back to article Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

Nearly three-quarters of TV Licensing criminal convictions in the UK last year were secured against women, according to data gathered by an anti-Telly Tax campaigner. Of the 184,595 people across the UK charged with non-payment of the TV Licence by Capita TV Licensing, 21,300 were found not guilty – and 90 people were jailed …

  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Abolish the TV tax. Problem solved.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      No because the BBC still do things well and are making in-roads to slimming down, no commercials is also not to be sniffed at. Once the licence fee is gone and the BBC carry adverts it is more than likely gone for good and the BBC will be no better than any broadcaster which could then cause its complete demise. Not a light or easy decision to make.

      There is an argument for the BBC to encrypt and only licence fee payers can access the TV content. This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware. Can you imagine that?!.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware.

        No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          "No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe."

          I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV I've come across and there isn't one in my Freesat box either. If the technology was there in the boxes to go cardless then why do Sky bother sending them out?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV

            https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/vutv-adds-13-extra-channels-to-your-freeview-box-for-6-99/

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: VuTV

              "VuTV will be closing on Thursday 22 October 2015.

              [https://twitter.com/VuTV ]

              From the information on the web, the VuTV IPTV gismo only worked with a limited number of Freeview HD devices. But you are correct the notable features of this gizmo was the attempt to plug it into the Freeview box rather than the TV and use the Freeview box's remote to navigate the IPTV channels within Freeview channel 238.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV I've come across and there isn't one in my Freesat box either.

            The CI+ slot in the back of your TV. Unless it's a small TV it'll have it.

          3. d3vy Silver badge

            "No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe."

            Good job that the BBC content is only delivered via TV isnt it... Imagine if they had a stack of FM radio stations* and everyone had an FM radio in their car THAT WOULD BE A NIGHTMARE - good job thats not reality isnt it?...

            * For some reason everyone forgets about the radio when discussing the TV Licence....

      2. macjules Silver badge
        Megaphone

        An old and redundant argument .. a bit like the BBC.

        1) Name something that the BBC still does well. Their commentary on Wimbledon this year was truly atrocious - I thought that some of the commenters were perhaps on hard drugs.

        2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources.

        3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped.

        There are some things that the BBC does do really well, such as Radio 4, wildlife documentaries, period drama or occasionally sports coverage. Sadly those do not represent enough of the huge "trebles all round" that the monolith spends.

        Sorry, but the BBC is now an anachronism.

        1. Haku

          Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

          It would be muzzled so heavily it couldn't breathe properly, producers would be told that certain topics cannot be covered, because companies that pay their bills through advertisments would not want their products being the focus of the programme.

          1. TheTick

            Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

            Wasn't The Cook Report on ITV a bit like that?

          2. DG123457

            But the BBC do that anyway. Ask them to cover the 100k+ wages they pay a majority of there staff and how they covered up Saville and many other stuff BBC is just as corrupt yeah we the tax payer have to ay their wages...

            1. Richard Parkin

              how they covered up Saville

              " how they covered up Saville " you can't blame them for that, he was the darling of the public for years though I always thought he was creepy and couldn't understand his popularity.

              1. DG123457

                Re: how they covered up Saville

                So you honestly think it was ok to cover what he done up? What bout all the peoples lifes he ruined and how that could of been cut by more than half if they never let him get away with it. They just stood back and watched they ar as bad as him...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

            Why would I want to imagine a programme like Watchdog on any channel? Lightweight tripe focused on minor consumer woes. The BBC cancelled all real investigative journalism after they shat their own pants over the Gilligan episode, and haven't done anything decent since.

            If they won't do proper news, they should hand the job over to somebody who will.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Watchdog? Meh. How about real news? Granada told the bloke who created 'World in Action' to cause as much trouble for those at the top as he could. Jonathan Aitken went to jail thanks to World in Action. 'This Week' from Thames shook them as well with 'Death on the Rock'. I'm nostalgic for the good old days of ITV (back in the days it was a federation of franchised local broadcasters), but, the thought that only the BBC can do serious shit is wrong. Would the BBC have shown 'Death on the Rock'? Special mention to Weekend World, and World in Action though, for having the best title sequences with the best music. They dont make em like that anymore.

        2. Martin Summers Silver badge

          "1) Name something that the BBC still does well."

          I don't need to as you answered your own question at the end of the comment. Plus what people think is done well is subjective.

          "2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources."

          Citation needed. Although I don't have one to hand for my assertion that they are slimming down I can say at least visibly they've moved in to modern easier to maintain buildings in Manchester that would have otherwise stayed in an expensive London property to produce a large part of their output.

          "3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped."

          Yes but that's not going to last as the ads pay for the content whether we like that or not. On demand players already stop you skipping ads so what is to stop them implementing that technology on a PVR to used to record a broadcast?

          1. MOV r0,r0

            Citation? The BBC's own 2016 accounts: staff salaries increased to £990 million (up from £977 million) with headcount only cut by 54 leaving 18,920 on the payroll - that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?

            They did save £154 million but mostly from cutting content rather than bureaucracy. Entirely the wrong thing to do.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              >Citation? The BBC's own 2016 accounts: staff salaries increased to £990 million (up from £977 million) with headcount only cut by 54 leaving 18,920 on the payroll - that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?

              BBC1, BBC2, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Alba, CBeebies, CBBC, BBC3 and BBC4. Even if you discount BBC3 (online only) and BBC4 as a half that still gives you plenty more than two and a half TV channels.

              Another 10 National Radio stations - 1, 1xtra, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5xtra, 6, Asian and World Service.

              Plus all the local coverage. It soon adds up.

              Not that the BBC is perfect by any means, but it does have plenty of good stuff - irrespective of taste.

            2. d3vy Silver badge

              "that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?"

              Off the top of my head :

              BBC1 , BBC2, BBC4, CBBC, CBEEBIES*, NEWS24, BBC Parliment, then theres the relegated to the internet BBC3.

              And as for "Some radio"... Bit of an understatement? there are at least 5 national BBC radio stations and then regional ones dotted around the country... "Some" doesn't quite cut it.

