny is doing his best to pump it back into our houses.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    The exit is over there -->

    He's been banging on about this for ages, I remember him saying the exact same thing defending Phorm.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simply no

    The TV show that I would hand over personal data to view hasn't been made yet. However if the base viewer is one that would watch programs such as Big Brother(*) then I can see how this may take off. On the downside, who the hell would want to build a profile of such a viewer.

    (*) I can say with hand on heart and all other vital organs that I have not yet seen BB nor any other reality program so I admit to going on hearsay about these shows.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I saw an episode once

      Someone else was watching.

      All I remember is that Jack Dee was on it and he esaped!

    2. Circadian

      wait what?

      Scott Adams covered this the best - those people are the ones that advertisers would pay the most money for! Lets see - gullible <check>, don't care about privacy <check>, willing to part with almost anything for just a bit of tat <check>... Spammers are happy to get 1 in 10000 (or some such small number) and are willing to pay for lists to get that type of return. Can you imagine how much they would be willing to pay for the list of people who would be willing to give up their personal details just to watch Big Brother?

  4. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down


    Thats blue sky out of the box thinking from a media luvvie that is. Or utter horseshit to the rest of us.

  5. Ian Stephenson Silver badge

    Kill it, kill it with fire!

    If there was ever anyone who justified inventing a timemachine only for the purpose of killing their parents before they were born - this man is it.

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Not media luvvie

      He's a money luvvie - just another greedy bugger trying to find ways of making even more money through his shabby schemes.

  6. Efros
    Paris Hilton


    Guy who runs this is the ancestor of the man who designed and built the London sewer system. Interesting that he is now pumping shit into peoples homes and his ancestor did the opposite.

    Paris: well you don't have to give any information to watch her.

  7. Asgard
    Big Brother

    So what about Political documentaries about government corruption?

    So if we want to watch a documentary about government corruption, the government can then use our tax payers money, to pay the TV company for our private data, so they can then find out (and draw up punishment lists) of all of us who have learned about the government corruption, and so they can know who of us are likely to stand up and oppose even more corrupt government moves.

    Wonderful. This is one more step towards governments automating infamous political enemies lists, where they use the state as a means to "screw" political enemies, i.e. people who know too much about what the government are really doing wrong and so are at risk of standing up to and opposing the government.

    I wish Orwell's work wasn't so good at predicting the future. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh Dear

      Plagiarism - Not Big, Nor Clever

      1. Efros

        Sorry lack of citation

        I agree, just couldn't remember where I had I heard it before.

    2. mittfh


      So you (mis)quote Stephen Fry and the time machine scenario, both posted in previous comments.

      At least you could get your quotes right, rather than mangling them. Here's a helpful hint:

      Peter Bazalgette is the descendent of Joseph Bazalgette (Joseph's great-great-grandson)

      Joseph Bazalgette is Peter Bazalgette's ancestor (Peter's great-great-grandfather).

      1. Efros

        Screw it

        Sometimes you just wish it was Friday afternoon...

        1. Olafthemighty

          And sometimes, if youre REALLY good...

          Your wishes come true!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Too many leaches..

    There is far too much Money in TV advertising as it is, 60 channels of rubbish prove this.

    I'm happy with ad free Beeb and a licence.

    I'm sure sky users are happy with sky for twice as much as the beeb.

    The ad feeders can just shrivel up and die.

    1. L.B

      I'm not happy about the licence at all!

      I actually think it's about time they let the BBC officially run adverts (at least between programs) so I don't have to subsidise that sh!te. As opposed to the unofficial adverts that run for their own programming, plus all the fake news of new products/toys by the likes of Apple.

      I pay for Sky (the cheapest package they do) so that I actually have something that I like to watch, without it being 5 years old on Channel 4/5/E/More/*...

      Being forced to pay £145.50 per year for a grand total of: "Have I got news for you", "New Tricks", "Dr Who" and maybe one other (typically short lived) series is nothing like good value.

      I don't watch the BBC News as it is just jingoistic retarded crap with press releases (aka: Free Advertising For Friends of the Beeb/Producers), and where a news event did not happen unless there's a video of it.

      Lucky there are lots of video cameras in Japan or most Brits who rely of the BBC would never have heard about the Quake and Tsunami.

  9. Eponymous Cowherd

    Phorm lackey

    Peter Bazalgette?

    This is the arse who thought Phorm was a good idea?

    I'll pay to watch programmes I want to see, I'll put up with ads to watch programmes I want to see, but I will not, under any circumstances, be "phormed" to watch something.

    If there is anything I want to watch that is only distributed under Bazalgette's model I'll just get it from BitTorrent and feel completely and morally justified in doing so.

    Grenade. Chew on this, Bazalgette!

