back to article UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom

If you thought that British TV drama was getting cheaper and there was less of it, Ofcom has just confirmed your hunch. Ofcom's first (since 1998) review of Public Service Broadcasters, or PSBs, the regulated terrestrial TV dinosaurs, has found three things you already knew. Namely, that British TV companies now spend less …

  1. Richard Lloyd

    Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

    Ever since the advent of home recorders, there's only 2 things I might watch live - a major sports event or a massive news event. Everything else I record, so that I can watch it when I decide to and also FF through the boring bits of course :-)

    It does require me to spend 10-15 mins a week scanning through the EPG, but with handy aids like series link (and even Showcase on Freesat), I rarely miss recording anything. Make sure you have twin tuners - there's always clashes!

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

      Of course it would help if broadcasters put more of their good programs on at a time when most people are actually home from work. I can hardly watch something live at 7pm if I'm still on the feckin tube!

      1. Naughtyhorse
        Trollface

        Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

        <cough> _most_ people don't live in a town with an underground system.

        so quit whinging, and go to one of the many excellent, operas, exhibitions, plays that everyone in the country so kindly subsidises for you :-D

      2. keithpeter
        Windows

        Nothing needs to be watched.

        I've adjusted the title slightly.

        http://www.gardnermuseum.org/music/listen/music_library?filter=composer

        Link above leads to a tad under 10Gb of classical music, mostly chamber or solo. Enjoy.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

        "when most people are actually home from work. I can hardly watch something live at 7pm if I'm still on the feckin tube!"

        Most people are home by 7pm.

    2. Irongut

      Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

      In 10 - 15 minutes scanning the programme guide you can manage to find anything worth recording? Even enough material that there are clashes? The only TV (live or recorded) I have wached this year was the IoM TT coverage on ITV4. The only BBC programme I've watched this year was a spy drama I watched on iPlayer.

      I'd rather watch Netflix.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

        Yet to find anything on Netflix worth watching.

        Seems to be a run by ITV saturday morning programming team with slightly more budget.

        Oooh we can have this slightly less old film than we could have.

        Back catalogue seems piss poor.

        Example - Kids spotted home alone 5.

        Ok, lets watch the original then...

        Nope.

        2

        Nope.

        5 only 5.

        Amazon Prime TV on the other hand seems to be quite good by comparison and far cheaper.

        1. Chris Redpath

          Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

          If you're into movies, the selection on NowTV is pretty good. We usually manage to find something to watch if we're available. They are quite good at putting whole series on at once, but they change quite frequently so you need to keep an eye on the 'leaving soon' section.

          The sports day pass is however extortionate and I haven't looked into the other bits.

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

          Amazon Prime TV on the other hand seems to be quite good by comparison and far cheaper.

          That may well be truer for your neck of the woods... Here in Germany I could summarize Prime here, in much the same way. Which is way I made sure to can my Subscription at the first possible chance after the (We hope you done forgotten about us after Two Weeks) cooling off period. I guess the question remains if Netflix (Germany), would be any better?

          But, who needs either when you have Kodi, and its half-dozen assortment of Add-Ons that pretty much cover everything.... Better then the native Android Apps... [sic] Amazon Prime.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story, nothing needs to be watched live

        Yes, there's some good BBC programmes on Ntflix

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apart from sport and a massive news story

      I stopped watching Beeb news when I realised, by reading things on the Internet, just what a load of boll0cks is being transmitted as news nowadays. There's so much subtle censorship by omission, or briefly covering a news story at 6am on a news channel, then it's sadly wall-to-wall project-fear for much of Aunties emissions for the rest of each day.

      For entertainment, a refurb apple TV aimed at the U.S. Store has quite a few cheap rentals, bit like the old VHS blockbuster days, but I noticed that my 1m25 dish & inverto Ultra Black LNB when pointed at 26degE http://www.lyngsat.com/Badr-4-5-6.html or 7degW http://www.lyngsat.com/Nilesat-102-201-and-Eutelsat-7-West-A-8-West-C.html gets enough Middle East English language films from Dubai, Kuwait etc to entertain the family. A few sporty feeds for those interested, there are also hilarious Persian nighttime "pirate" DVD channels where some Iranian has obviously bought a very recent film in a souk somewhere, then transmits it presumably to undermine western society & Hollywood , one of these channels is "Iran MNTV" another is "Persian Star 2", (some ad breaks seem to be longer than the films) last week had a northern Cops horror story "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3148348/" not bad!

  2. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    I dont see how the BBC can justify continuing its existence by the TV tax. Maybe if it massively cut down its channels and focused purely on education, religion and ethics but it would need some serious polish of its image to gain trust in education and ethics instead of propaganda and misinformation. I cant comment on religion as I dont follow any and have no idea what the quality of the BBC in that department is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      You have obviously not spent time in the US, where the lack of quality in most output is only matched by the level of adverts, making most programs un-watchable.

      Yes, there are some great series, and comedies, but most of those are on cable, and how many of those series - left on a cliffhanger, are then canned as the only thing driving them is audience rating (read advertising revenue).

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @AC

        "You have obviously not spent time in the US, where the lack of quality in most output is only matched by the level of adverts, making most programs un-watchable."

        3 weeks and yes the amount of adverts is terrible, however the quality of some of the shows are actually reasonably good or fantastic (to the point where we pay to watch them over here!). In the UK when I did have a TV licence and watch a bit it was all sky and it was almost all american shows and films. Almost none was the BBC because unless they were repeating an old film I liked they didnt have much to watch (a notable exception being the Worricker trilogy but I missed the last episode and was too late to see it on IPlayer). Now I buy the DVD's so I can watch a show as much as I want and not have to record to skip adverts and not pay the BBC for not providing me any content.