              * Worth noting that the BBC runs the only kids programs that still seem to have some focus on being slightly educational.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          The TV licence also funds local TV, welsh TV, radio, broadband rollout, online services...

          I know, "I don't watch local TV, welsh TV, listen to radio, use broadband or online services."

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            That's not the point. I should be able to choose whether I want to pay for the BBC and use it, or don't and not.

        4. d3vy Silver badge

          1) Name something that the BBC still does well. Their commentary on Wimbledon this year was truly atrocious - I thought that some of the commenters were perhaps on hard drugs.

          >> News, Drama, Local Radio, Nature Programs, Comedy - there is literally something for everyone.

          2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources.

          >> I cant really comment on that, not enough info.

          3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped.

          >> The age of watch and record later is on its way out, streaming is the future and you cant skip those ads.

          Of the content providers available the BBC has the most that I want to watch, iPlayer is better than any other streaming service available... And dont get me started on the quality of BBC radi compared to other stations - I tried a local station the other day ore adverts than music.

        5. gandalfcn

          I find it interesting that people on the right wing of politics are always screaming about the BBC being left wing and people on the left wing of politics are always ranting that the BBC is rigjht wing. Which is a fact. Try reading HYS for a few weeks and comments on YT etc.

          Stop and think about this.

          Also what most proponents of getting rid of the BBC because there are free tv channels seem to forget that they are paying via the ads, whether they use the products being advertised or not. Exceedingly unfair.

          They also seem to want people like Murdoch to control the UK media. Total lunacy.

          Go to the USA and see what happens there, mostly crap, at least the BBC sets a high standard which other channels have to try and emulate.

          End of rant.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            "Go to the USA and see what happens there, mostly crap, at least the BBC sets a high standard which other channels have to try and emulate."

            Ive been, the range of choice was astounding... you could have total crap with adverts every 5 minutes or utter shite with adverts every 10 minutes.

            At least theres some decent stuff ad free on Netflix over there...

      3. Timbo

        "There is an argument for the BBC to encrypt and only licence fee payers can access the TV content. This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware. Can you imagine that?!."

        The fact is that the BBC had the PERFECT opportunity, when we went from analogue 625 line transmission to digital TV (ie Freeview), to ensure that EVERY Freeview box had a CAM slot, so that everyone who wanted to watch the digital BBC transmissions, could do so. A simple CAM card could have been issued to the viewer when they got their new TV licence.

        But they FAILED to do so.

        Even now, they could encrypt their signals on the Sky and Virgin platforms and said broadcasters could increase the subscription to those viewers and monies would come in (if they fully went over to the encrypted route). And many Freeview and Freesat viewers could get a CAM card if their receiver accepted it, or buy a cheap new set top box.

        But the fact is, that like so many other technologies, (DAB for one), the BBC has failed to see beyond it's limited, blinkered views and still relies on 1960's methods of extracting money from people who might not even want to watch the BBC.

        Time will come when the BBC will have to cut its expenditure, if more people decide the TVL is not worth the money anymore, esp with other channels online and from satellite.

        PS: It also seems that if you want to watch ANY programs on the BBC iPlayer archive, that were made (say) 5, 10 even 20 years ago, you have to agree to the statement that you currently have a TV Licence. Given that these programs were all paid for "way back when" they should now be in the public domain and they should not require your agreement to something that isn't relevant to the archived programmes.

      4. Jim 59

        Unfortunately the Beeb now carries many adverts. For itself and its own products, maybe, but still annoying adverts. On TV every gap between progrmmes is filled with adverts for other programmes and pointless, expensive looking "idents" that seem to serve no purpose except self promotion. On radio, programmes are routinely interrupted right in the middle, as that honeyed voice says, for the 11th time, something about a furure programm you don't wish to listen too.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Coat

          Idents

          @Jim 59

          expensive looking "idents"

          In the old days, BBC1 managed with a revolving globe and BBC2 had a simple animation. No need for expensive "idents" outsourced to "independents".

      5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          To clarify, I don't agree with how the licence fee is administered, its cost, or the structure of the BBC itself and all the bad things it does including how biased its news coverage is. I think all the down votes assume that I'm a raving BBC supporter and I'm not. I just think we could work with and improve what we have rather than abolish it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > their hugely biased lefty liberal metropolitan reporting.

          Which version of the BBC do you get? - the one I get is very Tory biased. Had to stop watching Breakfast over the election period it was so bad.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            "Which version of the BBC do you get? - the one I get is very Tory biased. Had to stop watching Breakfast over the election period it was so bad."

            Its a fairly good indication of them being unbiased that both sides seem to think they favour the other. :)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "very Tory biased."

            Really? The stereotype of the BBC is "Lefty-liberals" and the Tories are always complaining about the BBC being Labour biased. The logical conclusion is that they are doing something right.

      6. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Subscription service

        The BBC had a golden opportunity to change to a subscription service at the time it went digital. It could easily have specified that digital TV's and STBs had to be capable of accepting decryption cards.

        It did not do so - probably because it knows full well that it would get far less by charging only those people who watch its content than it gets by charging people top watch other products.

        A bit like having to pay Tesco an annual fee when you shop at Asda.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Subscription service

          More 'BBC America' channels on U.S. cable systems might generate a lot of revenue for BBC. Just a thought. [they could also be premium channels, a sort of 'subscription service' in its own right]

      7. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Pint

        I have a potential solution:

        a) only pay tax if you actually watch BBC shows [ok a method for collecting might be difficult]

        b) if digital cable systems can track what you watch, use THAT to levy taxes for BBC shows. Then make sure there are plenty of competing channels [and make it so you can block the 'tax' ones to avoid accidental watching]

        then when tax bills show up, people will make the choice of watching tax-funded shows [and being taxed], or going to the fridge for another beer while the ad is playing.

        (icon for my choice)

  2. Commswonk Silver badge
    Facepalm

    See me...

    TV Licence evasion cases are heard before magistrates’ courts, sitting with a panel of between one and three judges.

    Oh purleeese... Magistrates' Courts have Magistrates sitting in them, not Judges. OK it might be a "District Judge" or a Stipendiary Magistrate, but not a "Judge" who would inhabit a Crown Court.

    Sorry; that's a very basic error.

