Oh Lord

Please save us from idiot regulators:

Internet service providers could face a new tax to help pay for unprofitable programmes shown on ITV and Channel 4, which may in turn lead to higher broadband charges for consumers.

The levy could be imposed by the Government on the service providers and websites within the next few years, under proposals published yesterday about the future funding of "public service" programmes which make little or no money for commercial broadcasters.

So why do these programs make little money? Because no one wants to watch them. So why should there be any public subsidy to them? They are clearly producing less value than they cost to produce: this is known as making us all poorer, a destruction of value.

And why should people who deliberately use a different technology, the internet, pay for the failures of an old one, TV? Should we have taxed the car makers to support the buggy whip manufacturers?

This is as silly as taxing dustmen so that Dukes can go to the opera….oh, wait, we do that don\’t we?

9 comments on “Oh Lord

  1. “…proposals published yesterday about the future funding of “public service” programmes which make little or no money for commercial broadcasters. “

    If no-one’s watching these programmes, just what kind of ‘public service’ are they supposedly providing?

  2. And yesterday we were hearing that ISPs wanted the BBC to help fund infrastructure upgrades given the strain that use of iPlayer is putting on their networks. So how about neither pays for the operating costs of the other.

  3. Tim,

    “And why should people who deliberately use a different technology, the internet, pay for the failures of an old one, TV”

    Interesting observation. I never listen to BBC Radio – except, pfnarr, when I’m on it; did I mention I was on the World Service last week? – but I still subsidise it through the licence fee. Now, radio has its fans, but are the listening figures for the ‘Today’ programor ‘PM’in the same category as the viewing figures for ‘Eastenders’?

    If they flogged off the radio, they would be able to save a fortune.

  4. “but I still subsidise it through the licence fee. ”

    not the World Service it isn’t. The World Service is famously paid for by the FCO. (I know – we pay for that too, it’s just that it’s not the Telly Tax)

  5. Pingback: Broadcast Subsidy | Tim Almond

  6. @Martin

    Total spending on broadcasting in 2005

    Television
    £1,473m

    Radio
    £221m

    (Source:http: //www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/12/nbbc212.xml)

    “The average person spends more time listening to the radio than watching TV, according to the latest figures”
    (Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1470679.stm)

    More up to date, people spent an average of 11 hours 12 minutes per week listening to BBC Radi0 in the final quarter of last year according to the stats at http://www.rajar.co.uk/listening/quarterly_listening.php, whereas in November and December they spent an average of 8 hrs 37 minutes per week watching BBC 1 and 2 according to http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/monthreports.cfm?RequestTimeout=500&report=monthtotal (I can’t be arsed to dig into the figures for the BBC digital channels, but I doubt BBC Parliament et al will have that big an effect. BBC3 and 4 may do.)

    Which is better value for money again? Perhaps it’s the TV channels that should be flogged off…

  7. What is public sector broadcasting?

    In essence, it facilitates a stranger to exercise power and influence over our lives by making a programme that they decide we should watch or listen to rather than something else that we might choose to watch or listen to.

    Of course I am upset that I am forced to contribute to paying this person but it is their arrogance in believing that they know what is good for me that I find truly insidious.

  8. Surely any tax like this being proposed is a distortion of the market and as such illegal? It is a state subsidy for loss making TV channels and as such illegal under EU competition law.

    The market should define the situation. If you don’t get the viewers, you don’t get advertising (on commercial channels) and therefore you either go bust or you show programmes the public will watch and hence that advertisers will sponsor.

    We already pay a TV tax for a lot of unwatchable BBC progs, but it is worth it for excellent radio, a good website and Dr Who and Torchwood.

    The internet is the new medium. Why should ISPs be taxed to bail out old technology when things have moved on, tastes have changed and there are hundreds of TV channels to choose from?

    This idiocy from government is unacceptable. I think we are all fed up to the back teeth with this tax everything attitude.

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