        "Yes, there are some great series, and comedies, but most of those are on cable"

        Yes. Quality programming that requires an audience to produce. And of course the show either brings in an audience or money is not wasted on packing the channel with stuff people dont watch because of a telly tax. I am as annoyed as anyone over firefly being cancelled and various other shows too, but at least for a time something watchable was created. Something worth parting with my hard earned money for. I am happy paying for content I want to watch, and I think everyone deserves the right to watch what they want without having to subsidise sub standard channels.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          > I am as annoyed as anyone over firefly being cancelled

          Did you catch the film Serenity they made to "wrap up" the story?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @ skelband

            "Did you catch the film Serenity they made to "wrap up" the story?"

            Of course. Good film.

      2. DLKirkwood

        Re: Hmm

        I live in the US and I assume you have been here because you are so right!

        I stopped paying for Cable or Satellite television four years ago because I was SICK, SICK, SICK of 18 month contracts at close to $100.00 each month to pay for company selected channels - 85% of them I would not watch: Multiple shopping channels, sport channels with all manner of sport one can imagine (from all over the world) except the ones you are actually interested in, religious channels of every persuasion that was no my own (mostly catholic, fundamentalist, or preachers telling you how to live but rarely mentioning a Bible verse. Then there are the numerous music channels of ever sort outside of Swing, the 1980’s, Celtic or Classic Hymns which are the genres I prefer. Television channels? For the bottom rate (mentioned above) you had the option to pay for porn, or watch sitcoms with situations and language that most respectable person would find highly offensive. I can handle innuendo and appropriate swearing, and even some of the social situations of controversy if its not crammed down my throat or thrown in my face. I am certainly no prude, however the lowest of low were in the ‘cheap packages. If you wanted something that was more refined or respectful you had to pay more than than the $100.00 each month or block 85% of the programming. I enjoyed HGTV, Discovery, and other educational programs very much - but not for that price.

        HBO, SHOTIME, and other channels that offer current theatre movies or interesting well-written shows came at additional cost ($20.00/mo each). Even the Encore channels (a group of five at the time the offered classic movies or older, cleaner television programs) became grouped as specialty.

        Did I mention the Duplicate channels? More of the above mentioned rubbish but identical in every way other than being in High Definition, or spoken in Spanish. They counted this in their tally of over 100 channels. If wanted to watch the BBC (as so many Americans did do like some of the program offered: Miranda, IT Crowd, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Masterpiece, etc) it was inot included in the lower rung packaging, only in the more expensive package of $150.00 + each month!

        Really the only seasonal weekly television shows in the 100 + channels package were the five major networks we used to get for free (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS) before these corporations coerced the legal changes for High Definition frequency ‘because the old signal interfered with airplane frequency” ! I believe the polite word for this thinking in the UK would be Bollocks, and a little more strongly would put be to refer to the ones who precipitated all of the changes would be referred to a Wankers.

        I finally said NO MORE, and refused to continue on this path of highway robbery, and deceit. I am now quite happy paying Netflix $8.74/months with no commercials, and my son pays HuluPlus $9.00 month for current programs, and pull in some PBS programming free through ROKU - along with a few other free channel offerings. Lets see ... $100.00 per month for rubbish vs. $18.00 per months for an endless array of the sort of programming I personally enjoy watching with $82.00 each month left over for wonderful books, music, leave the apartment entertainment, and .... Well, you do the math. It’s a shame corporate executives aren’t able to.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Hmm

          +1 for able and apt usage of 'bollocks' and 'wankers' :)

    2. dogged

      Re: Hmm

      you've got a real bug up your arse about that, haven't you?

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: Hmm

        And yet in the US the networks that *do* produce the premium, watchable content are subscription-based (HBO is the current reigning example).

        Subscription-basis means they have already got your money, so can take a chance as opposed to claw onto weekly viewing figures and lowest common denominator stuff. They don't have to be ready to cancel series mid-run, so stories get to unfold (GoT is a popular example) and grow an audience.

        Did you see The Honourable Woman? BBC co-pro. Fabulous, intelligent drama, really wakes you up to what utter shit CSI <domain> made by the yard TV really is. We cannot lose stuff like that. Sherlock also, for instance, came from nowhere - no hoo-hah, it could have crashed and burned terribly, but someone was able to take a real punt and look how it has paid off. You can't do that kind of punt-taking if you're chasing weekly ad-rev fluctuations.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          On the other hand, just look at how narrow BBC new programme risk making is? How many times has it "re-imagined" (I would love to kick the a**e of whoever it was that conjured that) Sherlock Holmes? Or found yet another dreary costume drama?

          The BBC's current vogue is to make everything a competition: <fill in your own first word of title> Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen, <file in your own first word title> Bake-off, Antiques (Roadshow, Bargain Hunt etc), Auctions... - It would be better to simply not broadcast during the day, if only to reduce the 'repeat count' but, perhaps, to find money to invest in truly original, thoughtful content - Top Gear probably exposes mostly what's wrong with the BBC financial and production model - Using licence fee money to generate programmes for worldwide sale means that production values are compromised to those "low, common denominator" markets like the U.S....

          (I expect this will invoke a response reasoning how much the BBC earns from the 'world-wide' sales - My counter would be to ask qualification as to how much of those earnings go into producing quality, home-market content?)

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            >just look at how narrow BBC new programme risk making is

            Yes. Look.

            Wolf Hall. Happy Valley. Missing. Honourable Woman.

            Doesn't look very narrow to me (i.e., almost every other broadcaster/cabler is much narrower than that).