    1. HieronymusBloggs

      Re: See me...

      "Sorry; that's a very basic error."

      It's a dreddful error.

    2. RedCardinal

      Re: See me...

      Not to mention that magistrate courts don't exist in Scotland...

    3. taxman
      Stop

      Re: See me...

      "Cleveland topped the charts for the number of suspected evaders....."

      Another very basic error. That county was abolished over 20 years ago and the area divided into 4 unitary borough councils. So really Warwickshire was top and London second.

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: See me...

        Does 'Suspected Evader" = household without a TV licence? There are a large number of people who do not have televisions and who are repeatedly harassed by these dodgy shyster salespeople.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: See me...

      A little off-topic, but magistrates are incredibly archaic and shouldn't exist in the age of modern justice.

      Who wants to be deemed guilty by a snob without a law degree on a power trip?

    5. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: See me...

      And that magistates do not have any great legal skills / knowledge (usually). Most of them (not all, before someone whinges) just seem to be fascist tin pot dictator types - T. May reminds me of a typical magistrate.

    6. Infernoz Bronze badge
      WTF?

      Re: See me...

      WTF, people as still being conned to incriminate themselves, but then emotional thinking can hurt a women's judgement/resolve! No one should be ending up at these fake courts.

      Any informed, alert and assertive person can stop these fishing expeditions dead outside the house, by simply refusing to recognise their supposed authority and turning them away like any unwanted door-step salesman or charity shyster.

  3. MJI Silver badge

    How can they make a profit from it?

    Repeated visits and letters, loads of them, to homes not yet occupied. New builds or rentals not yet rented are being pelted with them, no occupants, no TVs.

    Just two I know of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How can they make a profit from it?

      The website where you can register as not having a TV asks for too much information.

      I'm expecting the first visit to a renovation site any week now. It doesn't even have electricity yet.

      1. alain williams Silver badge

        Re: How can they make a profit from it?

        The website where you can register as not having a TV asks for too much information.

        Why do you need to register that you don't need one ?

        If you really do not need one, then just don't buy one. If they come round, just say that you don't need one. You don't need to tell M&S that you do not need any new shirts.

        If you are feeling nice you could write them a letter, but I cannot see why you are under any obligation to do so.

      2. Archie Woodnuts

        Re: How can they make a profit from it?

        The fact you have to state you don't have a TV at all is something of an imposition, let alone fill out a load of shite so that you can repeat the process every two years.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The TV licence is very odd in the 21st century. If I were a sky subscriber and I stopped paying, they'd cut off my service. If you are a BBC subscriber and you stop paying, you eventually go to prison. I'm just not getting the difference......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One is a license, which most of the money goes to the BBC, which you need if you wish to watch TV. The other is a subscription to channels of your choosing.

      The first is required by law to be paid if you wish to view any TV channels.

      1. fnusnu

        Not quite. The license is for the receipt of broadcast transmissions. You are quite at liberty to watch pre-recorded material or CCTV on your TV

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "So why are we one of the only countries in the world to pay such a ludicrous and out of date tax?"

            Half of asia and 2/3 of europe have very similar setups. It's not at all unusual.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The funny thing is, in Japan, where they also have a TV license, if you don't pay it...

              ...nothing happens.

              No fine, no other sanction for non-payment. Absolutely nothing.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            So why are we one of the only countries in the world to pay such a ludicrous and out of date tax?

            Wrong.

        2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Not quite. The license is for the receipt of broadcast transmissions. You are quite at liberty to watch pre-recorded material or CCTV on your TV

          Not just the tellybox stuff - it covers radio as well. In fact, I think it replaced and expanded the scope of the radio licence from days of yore.

          Insert obligatory comment here about Radio 4 being worth the licence fee alone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        TV License

        Some of it goes to Channel 4 as well but don't let the anti BBC rhetoric get in the way of facts.

        For me, the License Fee (the price of one skinny decaf latte per week) is more than good value just to NOT see endless adverts for

        payday loans at at least 99% interest

        Personal accident ambulance chasers

        Bud Lite gnats piss

        PPI claims

        Over 50's Life Insurance

        Funeral Plans

        And that's just during the TdF.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          Re: TV License

          And that's just during the TdF.

          Is it me, or does ITV4's coverage of the TdF seem to have adverts every five minutes?

        2. DG123457

          Re: TV License

          Its ok paying for something if you actually use it. I dont see the point if you don't and thats where you should have a choice

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

            @DG123457: Yeah, bang on. If I only watch Sky then why should I pay for the BBC? Also I don't have kids, so why am I paying for other people's kids to go to school? Only private schools should be allowed. Furthermore, I wasn't ill this year, so how do I get my money back from the NHS?

            1. DG123457

              Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

              Not sure how you can compare medical issues to a company that gets money for the sake of it by making a law way back when tv had 1 channel?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                @ DG123457

                "Not sure how you can compare medical issues to a company that gets money for the sake of it by making a law way back when tv had 1 channel?"

                Apparently some people think the BBC is as important as education or health. I dont get it either. I guess these people are so lonely they cant even get a dog to put up with them so have nothing but the TV. Oh and the internet that they write these stupid comments on.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                  "Apparently some people think the BBC is as important as education or health."

                  No, you misunderstand. The point is that it is qualitatively the same as those things. It is one of a vast number of things that your taxes pay for, many of which you probably don't use yourself. If you don't like health or education as examples, pick any other area of public expenditure.

                  Like, say, if I don't use my local park, why am I paying for its upkeep - shouldn't the council fund that by charging an entrance fee to people use it.

                  Is the park more or less important than the BBC? Doesn't matter, because that's irrelevant to the argument that DG123457 was making: "I shouldn't have to pay for it because I don't use it." "I don't use it" is an extremely feeble argument against any public spending priority.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                    @AC

                    "No, you misunderstand. The point is that it is qualitatively the same as those things."

                    I still dont understand. Are you saying all are crap so we should all be forced to pay for crap? I can see cheap Chinese tat doing well out of that. Or that they are all so good that we should all be forced to pay for it? In which case when does my Ferrari arrive?