  10. Ian Bush

    A fully considered response

    "where people trade their personal information for the chance to watch TV programmes"

    Well they are idiots then.

    1. Havin_it


      You say: "I'll pay to watch programmes I want to see, I'll put up with ads to watch programmes I want to see..."

      Then you say:

      "If there is anything I want to watch that is only distributed under Bazalgette's model I'll just get it from BitTorrent and feel completely and morally justified in doing so."

      Why so? The first quote implies you'd not resort to piracy if you can pay or suffer ads to watch something - which is the provider's chosen means of remuneration. But if their choice of how they get paid for their output is one that disagrees with you (and I assure you I'm with you on that part), you'd happily poggle it with nary a qualm?

      Why not just steal (and please let's not argue the semantics of this one, you know what I mean) the pay-TV as well? Morally, what's the difference? Please, I'd welcome the insight.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What a pile of shite.

  12. Nick L

    At best, delusional...

    "users should have an absolute right to reclaim their data from anyone they have handed it over to"...

    Indeed, if there's one thing we've learned, it's how easy it is to remove digital data from marketing databases. Those 'click to unsubscribe' things really do work, and it's easy to stop people tracking what you're doing on the web. Trivial, in fact.

    What worries me is that someone might listen to this person. I suspect they will.

    I suspect a few years ago if you'd have asked the El Reg readership if they'd believe that a successful TV programme could be based on just watching the daily routine of social misfits put in a house together, the answer would have been a resounding "no"...

  13. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Sixty channels of rubbish prove this?

    Nah. Sixty channels of rubbish prove what I've maintained for thirty years - there's enough talent in this country to support four, maybe five channels.

    Obviously the channel execs think that *someone* is watching the crap, the repeats, the wall to wall chat shows and 'advertainment' and shopping channels - but I'm not sure I'd want to see in their houses.

    Of course, when they cut my head off it will say 'BBC' down my neck.

    1. mittfh

      Click to unsubscribe

      Yes, it will unsubscribe you from their database...

      ...but at the same time, it informs them that your email address is active, and more unscrupulous companies will sell your email address onto others to bombard you with spam.

      One of the benefits of email providers that allow you email aliases - use aliases to deal with companies, then set your spam filters to splat any email sent to that alias from everyone apart from the company you originally signed up to.

      1. Jedit
        Thumb Down

        "Apart from"?

        If you start getting spam to an e-mail address that you've only used with one company, you should be splatting that company as well. Either their security sucks, putting your personal data at risk, or they've sold your addy to spammers.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      I reckon a few more but not a lot

      I reckon we need 2 or 3 main BBC, couple of news, one ITV, one C4, one FIlm4, couple of kids channels, couple of sport channels and repeat on HD.

      That said documentry repeats are nice

  14. mark 63 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    well if it was good TV.....

    I'd give up keeping secret my favorite colour / food / shop / whatever...

    ...if it meant they brought back Firefly! anything less fkoff

  15. Da Weezil

    A pox!

    TV advertisers seem to like shooting themselves in the foot. The practice of raising the output volume during ad breaks means that now the TV is muted at each ad break or paused and ffw'd through - either way their "messages" are lost due to this unnecessary and intrusive fiddling.

    Advertisers (like lawyers) are a pox on modern humanity. Liars and hypocrites all.

    Grenade - the message that needs to be delivered to all the ad agencies

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Been there, done that ...

    "... a game show that allows competitors to show the body parts they're most unhappy with and compete for reconstructive surgery, either privately or on the NHS."

    It's been done. How could you have missed Bridalplasty, a show so god-awful no sane person could have invented it? See for yourself:

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I don't care who Peter Bazalgette is ...

    ... never heard of him before and I don't care about his ancestry. I do care about what he's suggesting and about whether anyone thinks it's a good idea.

    It doesn't sound plausible unless programmes are provided only through the internet or through internet-enabled televisions. So that's a route they'd have to force us down.

    But what the fuck : if the price of admission is to give anyone information on myself (and I thought having to give name & address in order to by a television was bad enough), I'll find something more productive to do with my time.

  18. Denarius Silver badge

    You watch TV !!!

    Discover the ultimate digital interface storage device. Its called a book and is gesture controlled. Use finger to change page.

    In the antipodes the TV is also bad. I believe Kiwi land is worse. But then, on the web sites like Fiends reunited, Facerook and such tat popular, does crap TV have a different audience ? I have retreated to more ancient entertainments. Nothing like reading about something that the chronologically challenged believe is modern in a 1600 year old book. I also wonder if the over 25 net user only has a few preferred sites and ignore anything else until a trusted source has a link to follow ? Just like TV watchers with a few favourite programs and not much else.

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