          2. graeme leggett

            Re: Hmm

            "Top Gear probably exposes mostly what's wrong with the BBC financial and production model - Using licence fee money to generate programmes for worldwide sale means that production values are compromised to those "low, common denominator" markets like the U.S"

            Except Top Gear was made on BBC2 budgets, proved to be popular and worldwide sales of the programme plus licensing the format made tons of cash. It was not made with the intention of selling abroad.

          3. Bunbury

            Re: Hmm

            "On the other hand, just look at how narrow BBC new programme risk making is? How many times has it "re-imagined" (I would love to kick the a**e of whoever it was that conjured that) Sherlock Holmes?"

            It does do that a lot - but the ACD stories provide a good framework. Also, the old 'Basil Rathbone' portrayal of Holmes was far from the swashbuckling sleuth of the books.

            But auntie also does new work; for example the recent series of Jonothan Strange and Mr Norrell, a book published in 2004, which I thought very good. But I would imagine the lack of title recognition would get it a smaller audience than Holmes.

          4. F0rdPrefect

            Re: Hmm

            "How many times has it "re-imagined" (I would love to kick the a**e of whoever it was that conjured that) Sherlock Holmes?"

            Three times, by my count.

            1951, 1964/5, 1983, 2010.

            I only remember 3 of them.

            ITV on the other hand has done 2 and shown 3 USA productions.

        2. Toltec

          Re: Hmm

          "Did you see The Honourable Woman? BBC co-pro. Fabulous, intelligent drama"

          I found it tedious and pretentious, and did not watch past the first episode, the ongoing episode trailers did not make change my mind and go to pick it up on a catch up service either.

          Just looked through the next week's listings for BBC 1 - 4 and could not see a single drama I would be interested in watching. There is the odd thing like Countryfile which I will record and watch later or with a delay so I can skip through the 'coming next' sections.

          C4 occasionally has some interesting drama such as Utopia (3rd series canned) or currently, Humans, which even then is teetering on the edge of 'nice idea, shame about the execution'.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            "Did you see The Honourable Woman?"

            I found it tedious and pretentious,

            There is the odd thing like Countryfile which I will record and watch

            And there we have it. Totally different tastes. Even the BBC can't be all things to all people so why should they be scrapped just because not everyone likes all of their output? There may well be other reasons for changing the funding model or even scrapping the BBC altogether, but just complaining that they "never" show anything "you" want to watch and then saying you do watch some of it after all is not a good reason. Especially when the BBC still get significant viewing figures for many of the their shows, whatever you or I may think of the quality of Eastenders.

            A poster further up just linked to 10GB of classical music. So? I like a bit of classical now and then. But I also have Motorhead in my collection. And everything in between.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              @ John Brown (no body)

              "And there we have it. Totally different tastes. Even the BBC can't be all things to all people so why should they be scrapped just because not everyone likes all of their output?"

              Who says scrapped? Scrap the tax. If people want it they can fund it, if it is their taste they can pay for it. Even if they only want one or two shows they can pay for it. But why must the rest of us pay for it when we dont bother with it?

              "but just complaining that they "never" show anything "you" want to watch and then saying you do watch some of it after all is not a good reason"

              It is when you look for stuff and try to watch things just to justify the money leaving your pocket. That is the wrong way around.

              "Especially when the BBC still get significant viewing figures for many of the their shows, whatever you or I may think of the quality of Eastenders."

              Then people watching it can pay for it. I dont like it but it is none of my business if others do. Just as it isnt my job to pay for their channels.

              And thumbs up on the motorhead

        3. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          You can't do that kind of punt-taking if you're chasing weekly ad-rev fluctuations.

          Thats what Pilots are for... I'm not a fan of Ads either. But if a Show isn't good, and can't get the ratings it goes, and something better (usually...), comes along. As much as I hate Big Brother, and its ilk of Reality TV, it manages to sell itself. I'm more of a Documenteries kinda guy myself. So I would watch Stations like PSB in the US, or the BBC's 2 & 4. If something were on... These days it seems that they're just recycling old Shows though. Otherwise I actually do enjoy xCIS <DOMAIN>, along with the Walking Dead. If US TV wasn't some of the greatest TV ever. Then I'd say your points were valid. Doctor Who probably wouldn't, or indeed hasn't been able to survive in that environment. it doesn't mean that it shouldn't exist. But why should the majority fund a Program for the minority that get to enjoy it? At leas PBS with its annoying bi-anual beg-a-thons are at least opt-in, and NOT mandated per law!

  3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    The CBBC lot has produced some genuinely good programs in recent years, "Horrible Histories" and "Young Dracula" stand out just off the top of my head.

    But all else on cable and broadcast has gotten shittier as more adverts are stuffed in, and more channels means less spent per channel on anything worthwhile.

    1. Ol'Peculier
      Happy

      Don't forget

      52 episodes of Clangers - out of those watching the first episode, 65% were adults!

      1. Paratrooping Parrot

        Clangers

        I have been watching every episode. :-) ITV has been producing dross for ages! They used to have some decent stuff ages ago. Although they have gone downhill.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Don't forget

        "52 episodes of Clangers"

        I was one of those adults! But based on watching that first "new" episode I did wonder why they made a new series instead just showing the old ones again. It wasn't really all that different.