                    We still dont need the BBC to live (health) or learn (education) unless you mean to injure (health) and occupy kids while parents do other things (education) but that still doesnt explain how it important enough to have a TV tax.

                    "Like, say, if I don't use my local park, why am I paying for its upkeep - shouldn't the council fund that by charging an entrance fee to people use it."

                    I guess thats one way to go and if the park falls into a wasteland or unmaintained trash the house prices suffer and the place turns to crap while people have to walk the long way home around the green spaces. How does that compare to a private business taxing people for not using its product?

                    " "I shouldn't have to pay for it because I don't use it." "I don't use it" is an extremely feeble argument against any public spending priority."

                    Well said, I will see you outside in 5 with my new car? Chop chop

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                      "I still dont understand. Are you saying all are crap so we should all be forced to pay for crap?"

                      They are all public services that your taxes pay for, whether you use them or not.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                        Let's see if we can come at this from a slightly different direction. A couple of arguments against the BBC have been put here:

                        1. I don't use the BBC so I shouldn't have to pay for it.

                        2. The taxpayer shouldn't fund the BBC because the private sector could provide a similar service.

                        You can test the validity of these arguments by seeing how they apply to something else: the NHS, for example.

                        Like this:

                        1. Do I use the NHS? Perhaps not. So should I be able to opt out of paying for it? Hmm, not really.

                        2. Could the private sector provide a healthcare service? Certainly, it does in the USA after all. So does that mean we should disband the NHS? Hard to agree with.

                        These "arguments" only seem to work if you apply them to something that you already dislike. Thus they're not arguments against the BBC at all, they're rationalisations of a view already formed for some other reason.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                          @AC

                          "Let's see if we can come at this from a slightly different direction." and "You can test the validity of these arguments by seeing how they apply to something else: the NHS, for example."

                          You see this is where is falls over. No you cant compare the BBC with the NHS. The failure starts at the beginning by thinking they are comparable. The NHS stops tomorrow, imagine the scenario. The BBC stops tomorrow, would anyone bat an eyelid?

                          For those thinking it is comparable I cannot hold a rational conversation. Its like people who have a bad hair day or miss their morning starbucks think it is literally the worst thing that can happen in this whole wide world. It really isnt comparable.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                            "For those thinking it is comparable I cannot hold a rational conversation."

                            They are both publicly-funded services. They are both things that a particular individual may or may not use. They could both be replaced by the private sector.

                            Tell me which of those is not true. These are the only similarities that are required for the argument in my previous post to stand up. Which, to be clear, was demonstrating the invalidity of two specific arguments that had been made against the BBC, and nothing more. The subjective value or importance of the BBC or NHS are in no way relevant to that case.

                            If you're going to need me to explain logic to you from first principles, then yes, a rational conversation is out of the question. Maybe watch a BBC4 documentary about it or something.

                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                              Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                              @AC

                              "They are both publicly-funded services. They are both things that a particular individual may or may not use. They could both be replaced by the private sector."

                              Interestingly that sums up pretty much everything. That doesnt add or remove from your argument, it literally means nothing.

                              "These are the only similarities that are required for the argument in my previous post to stand up"

                              Except you dont address the point I made. The NHS is the health provision in this country. If it vanishes tomorrow will anyone care? The answer is yes and on a huge scale as people legitimately fear for lives. If the BBC vanishes tomorrow will anyone care? Well eventually someone will notice and possibly twitter or post on some message boards but thats about it. When the BBC was the only thing to watch then it made sense.

                              "The subjective value or importance of the BBC or NHS are in no way relevant to that case."

                              Subjective value of Dr Who vs Health care. This is what we are talking about. Life saving vs entertainment. If you cannot logically see a difference then you might need to reassess your version of logic.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                                "Except you dont address the point I made."

                                You are correct that I'm not debating your subjective judgment about the importance of the BBC.

                                "Subjective value of Dr Who vs Health care. This is what we are talking about. Life saving vs entertainment."

                                Did DG123457 say "I shouldn't have to pay for the BBC because it's not very important"? No, the argument was "I shouldn't have to pay for the BBC because I don't use it."

                                Did you say "It's something in 2020 that the government shouldn't be providing, cos it's not very important"? No, you said "It's something in 2020 that the government shouldn't be providing, cos private companies can provide it."

                                Those were the two arguments I was responding to. That's all. Everyone can make their own subjective judgments about the value of the BBC. Yours is that it's of little value. That doesn't entitle you to use invalid rationalisations to support your case.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

                    "I shouldn't have to pay for it because I don't use it." "I don't use it" is an extremely feeble argument against any public spending priority.

                    Bang on. TV shouldn't be a public spending priority.You cant compare Bargain Hunt or the Great British Menu with things like health / education or indeed open spaces. It's something in 2020 that the government shouldn't be providing, cos private companies can provide it. People digging their heels in defending an early 20th century position where there was one state broadcaster is astonishing. Times have changed.

            2. DG123457

              Re: Its ok paying for something if you actually use it

              Not sure how you can compare medical care/issues to a company that made a law back when tv had 1 channel.

              Now we have 500+ channels (All Crap) and still that 1 company (BBC) gets all the profits....

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: TV License

            Its ok paying for something if you actually use it. I dont see the point if you don't and thats where you should have a choice

            You do have a choice - if you don't have a TV you don't need a TV licence(*). It's a licence to receive broadcast TV. The fact that the money from it mostly goes to the BBC and C4 doesn't change the nature of the licence. I'm old enough to remember when you needed a radio licence, and back then nobody whinged about "only listening to Radio Luxembourg so why should I pay for the Third Programme".

            (*) Although that doesn't stop the bastards hassling you endlessly.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: TV License

          "For me, the License Fee (the price of one skinny decaf latte per week) is more than good value just to NOT see endless adverts for"

          (snip list of irritating ads)

          my least favorite are the ones for prescription drugs, about 1/3 of the ads it seems. The disclaimers are both hilarious and frightening at the same time. "Use of this product may result in horrible maming, death, or voting for liberal politicians. Avoid using this product when having fun, living a normal life, or driving." etc.

          Aside from that... in the USA we have public broadcasting stations, from non-profit radio stations like KSDS (which plays pretty good jazz music) to the well-known PBS [which is likely to lose all gummint funding any time soon, as it should].