        Something childrens TV producers/broadcasters seem to forget is that children grow up very, very quickly and move on to another channel aimed at their ever advancing age group. re-showing the same childrens shows on a one or two year repeat cycle would probably work just as well and be significantly cheaper than making/buying new stuff. My 5yo grandson loves the old Trumpton/Camberwick Green/Bill and Ben/Hectors House etc. He doesn't know or care that they 50 years old.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Amorous Cowherder
        Happy

        Re: "more adverts"

        Piano's now is it? Back in the 1990's when I did used to watch broadcast TV, it was always hipster bloke with an acoustic guitar, " singing a saccharine lyric to a cloying...accompaniment."! I see nothing much has changed! Ha ha!

      2. Irongut

        Re: "more adverts"

        What's an advert? I don't see them on Netflix.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @Irongut - Re: "more adverts"

          What's an advert? I don't see them when I fast forward through the breaks as I'm watching stuff I've recorded on my Sky+ Box.

      3. Hollerith 1

        Re: "more adverts"

        Last autumn I gave up watching TV on my TV because I calculated the time out of my life advertising took, and thought - why I am watching the same advert for the fifth time in a row, when I could pay for Netflix and see it without? The answer was: then do it.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: "more adverts"

          I gave up TV 14 years ago and I am perfectly sure that it has done me more good than harm...

          Google didn't invent anything new here, as you have always been the product....

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Don't forget CBeebies

      I still remember when the highlight of Christmas was an extended Bob the Builder.

      Very good programme that WAS.

      (Yes has to be Neil Morrisey version)

  4. John Robson Silver badge

    Surprised

    That live TV is that high still...

    1. boltar Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Surprised

      "That live TV is that high still..."

      There's plenty of chavs sitting at home doing bog all during the day watching Jeremy Kyle.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Jeremy Kyle...

        I wouldn't call that "live" TV. More kind of "undead".

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Jeremy Kyle...

          'Live' TV is by far the cheapest way to fill a regular slot - cover it with 4 cameras, competent presenters, and there's no post production to worry about - it's already gone to air so nothing to fix, you just get on with filling the next hour.

          Kyle is shot 'as live', multi camera but edited for length and drama. He may be the Daily Mail in human form, but Kyle is actually very good at what he does (hint- that show isn't journalism)

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Surprised

        @boltar

        Actually - that's true, there are a number of TV's on at work - mostly news channels though...

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "British TV companies now spend less creating original material; scrapping regulations means you get low quality programming; and people are losing the habit of watching live TV."

    Let's rearrange that sequence:

    1. scrapping regulations means you get low quality programming;

    2. British TV companies now spend less creating original material;

    3. people are losing the habit of watching live TV.

    1 leads to 2, 2 leads to 3 & a feedback loop from 3 to 2 makes the situation a runaway race to the bottom.

    1. TheTick

      Hang on, what?

      High quality programming only occurred because of regulations imposed by the government?

      Methinks this is bovine faeces.

      1. Hollerith 1

        On the contrary

        Regulation MADE then do programming that would not 'sell', so they had to do it, e.g. good science shows, political analysis, children's series, often compelling religion/philosophy stuff. The companies wanted to make stuff that advertisers would prefer and sold it Govt (who were all for private enterprise) on a platform of 'if we don't have to make shows, we can do what the Public wants, and at a high quality'. Turns out the Public doesn't want it.

      2. strum Silver badge

        Methinks you don't know much about the history of broadcasting.

        1. TheTick

          "Methinks you don't know much about the history of broadcasting"

          Enlighten me - which regulations enabled Game of Thrones to be made where it otherwise would not have been?

          Or House of Cards, or Lillehammer..etc...etc...

          1. dogged

            House of Cards

            And you were doing so well up until then. House of Cards is a remake of a BBC drama.

            Thanks for playing.

            Bye.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      2. didn't need 1. to happen. It happened because there are more choices of media, and more choices about how you get your TV.

      The best thing I've seen recently is The Secret History of Our Streets, BBC factual at its best. Incredible research worn very lightly:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jt9zh

      Then I found out its 3 years old. Lost the habit.

      1. moonrakin

        3 years old...

        indeed - harvesting the BBC's back catalogue and the highly selective stuff put on iPlayer makes me resent the state broadcaster even more.

  6. TheProf
    Unhappy

    Make/Watch

    Broadcasters are showing a lot less new material and they wonder why people are spending less time watching television? Quick! Set-up a committee to investigate this strange phenomenon.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honestly, young people today with their short att....

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Squirrel!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TV really isn't worth watching these day, hence I'm reading Andrew's column :)

    Seriously though, I've switched off my television set and gone and done something else less boring instead. Why Don't You ?

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge

    You know before I jumped on this IPTV train I kinda scoffed at the idea that this was a Broadcast killer... Now I'm starting to realize the amount of freedom this give me, being able to watch what I want, whenever I want is a very welcome addition. The fact that most of this stuff already has the Commercials ripped out of it is also a plus! it's not much wonder that the Beeb plan to shove Three onto the Wibbles. But, yeah the Content on 2, and 4 has been rather scarce. that I could see. I guess technically I could still find a live stream of these *cough* Filmon *cough*. But I hardly bother. since these Nutjobs axed the One Show that was actually any good.. Which was Top Gear.

    Things like Doctor Who... Will eventually find there way... (As they do!), onto the Wibbles, usually in HD! sometime just after having aired. That Nu-Who (to me...) will never touch the best of old Who... I could care less if I see it the instant it airs, or not.

    I suspect the last bastion of Broadcast TV will be the likes of the 24h News Channel(s). As if it weren't for these, and these alone. I could have saved myself the infrastructure costs of installing that DVB2IPTV Converter.

    1. dogged

      > the One Show that was actually any good.

      Not a phrase I've ever seen before.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Before Adrian was replaced by Ginger Twat.

        Now it is Top Gears turn

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Bigotry!

          Don't use the Ginger word orblame all Gingers because he is a twat, there are some quite decent Gingers, or so I am told

          1. Def Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Bigotry!

            ...there are some quite decent Gingers, or so I am told

            Ginger biscuits.

            Ginger cake.

            Ginger Rogers.

            Ginger beer (at a push).

            Can't think of any others though.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Bigotry!

            Decent ones.

            Damien the actor.

            The actor off Harry Potter.

            and many more

            CE though he IS the GT

  10. Harry the Bastard
    Paris Hilton

    wholesale title oriented outcome

    "There might be a need for a wholesale re-evaluation of how to deliver the public service outcomes Parliament has specified,"

    as a species we're doomed

  11. Brenda McViking
    Thumb Down

    As a 20 something

    I can confirm that the BBC means nothing to me and I consider their tax to be excessive.

    Netflix and amazon offer far better catalogues at a fraction of the price. No one listens to radio once you have a bluetooth system in your car, the BBC website turns more like the daily wail every day, and as for news, well I get mine from Al-Jazeera these days, aside from complaining about Tory cuts, the BBC doesn't have any news to report.

    If I want to crash in front of the box, I'll watch some netflix originals. The BBC did well with iplayer, but they seriously need to keep upping the stakes if they want to command a premium for it, like providing full access to the archives and getting some new dramas out. At the moment it feels like they've sat on their laurels for 7 years since iPlayer first became a force to be reckoned with. I know people like the ad-free nature of their channels, I appreciate that but to be honest, I don't see why I should subsidise it when 97% of the media I watch hasn't come from the licence fee - the licence is outdated, harkening back to a time where the BBC was 2 of the 4 channels available.

    Maybe if they stopped paying Capita so much to fill up the (taxpayer funded) courts with all these so-called criminal licence fee evaders, they might actually be able to afford to make something that people want to watch.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: As a 20 something

      Your argument would be far more persuasive it it wasn't such rubbish.

      "No one listens to radio once you have a bluetooth system in your car" So everyone only ever listened to radio in their car, and now they have bluetooth, what do they want to do that for any more?

      "If I want to crash in front of the box, I'll watch some netflix originals." All those hours and hours of new original content that NetFlix produces. The BBC produces more new original content on the average day than NetFlix does in a year.

      1. Lionel Baden

        Re: As a 20 something

        Sorry Im with Brenda,

        Fitted bluetooth and spotify on my phone, haven't used the radio since. @Home I didn't even bother fitting a TV aerial and dont watch any live TV, and certainly dont really miss it. Car is also without aerial.

        The last thing we watched on iplayer, was Dr Who, and tbh, missing it wouldn't of made a big difference.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: As a 20 something

          "missing it wouldn't of made a big difference."

          missing it wouldn't ov made a big difference.

          FTFY

    2. TheTick

      Re: As a 20 something

      Seem to be a lot of beeboids on here today judging from your downvotes and Just Enough's upvotes.

      What you said, Brenda, was completely sensible and accurate and as a 30-something-almost-40 I completely concur with your view.

      All you gits wanting other people to be forced to pay for your preferred viewing need to get a grip on reality. The telly tax will be history within 15 years and good riddance.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Boffin

        Re: As a 20 something

        > All you gits wanting other people to be forced to pay for your preferred viewing need to get a grip on reality

        How do you think all those companies who advertise on TV pay for it? We are *ALL* paying for it because the cost of the advertising is built into what we pay for their products!

        In your "15 years time" future when you have a choice of watching 47 different versions of Britain's Got the X-Factor Coming Strictly Through a Hole in the Wall on Ice, maybe you'll realise then what you've lost.

        1. Trygve

          Re: As a 20 something

          "In your "15 years time" future when you have a choice of watching 47 different versions of Britain's Got the X-Factor Coming Strictly Through a Hole in the Wall on Ice, maybe you'll realise then what you've lost."

          To be fair, that's not so different from what it was like a couple of years ago when I last tried finding something to watch on TV...

        2. TheTick

          Re: As a 20 something

          "How do you think all those companies who advertise on TV pay for it? We are *ALL* paying for it because the cost of the advertising is built into what we pay for their products!"

          What an utterly ridiculous statement. All companies will advertise through whatever medium is available. If there was no TV then the price of the product wouldn't go down, they would just find another way to get the message across to you. Probably one that is far more expensive such as junk mail and the price of the product would be higher than without TV advertising.

          Not to mention the most obvious point that no one forces you to buy anything that is advertised on telly, and competition between brands keeps prices down. Whereas a state-enforced tax has no such restrictions.

          And as another poster said, I don't need to wait 15 years for those 47 different versions of cruddy programs they are already here - that's why I dropped the BBC in the first place and am a happy tax-free streamer. :D

    3. Oli 1

      Re: As a 20 something

      Fair play to you "20 Something". Any anti-bbc comment gets such a strong reaction here.

      I've just hit my 30's and have never found use for the BBC beyond:

      Top Gear

      BBC News for Election Coverage

      Olympics & Wimbledon

      I pay the license fee, begrudgingly, but it needs to go.

      I'd pay per service or per show happily, but not given that option.

      And knowing people who work at the beeb, it is infuriating to watch my money pay for their jollies!

      Radio could be stripped back to half of what it currently is with no noticeable reduction in service, same with half their TV offerings. The shows just dont stand up to the US Cable equivalents.

      Over the last 12months i've started watching around 10 new TV Shows, the only UK one was dropped after one episode, they are light years ahead in terms of original programming.

      Bring on the down votes!

  12. Tim 11

    32,000 hours??