          So if you want to see a particular show, contribute! I'm sure Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow get lots of contributions for PBS. [then PBS uses those funds to produce left-wing "documentaries" but that's a problem with how they use their funds, not the willingness of people to contribute to a network that plays things they want to see].

          Anyway, it's an option, right? Then like with any charity, you can hold them accountable, if they don't make shows you want to see, by not contributing... but if it's TAXES paying for it, you have NO say-so at ALL!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Here's a 'what if' for you. What if I don't want to use the bbc, but am happy with ITV, perhaps I want a sky or BT subscription as well, perhaps I like football or something. Can someone please tell me why I should pay for the BBC if I don't want it? Is the answer that you want it, and you want me to help you pay for it? It is. Isn't it?

        1. TheTick

          "Is the answer that you want it, and you want me to help you pay for it? It is. Isn't it?"

          Yes, it is.

          But to admit that would make them feel like BAD people which would induce congitive dissonance because people who think like them are GOOD!

    2. TRT Silver badge
    3. macjules Silver badge

      It is actually not a subscription to the BBC, it is an effective "Audio Visual Equipment Tax". In countries such as France this is expressed as a national tax (tax audiovisuel). The difference is that the BBC use a private conglomerate to do the collecting/threatening/prosecuting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The difference is that the BBC use a private conglomerate to do the collecting/threatening/prosecuting."

        As do most public bodies these days, unfortunately.

    4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      If I were a sky subscriber and I stopped paying, they'd cut off my service. If you are a BBC subscriber and you stop paying, you eventually go to prison.

      Strictly speaking you don't get jailed for not having a licence, you get jailed because you didn't pay the fine the court imposed for not having a licence.

      If someone is too poor to pay the licence, it's bloody stupid fining them, expecting them to hand over cash they haven't got. WTF they don't get community service is beyond me.

    5. Stuart Halliday

      Ah... So cute that you don't understand.

  5. JulieM Silver badge

    So how, then, do you propose to fund advertisement-free TV programming not beholden to anybody except the viewers?

    Unless you go with a subscription model on a simple, "no payment, no pictures" basis. But that probably would require replacing every TV receiver again, this time with one with a smartcard reader.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "So how, then, do you propose to fund advertisement-free TV programming not beholden to anybody except the viewers?"

      I think the whole idea of the BBC not being beholden to anybody except the viewers is exactly the sort of thing that makes the grass grow green in Texas: bullshit.

      1. PatientOne

        The BBC was supposed to provide public service announcements, hence why it was funded by public license and was to give unbiased reporting in the process.

        Everythign else they do is supposed to be funded privately via sponsorship.

        It's also why the elderly are supposed to get a free license.

        The question is: Has the BBC maintained the standards and services for which it is funded. If it has not, then the license fee should be withdrawn.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Holmes

    140,000 in court and 101,000 women found guilty. Doesn't mean to say the other 39,000 weren't women who were found innocent.

    Elementary my dear Watson.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get a dog..

    Capita Salesman came up drive and did not see big ball of fluff at side of house

    He made it back to the gate a fraction of a second before said big ball of fluff (That really only wanted to see if he had treats (though he was posit who treats him)).

    Never had a visit since in last 6 years, assume address has been marked as having aforementioned big ball of fluff loose!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's guess...

    BBC News/Newsnight won't be covering this anytime soon.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How ironic as they've just castrated Dr Who.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not the first time...

      there was a regeneration involving Castrovulva.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's simple economics.

      Female Dr Who means more women watch tv which in turn means more revenue from fines as clearly they make more money off prosecuting women.

      or it could be a cunning plan by our lizard overlords to turn us all into women.

      Either way I will give her a chance before I commend or criticise the new doctor as I have done with every regeneration.

      P.S. Matt Smiths first season was shite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >P.S. Matt Smiths first season was shite.

        All of Matt Smiths seasons were shite, just can't beat Tom Baker.

        I'm surprised no Reg article on the matter.

      2. The First Dave Silver badge

        Is there any possibility that this is one of those crimes that are actually perpetrated more often by women, or is that too simple an explanation?

        1. MOV r0,r0

          I imagine most enforcement visits happen during the day when women are more likely to be at home. It's been generally known for a long time that women carry the brunt of these prosecutions, hardly news but good to see it brought to public attention again.

          1. inmypjs Silver badge

            "women are more likely to be at home"

            The person legally responsible for household licensing is the one at home during the day?

            Seems obvious to me households of single parents living on benefits that can't afford a TV license would be over represented and that most of them will be female.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Is there any possibility that this is one of those crimes that are actually perpetrated more often by women, or is that too simple an explanation?"

          Probably. But most single parents are women too which might be another factor.

      3. Infernoz Bronze badge
        Holmes

        This was one of the last programmes I watched from BBC, but the growing subtle and blatant political correctness, including historical absurdities, and SJW themes made me feel sick from the gross insult to my identity and intelligence! Absurdities including the ridiculous girl power (misandry), White-Knighting, WTF inappropriate race, and other corrupt themes!

    3. Paper

      Castrated whilst afixing a vagina and two breasts? Certainly an odd "castration" if I ever did hear of one!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Castrated whilst afixing a vagina and two breasts? Certainly an odd "castration" if I ever did hear of one!

        Or perhaps the regeneration (tricky things) didn't go according to plan and the Doc still has meat and two veg along with a couple of fun bundles. It's the BBC. I doubt we the viewers are going to get a look to prove it.

  10. Nimby
    Black Helicopters

    found no evidence to suggest that activity is unfairly and intentionally targeted at women

    So what does it take to have an independent third party verify whether the crazy numbers are either from a) predatory targeting of women or b) actually a realistic view of the non-paying segment?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: found no evidence to suggest that activity is unfairly and intentionally targeted at women

      It could just be that, even in contemporary times, women are more likely to be at home during the day, perhaps more so in some socio-economic group swho may fare higher in non-payment of TV licenses.

      Therefore when the salesman comes knocking the only person home answers the door, it is they who will be prosecuted.

      Maybe a female, on average, is less likely to tell the salesman to go away than a male?