    "32,000 hours of original programming" ... "371 hours of new UK output were broadcast"

    can anyone explain what these numbers mean and why there is nearly a factor of 100 difference between them?

    1. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: 32,000 hours??

      I suspect the 32,000 hours includes US drama such as Game of Thrones, Mad Men, etc, all the documentary stuff made for Discovery, History Channels, etc, not to mention the shedloads of US reality TV. It would also include Scandanavian TV (I suspect there may be more original Scandanavian drama on BBC than UK produced) and Sky produced content (technically foreign?) such as Strike Back and collaborations with overseas channels in dramas such as The Tunnel and Fortitude. Have a look through the channels on a Sky box during peak broadcast season (usually autumn & spring) and I suspect you could find 100 hours of new overseas content for every hour of UK produced (especially when you bear in mind that most US dramas run for 20-26 episodes per season whereas UK drama tends to run from 6-13 episodes. So say 50 new overseas programmes for every new UK one. Doesn't seem unlikely to me.

    2. maffski

      Re: 32,000 hours??

      The 32,000 is across all genres and the 371 is specific to comedy and drama.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      "Apart from content I've recorded myself, (with a camera), my AV equipment never gets used."

      I think you might be the reason they want to monitor our Internet activity...

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      You will have missed some good things then.

      There might be a lot of crap out there but there are still some gems to be had. I won't say what because everyone's taste is different.

      I don't mind paying my £145.50 licence fee because that works out at 40p a day and even the time-filling dross is worth that. I consider a laugh a week worth the £3 it costs and I can usually find more than one. I would be surprised if anyone could not find one show (Dr Who, Top Gear, Strictly, Eastenders, HIGNFY, etc) which made a good part of the licence worth paying. I have been particularly taken by Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell despite my hate of period dramas.

      I also make my own entertainment but I also like to be entertained and don't begrudge the BBC the cost of catering for that.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        I would be surprised if anyone could not find one show (Dr Who, Top Gear, Strictly, Eastenders, HIGNFY, etc) which made a good part of the licence worth paying.

        Cost of TV License. £145.50.

        Cost of boxset: £14.99 (£19.99 if blu ray)

        Calculate the cost of the license fee vs the cost of the box sets for everything you would want to watch.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          1) RIP Top Gear... Its gone, and its never coming back. I have no plans of even entertaining the notion of watching whatever the BBC manage to churn out in this post Clarkson era. Carkson was Top Gear, as was Top Gear being Clarkson. I can not see one without the other. END!

          2) HIGNFY on a Boxset really?! I'd have thought that a show sooo topical would be beyond hopelessly dated by the time it got on DVD to start with.

          3) Doctor Who needs to revert back into a 20 Minute Cliffhanger format. I don't think the Writers are just that good at writing a script from start to finish in only a 45 Minute arc. Its One of the major things I hate about Nu-Who!

          4) Genderbenders... Well I guess every Network must have their Bigbrother crap chucked in. Someone must obviously like it! I could damned well say that of Ballroom dancing. But, even the Yans seem to like this crap too Since it comes on before Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. Why however remains a mystery to me...

          1. graeme leggett

            "3) Doctor Who needs to revert back into a 20 Minute Cliffhanger format. I don't think the Writers are just that good at writing a script from start to finish in only a 45 Minute arc. Its One of the major things I hate about Nu-Who!"

            It reflects the way that TV is made this way/the viewers expectations of a faster pace today. Things are just much quicker paced.

            Trying to fit 3 cliffhangers in a four 25-minute episode format could constrict the show in the old days, leading to padding (corridor running) sometimes, or Sylvester McCoy hanging not very perilously off a low cliff.

            There is also the expectation of need for some sort of "everything's going to be alright" resolution at the end of the episode for the benefit of the younger viewers. Moffat has said that however scary it might get during the episode that element needs to be sorted before the end and the little ones are packed off to bed.

  14. Duffy Moon

    Terrestrial TV

    Has been going downhill for about twenty years now, maybe thirty in the case of ITV (I can't remember watching anything good on that channel since the 80's). Channel Five has been shite since the start, of course. Four started with such promise, but when they bought Big Brother, everything went wrong.

    I think it was Dyke who killed the uniqueness of the BBC, when he broke it all up in the early 90's (I think it was him - correct me if I'm wrong).

    1. dogged

      Re: Terrestrial TV

      That was John Birt.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Terrestrial TV

        Birt gave producer choice, which meant for some productions that they could buy in services etc cheaper outside the Beeb. But it also meant

        1) that specialist internal services (previously effectively free at the point of programme making) had to be costed properly against a production budget

        2) self-same specialists within Beeb then lost the cross-subsidy effect

  15. Lamont Cranston
    Meh

    Ever since I was little,

    the complaint was that "there's nothing good on TV*". The difference now being that we can always find something else to watch, be that video games, streaming, or something else on the internet.

    I'm a big fan of the BBC but, if TV is going the way of newspapers, then so be it. Just so long as radio can survive.

    *kids get way better cartoons to watch, these days, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ever since I was little,

      Re: Cartoons. Would be better still if the best of recent Japanese Anime was picked up (and no, I don't count Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Pokemon as being anything like the best).

    2. Irongut

      Re: Ever since I was little,

      Kids cartoons are crap these days, give me Danger Mouse or Chorlton and the Wheelies any day.

      1. Jediben

        Re: Ever since I was little,

        I don't understand why kids tv is even made any more. With the attention span and memory of children, with their whimsical attitude and relatively simple minds willing to grasp onto any catchphrase, pretty pattern or gibberish spluttering bipedal character going, added to 40 year's worth of back catalogue, there shouldn't be a need to introduce NEW stories or NEW characters.

        Just re-run everything from the 70s and 80s and that's it sorted. The kids aren't going to critique the show, or wonder why Bagpuss moves in such a stop-motion effect. Bloody Philistines, the lot of 'em.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Ever since I was little,

        Dangermouse has been commissioned by CBeebies and will appear later this year...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ever since I was little,

          DM returning? Excellent news. May mean we could be seeing new Count Duckula or Victor and Hugo Bunglers in crime.

          My little 'un loves Cbeebies: Hey Duggie, Timmy Time and Night Garden (cheers to Derek Jacobi for the avuncular voice over) are his favourites. These programs make me laugh as well as make mini person laugh and clap and spin round till he's dizzy. Though the Hey Duggie episode with the chickens watching a Latino soap opera instead of laying eggs made me laugh!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ever since I was little,

        "[...] give me Danger Mouse or Chorlton and the Wheelies any day."

        and Willo The Wisp. You can also include The Magic Roundabout with its English dialogue.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Alan Denman

    Drama Queens

    Reading into it, the BBC is still better than most doing drama.

    ITV has recently reduced drama production by 42% so if you want to kill off most UK drama production, simply get rid of the license fee making it a free for all 'nothing'.

  17. Amorous Cowherder

    I don't have the time these days. No my life is not a hectic whirlwind of activities but I enjoy doing photography and as such I have a creative hobby that often keeps me either out of the house shooting pics or in front of a PC editing or chatting with fellow photographers. I'm not alone, lots of people have other interests that don't involve something so passive as watching TV. We have the internet giving us the ability to take part and communicate with like minded people who enjoy the same hobbies and activities.

    When I'm commuting to my dayjob I'll often watch educational things like tutorial videos from places like Pluralsight or Lynda,com on my tablet, the videos are either about IT topics or Photography. In this day and age you need to be a jack-of-all-trades to survive in IT and if you have a knowledge of all sorts of areas, you tend to remain useful to your employer. My precious free time is split between my favourite pasttime and my need to stay informed and educated in order to keep paying the bills and allowing me to enjoy my hobby. When I do sit down and watch TV it's often a half hour comedy here or there that's I've previously bought, usually something I've seen many times before so I can put it on in the background a bit like a radio station.

    I'm not alone, we have so many opportunities available that you have many choices how you wish to use your free time. If you work in IT you might have to work at all sorts of odd times, weekends, evenings, etc so you have to make the most of your free time when you get it. TV takes a lot of time and it's hard to justify being in the right place at the right time to watch a live broadcast, it simply doens't make sense in the busy world we all live in these days.

  18. W Donelson

    The Triumph of Advertising and Crap over actual thinking....

    The USA found this out. Look at it now.

    The Triumph of Advertising and Crap over actual thinking....

    When John Birt fired most of the talent at the BBC in the late 1980s, and told the BBC do (in effect) do more game shows, it's fate was sealed.

    Once upon a time, the BBC was the crown jewel of British Culture.

    :(

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Younglings don't pay

    The BBC is a farce. A smaller and smaller number of people are buying licences as more money is wasted on free web services for foreigners and the non-paying smartphone users. They spend enormous amounts on minority events and sports like tennis and golf which provide huge numbers of their hangers on with expensive freebies, ignoring sports like cycling. Everything is dumbed down with celebs even what used to be serious science topics. The one thing which does need subsidising is radio. The sooner they have to live in the real world like the rest of us, the better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Younglings don't pay

      > wasted on free web services for foreigners

      But, in actual fact the BBC Charter includes:

      o Sustaining citizenship and civil society;

      o Promoting education and learning;

      o Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;

      o Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;

      o Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK;

      o Helping to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services, and taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.

  20. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Quality

    It wont be long before the Gov decides the BBC is underperforming and needs to be forced to become an Academy

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I offer for vote the ITV oxymoron - Britain's Got Talent

    That's all folks!

  23. Chris Miller

    The BBC have a solution to the problem

    They're planning to reduce their layers of management from 10 to 'only' 7. [This is not a joke, hence the absence of the icon.]

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC needs to die

    The most annoying company in the world. They do whatever they want with no comeback. Take Sherlock, everyone loves the show but because they can get way with 3 episodes a season, that's what we get.

    Watching the kids channels is painful with the animated logo. Why have a logo at all? No wonder kids don't watch with a stupid piece of crap breaking their concentration. No wonder kids have no attention span, it's being conditioned into them by the BBC. If they want to save money make programs and stop driving your viewers away. Threatening them with criminal records for refusal to pay for shite does not work.

  25. NotWorkAdmin

    I seem to remember...

    My mum rationing my TV to 2 hours per day max. After that I had to go outside and play with sticks or something. The article implies she was wrong and I actually SHOULD have been allowed to watch The Dukes of Hazard. Bugger.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suffer the children ...

    Back in the 60s and 70s when I was a tiddler there were 3 (eventually) channels.

    That meant that all tv broadcasting to all demographics had to be on those channels. Combine that with a lack of other entertainment beyond tree houses and books and that meant that the yoof was exposed to not only programmes aimed at them but also adult themes. Likewise, programmes aimed at, how can I put this, a lesser informed demographic, were side by side with full on intellectual documentaries. As a result, children and poorly educated people had their horizons expanded because they saw programmes outside of their experience and expectations (I lump myself in with this0. That was a GOOD thing. Now that one can spend 24 hours glued to a channel aimed totally at dim fools that is not happening anymore and as a result our 'culture' (such as it is/was) is dissolving!