      I realise those statements could be deemed sexist, but I would still feel that they are likely to be born out in reality.

      1. MK_E

        Re: found no evidence to suggest that activity is unfairly and intentionally targeted at women

        I'm reminded of the story a while back about the student who was looking after a house while the owners were away, answered the door to a Capita goon, and wound up being taken to court despite not being an actual member of the household, or even resident there. She just happened to be the poor chump who answered the door.

    2. Paper

      Re: found no evidence to suggest that activity is unfairly and intentionally targeted at women

      I would be interested to see the age range of women prosecuted. I wonder if they're all retiree pensioner widows who probably have no money to spare...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: found no evidence to suggest that activity is unfairly and intentionally targeted at women

        Realistically, if a household consists of a stay-home mother and working father, you send the mother to court because she has more 'free time'. Its the same lie as 'the wife was driving, your honour'

  11. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Strange the Beeb. Full of naice, liberal people, all on high wages and large pensions.

    Scrape the veneer off and its jails more people than any 3rd world brasshat.

    Me? I pay the license but Im watching less and less BBC TV. I watch more ITV and CH5 than BBC - I dont like making cakes and I dont like dancing.

    1. DG123457

      BBC should be subscription only so all the lovers that want to pay for their services can.. Where all the people that never use their services should not be forced into paying for something they dont want.

    2. rh587 Silver badge

      Strange the Beeb. Full of naice, liberal people, all on high wages and large pensions.

      Strange, a lot of the people I know who work for the Beeb are on freelance contracts allowing them to be binned at short notice, and not particularly highly paid or pensioned compared to contractors in some sectors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Strange, a lot of the people I know who work for the Beeb are on freelance contracts allowing them to be binned at short notice

        20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed contract staff are included

        Nearly 21,100 on the full time payroll.

        Soucre:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC

      2. MOV r0,r0

        Your social circle is not a representative sample frame. The BBC has close to 19,000 staffers, their median wage was £43k in 2016 (BBC's own figures) and if they are binned their redundancy averages 16 months pay.

    3. FlossyThePig

      ...but Im watching less and less BBC TV. I watch more ITV and CH5 than BBC - I dont like making cakes and I dont like dancing...

      So that'll be "Love Island" and "Big Brother" then.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Scrape the veneer off and its jails more people than any 3rd world brasshat."

      Not the BBC though. C[r]apita assisted by magistrates.

  12. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    FAIL

    107,000 were given a criminal record for failing to pay money to the BBC

    No, they were not. They were fined for not obeying a law requiring them to pay a tax. That tax is then divided up among several public service broadcasters.

    If you don't like the tax, campaign to remove it. Don't deliberately lie about the situation for propaganda purposes.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Absolutely this.

    2. MOV r0,r0

      And the criminal record is for not paying the court fine rather than for not paying the licence fee, a technicality that conveniently allows the BBC to claim it doesn't criminalise people.

    3. Justin Case

      No one needs to watch TV...

      I don't, haven't watched TV for years. Don't use iPlayer or any catch up services either.

      If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slow news day Gareth?

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/02/tv_licensing_two_thirds_prosecutions_women_one_london_court/

  14. MotorcyclesFish

    Haven't had a TV licence in years

    Netflix/Amazon/Youtube provide all I need on the occasion that I'm interested in watching something.

    To me, it's a simple case of "vote with your feet".

    I look forward to a time when houses don't have ugly antennae on top, too.

    1. TheTick

      Re: Haven't had a TV licence in years

      I wonder how your comment managed a downvote?

      You're not saying you watch the BBC but don't pay for it. You're simply saying you don't watch it because it has nothing for you, therefore you don't pay it. I guess for some people even that is heresy.

      1. MOV r0,r0
        Joke

        Re: Haven't had a TV licence in years

        The truth is our delightful political masters know we need to tax the plebs to support this make-work scheme for Oxbridge thirds as if they got into the wider economy they'd cause havoc!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolutely disgusting in this day and age that we are forced to pay for something we don't use. I personally dont ever watch any BBC channels or listen to any of their crappy radio stations but I am forced to pay... BBC should be subscription only

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just move

      Oh, to America where TV is Adverts with programmes in the gaps.

      Go on, you know that you want to.

      Adverts of all kinds suck and are a blight on society.

      1. Paper

        Re: Just move

        I live in Canada now. It's not that bad, just use the gap to go make coffee...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Just move

          1) Probably marginally more interesting than the programmes that fill the gaps between adverts

          2) Drink Neshazzbrando coffee... this very attractive man who represents an aspirational archetype is using it as an aphrodisiac so he can bed this very attractive female who has a hint of smart coyness about her. And you can make it so easily and quickly, looking like some sort of Adonis, by just pressing a button on this slimline and sleek coffee machine which is the only appliance in the Italian Carrera marble kitchen.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Just move

        @AC

        Oh, to America where TV is Adverts with programmes in the gaps.

        It is possible even on programmes on the BBC to figure out where the edits are for American TV commercials on programmes made with American co-production or also sold to America. This is easily spotted on science and documentary programmes where there is a repeat of the content/dialogue soon after where the commercials would be.

  16. Paper

    Be fair

    I think it should just be included in our taxes as a small percentage. How is it fair that someone earning close to nothing pays the same television licence fees as someone who is on a comfortable or better wage?

    1. TheTick

      Re: Be fair

      It's as fair as paying the same amount for a mars bar.

      But no discussion of tax should use the word "fair" without words like "not" or "un-" in front of it.

  17. Andy Livingstone

    Easy enough Solution

    Get a Granny or Grandad of 75 or over. Sit back. Watch BBC (if you really like crap) and laugh at the stupid law.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another thing....

    While I'm here, BBC sport coverage is shite. My ask is this : take me into the stadium, and let me watch the sport. What I get these days is claire balding banging on and on, constant 'interviews', and even worse, 'atmospheric' VT clips, featuring that scottish bloke talking over them, spouting motivational shite, with lots of slow mo and close ups. Sport coverage is simple, and they over complicate it.

    1. I am the liquor

      Re: Another thing....

      So true.

      It's as if they're producing sports coverage for people who don't like sport. Which is probably what they're doing, actually.

      If the same event is on both BBC and Eurosport, you're usually better off watching it on Eurosport. Even with the ad breaks, Eurosport still manages to show at least twice as much actual coverage of, say, an athletics meeting.

  19. Emmeran

    Socialized TV

    Every time I start to admire the Brits something as silly as this comes up. I love me some good socialized roads, safety, education and health care - but socialized entertainment?

    Surprised you guys didn't find a way to socialize and tax random happy thoughts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Socialized TV - "but socialized entertainment?"

      The remit of the BBC is a lot more than providing entertainment. But in any case that isn't the point; it's a tax on receiving capability. It's just differently administered from the vehicle excise duty, property taxes and the like. But I think they have the last two in the Land of the Free, and that they can be rather high in some places.

  20. MAH

    As a Canadian this whole TV tax and the costs to enforce and prosecute it is absolutely absurd. No matter how much money they collect I am willing to bet that the true costs for the investigation, prosecution and collection is at least 30% of revenue.

    The BBC I think is probably a lot like the CBC (which is government funded) and the CBC is paid for in some way or another through our national taxes.

    You can't tell me that it would not be smarter (and ultimately cheaper) if they just added $100/year to everyone in the UK's income taxes (considering there are 65 million people in the UK, 32 million working according to the labour stats) and they could probably drop that cost considering there would no longer be an enforcement or prosecution costs.

    Its not like taxes in either country don't already pay for services that we don't use (I for example pay for a public school tax even though my kids don't goto public school). Its the "everyone pay's a little so that everyone has access to the services even if they don't want to access them" civilized mentality.

    However, as I was writing this I was reading how much money this TV tax collected and I almost had a kitten. How in the holy name of hell does a television company get away with a 4.827 Billion dollar budget in 2015- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licensing_in_the_United_Kingdom)

    The CBC by comparison (lets not debate quality of programming or anything) is government funded to the tune of 1 billion in 2016 to make up operating shortfall. We have about 18 million employed people here so technically we are paying about $55/year or so on income tax to support the CBC.

    No private investigation company, no judges to pay to enforce the individual tax, and no one needed to try and collect a judgment.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just make it subscription.

    I affects me because I genuinely don't watch it. Just make it subscription. If subcription doesn't work, then look at it again, via taxation.

    I'm surprised so many get prosecuted, because if you genuinely don't watch BBC, it's fairly easy with a letter to every 2 years to avoid it.

    You can still watch online content of non BBC channels like ITV Player, 4oD, since the change to BBC iPlayer content, last September. Most Politiical BBC iPlayer content like Question time, is also on youtube channels "officially", which blurs things somewhat. Parliament.tv has its own channel, which is pretty good to find content, via the web portal.

    People that say it's a Latte a week, or whatever. It's still £1470 over ten years. That's a lot of decent short haul breaks in that time (that are more memorable than most BBC content). I'd rather be out my house, than in it, watching crap, which is just the same as most "BBC talent", when asked.

    The so called BBC talent doesn't watch most of the shite either, too busy relaxing, sunning themselves.

    The last time I saw anything was the One Show with Theresa May and Philip Hammond, again watchable elsewhere (Guardian I think). Boy, is that show braindead shite.

    1. Justin Case

      Re: Just make it subscription.

      Give that a short haul flight is the equivalent of 20 years' recycling, the more money that can be taken from the poor to stop them making ludicrously bad choices and endangering the planet with their pathetic need for holidays in the sun, the better. Up the license to double its present value and bring back the workhouses!

  22. Archaon

    What's really winding me up lately...

    Beeb- "Oh, by the way, you'll have to register soon to watch iPlayer."

    Me- "Ok, well at least maybe this finally means they've come up with some way to know that I have a TV licence and stop harassing me every damn time I want to watch something."

    Beeb- "Yeah so we only actually collected some really basic personal info that doesn't cover anything useful like your TV licence status. So now you're all registered and logged in and want to watch something I just need to check: Do you have a TV licence? You must have a TV licence to watch this content!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ONE OR ELSE YOU STINKY THIEF * !!!"

    Me- "Oh for f***s sake what was the point of registering then?"

    * Seems to be guilty until proven innocent in my experience with TV licensing.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What's really winding me up lately...

      "Me- "Oh for f***s sake what was the point of registering then?""

      Suspect the problem is the Beeb are being too careful in trying not to upset people as it moves iPlayer from a free extra to an added-value subscription service.

      So currently the Beeb are clearly telling you, you need a licence; however, they haven't yet resolved how to translate the strictures of the licence into the digital world of individual subscriptions.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It used to be good value

    We paid our TV licence by direct debit for over 10 years and thought it was good value for money until one day the bank declined one months payment without our knowledge. (our fault, no funds to cover it but still were not aware it had happened), within a week my wife was accosted on the doorstep while I was at work and intimidated in to answering a whole string of questions about TV viewing. She apologised and paid the outstanding balance on her credit card there and then and thought nothing more of it. A month later we had a summons to appear in court 50 miles away from our local magistrates court in the middle of a weekday. It worked out cheaper to admit guilt by post and pay the fine than to take a few unpaid days off work and travel back and forward contesting it. I immediately cancelled the licence and made sure I was legally covered to not need one and have done for the past 7 or 8 years. I have also convinced a number of friends to do the same who have also convinced their friends. Hopefully I have cost them much more money in lost revenue than their cheating scam cost me. Absolutely disgusting tactics. I know I should have gone to court but I couldn't get the time off work. I guess it is Capita to blame but the BBC choose to ignore their illicit tactics so they can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

  24. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Do the asking not the answering

    I have had a visit once. I do not require a TV licence because I only view non-BBC Internet content. Instead of answering the impertinent questions, I asked the guy whether he had a fishing licence. When he said he did not, I asked him to prove that he didn't need one. He said there was no obligation for him to do so, whereupon I said, "Exactly," and closed the door in his face.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do the asking not the answering

      Yep, but a fairly standard template letter every two years, gives you a bit more piece of mind.

      I'm not saying my way is better, I'm just saying I prefer not to have the conflict in the first place, and it's the polite way of doing things.