  27. ShortLegs

    I never thought I would see the day when American TV surpassed anything the UK produced. And then I watched "Bosch" on Amazon. For 'free' (in the sense I paid my £79 for prime delivery service).

    Absolutely blown away. Great scripts, expertly blending story lines from several of the novels into each episode and the series story arc. Good choice of actors, with great acting. And superb production values.

    All from a company that doesn't do TV as its core business. Far far better than anything BBC or ITV have produced in years. The only complaint I had was "I want season 2 NOW!!!".

    I pay for my TV licence, but not after this year. I do not watch broadcast TV. The only TV program I've watched in three years is Corrie, and I use ITV Player for that (which is diabolical... how come Amazon can make a good player, and stream HD content flawlessly even down my ADSL1 connection but ITV cant?). Thats it. Sad choice of program, but there is absolutely nothing else of interest, nothing of any value. VU+ box, 30,000 channels if I want... and nowt to watch. I only use the TV to watch DVD/B|D films.

  28. James Cane

    Radio 4

    I would gladly pay the entire cost of the license fee every year (and more) just to keep Radio 4 going.

  29. James Cane

    I watch almost no TV

    And what little I do watch is mostly on a laptop.

    But I'm more than happy to pay the license fee.

    It's a bargain. I'd pay it - and more - just for Radio 4. Then there's the BBC news outfit which remains the best in the world, and free of commercial interference.

    1. King Jack

      Re: I watch almost no TV

      @ James

      I'm calling you out. You'd pay more? How about you pay for my licence to prove your point?

      On second thoughts don't bother, I enjoy the exercise I get from ripping up the extortion demands.

      1. James Cane

        Re: I watch almost no TV

        I would pay more: if the license fee went up, I would pay it and I wouldn't complain. I'm not paying your license fee for you, as that would simply let you off the hook and would result in a zero-sum game.

        Your move.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Songs of Praise slot on BBC very occasionally has a video of a home-grown boys choir, Libera, with an international following that verges on boy band fame. If you want to watch a live recording of one of their European concerts you have to go to the USA where it is broadcast on their PSB and issued on DVD. Then again there's always YouTube.

  31. BobRocket

    If the BBC closed tomorrow I wouldn't notice (I don't imagine I would be 40p/day better off either as the Government would just extract it in other ways).

    The 'charter' from the OP above makes me laugh, where does Eastenders fit into that ?

    The 24hr news is like a poor mans Richard and Judy without the talent and wtf is 'Victoria Derbyshire', not exactly what I'd call news.

    R4 used to be ok but now 'wimmins issues' has to be levered into every program I've stopped listening to that.

    When my youngest gets bored with Peppa and Ben & Hollie (C5) then I'll stop buying the licence, in all probability I won't buy another TV ever again.

  32. moonrakin

    In principle the BBC / PSB /should/ be a good thing - but it lost its way some considerable time ago.... Head of BBC a banker, head of C4 a banker.... substitute a w for a b and you've summed up the management.

    It's difficult in light of the facts to view Public Service Broadcasting as anything but bloated dysfunctional bureaucracy with all the attendant chronic problems that are consequent from that.

    Some beeboids might see the reduction in viewers and worry - but even more simply aren't interested - how else would/could you explain the monstrous vanity, monumental hubris, slovenliness and towering self regard - all suffused with right-on prosthletising that 'pon occasion simply beggars belief?

    At the rate they're going - the funeral is going to precede the centenary - and that ... on balance, imho - is something of a just reward.

    Too big to fail? - we'll see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "how else would/could you explain the monstrous vanity, monumental hubris, slovenliness and towering self regard "

      I assumed it was something to do with your formative years.....

  33. Tony W

    the cost of making TV has fallen by less than the rate of inflation

    My head hurt when I read this. I think you mean "risen".

  34. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well yeah..

    Well, yeah, I've seen people watching FAR less TV here in the US than they would have 10 years ago. Several factors (which may or may not apply in UK):

    1) Cost. Cable that went up from $35.95 to about $5 a month about 15 years ago, is up to $80 a month or so now. DirecTV costs somewhat less, and Dish network less than that (both satellite dish services) but still a good chunk of change each month. OTA (over the air), if you have good TV reception you can get "enough" channels (compared to before with analog) that many people have dropped cable or dish but since there are fewer channels to choose from, simply watch less TV.

    2) Excessive advertising. One show I've seen is about 17 minutes long -- that is 13 minutes of ads. Who the hell is going to watch that many ads, that's almost 50% ads!!! I watch some TV, but NEVER live -- DVR recorded or downloads only.

    3) Simply so many hours in the day. First, people do spend far longer online, so they won't be watching TV when they are online. Second, with the poor economy I've been seeing people work 2 jobs who used to work 1, putting in extra hours if they can. Going back to the cost factor, the average wage in the US is lower than it was a few years ago (not even counting inflation), so people would rather spend time online and read, if they have the free time even for that.

    As for money spent on shows -- I just don't see the money spent on shows as a factor. If less money means fewer hours of programming, that is one thing. But, look, they must have spent about a buck fifty on some of those classic episodes of Doctor Who -- man the special effects were... something... -- but they were good to watch. On the flip side, I've seen movies and shows that they spent a fortune on the special effects, but the they SUCKED.

    Of course, the big fad (in the US) is this endless collection of reality shows, most of which are virtually unwatchable but cost almost nothing to make. The thing is, though, good writing and good plot just don't cost a fortune, but a lot of shows now blow budget on sets and locales, and other extraneous things (there's a lot of wiggle room in special effects between "1970s Doctor Who" and "state of the art that costs a fortune" for example.)

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