      The middle class jobsworths have the courts/establishment on their side, and genuinely doing the opposite, to anything that is established as the norm, is still quite difficult in the UK, even when you genuinely don't watch the BBC. I'd even question if watching the shite (BBC) is still the "norm".

      Try making a complaint to your local Council about the lowering of speed limits (which have been done on an "experimental" basis (i.e. there is absolutely no fucking justification on safety grounds, this is being done soley to remove tolerances to catch more "offenders") or the time and location of lazy cash cow speed cameras, see how far you get.

      They don't listen one bit. It's all about fines and income (getting grants for speed calming to keep their depts funded), that's all they see people as now. It's all just another form of regressive taxation.

      Que, all the twats that say stick to the limit, you won't be fined. I am sticking to limit, it's just you keep lowering them to catch even more people out. When is a limit set low enough? When they meet their speed fine income quotas?

  25. Nick Kew Silver badge

    OK, what's the argument?

    El Reg seems exercised with statistics that say the majority of convictions are women.

    Commentards seem exercised with entirely different questions around the validity of the licence[1]. If anyone posted an argument we haven't all already heard, I missed it (downvotes? Bring 'em on).

    I say to El Reg, there's a much bigger imbalance - our prison population. If you're going to campaign about overrepresentation of women in one particular category of conviction, why aren't you campaigning about much bigger imbalances in more serious convictions? Isn't that grossly inconsistent?

    [1] I just ignore it. Never had a telly, don't miss what I never had, don't want a bloomin' telly.

  26. Stuart Halliday

    Just a damn stupid idea to bring in a subscription service.

    So obvious it's one of the best things that Britain has ever made.

    Why can't people understand that it's output would be decided by the viewer numbers and not creativity.

    No other Media output is monitored so closely and has Law behind it. Heck I can write to the BBC Trust and by law I've to get a report and an answer.

    Try that with any other channel.

    People wanting a opt-in option really don't care for the organisation and probably would pirate it in any case.

    1. Vetis

      You're right, we don't care for it and if it wasn't for nostalgia neither would most people.

      Looking at the TV guide for tomorrow, Tuesday, tv is only on between 9am and 12 - its news other than that. Of those 15 hours, there are 3 more hours of news so 12 left which will be the same that was on all the rest of the day.

      2 hrs 45 minutes of cop\detective shows, 5 and a half hours of reality light entertainment (flog it,homes under the hammer etc). Other slots taken up by quizshows 90% of the time.

      Most of that is on every day, its hardly the most diverse and interesting lineup. Haven't watched live tv in many years and obviously haven't missed out. The tv license is about the cost of Netflix and Amazon prime. Without the music, delivery and other benefits and the original shows put on by both of those shame the bbc.

      1. lagaba

        TV Guide

        Which channels did you check the guide for?

        I just took a look at the guide for tomorrow tue18th for BBC One and Two and I saw that BBC One tends to have more entertainment type shows in the daytime and soaps, dramas later on, whilst BBC Two has more factual/documentary shows, with the heavier ones being later on in the evening. This is pretty much what I expected.

        I didn't check BBC Four but I'd expect even more of a focus on documentaries than Two.

        That makes 2 channels biased towards factual programming, and 1 channel for light entertainment and popular shows...

        Your charecterisation of the day's programming as 2:45 of cop/detective shows, 5hrs of reality/light entertainment and 90% of the rest being quiz shows might apply to BBC One at a a cursory glance but if you take a closer look at the schedule there are other things in there...and BBC One is only a third of the channels and the one which is focused on light entertainment so obviously its going to have more quiz shows etc.

        Personally I don't watch much BBC live but I do use iPlayer and the BBC website (which hasn't been mentioned yet), and TMS on the radio.

        I can understand the arguments against the licence fee but private only TV broadcasting models in other countries don't seem to create a better TV ecosystem necessarily...and I feel that the presence of the BBC helps to keep the other broadcasters in the UK from becoming too crappy - i.e you benefit from the BBCs presence even if you only watch other broadcasters - obviously that's not a good enough reason to justify the fee and its purely speculative.

        In the end I feel similarly about the fee as I do about the Royal Family - I can see why people think both things are anachronistic in the 21st century, but I'm more suspicous of the alternatives - I don't fancy replacing the Queen with a politician as head of state and I don't fancy a purely private TV ecosystem either.

        ...oh and the adverts for upcoming BBC shows are nowhere near as annoying as the frequent breaks for commercial adverts on other stations - remember when ITV got the Premier League highlights for a few years? first-half highlights, adverts, second-half highlights, adverts, punditry, adverts, rinse and repeat for the next game, oh, only time to do extended highlights for max 3 games...was back at BBC within 3yrs.

  27. Colin Tree

    igots

    it's 2017 not 1935

    stop it

  28. The Average Joe Bloggs

    Netlfix and Amazon also have no adverts and show far better content. In fact, if you subscribe to both services together, they still cost less than the BBC licence fee

  29. Steve 114
    Big Brother

    So, wimmin are in the house when the Gestapo calls? Colour me surprisedQ

  30. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    and here we pay out of pocket to get the BBC

    so to get BBC content, we Americans pay out of pocket, sometimes getting extra cable "packages" of crap to get the channel we want, and put up with a small amount of ads for the privilege.

    Seems that the BBC could survive on the same thing if people who wanted it were paying for it over there too. No need for a tax, which always means your content becomes polluted and controlled with Politics when politics pay the bills.

    That Dirk Gently TV series was brilliant BTW, want to see more like that over here!

  31. Phil O

    The BBC Business Model

    One way to regard the BBC is that it is a government/private labyrinth born from a monopoly. It generates billions privately, which are given to the government and which is then reallocated by government. From a problematic structure, It generates a huge amount of electromagnetic bandwith which penetrates peoples' houses. To ensure BBC's profits, people are prohibited from detecting this unasked for radiation inside their houses by law with threats of incarceration and enforced by, and fines collected by, a private entity. As a former UK student and teacher what I found particularly offensive was that some private entity could drive around with antennae on a spy van and see what I was doing inside my house. I submit that the whole BBC business/government model is a dangerous precedent.

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