Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As an American, I would gladly pay a BBC license fee if I could have access to the complete range of BBC's programming over the Internet. (I would not pay a fee to get BBC programming via satellite or cable TV.) Because even despite the BBC News' many flaws and shortcomings, BBC News is often the only western press coverage in many places and, I think, their international reporting and interviews, for the most part, have integrity. I also like some of the BBC's domestic programming as well. My understanding is the BBC has never seriously considered expanding the license fee to make it a subscription for those outside of Britain.
by Magnifico on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 10:42:39 AM EST
They have some web-based services and are apparently considering expanding that, however that seems to be in it's early stages as yet.
by Number 6 on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 11:09:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your suggestion is interesting since I have for some time wondered if Americans would consider the offer value for money.

In effect, the TV licence works out at about US$20 a month for which we get.

BBC1 and BBC2 - general TV early morning to late night
BBC3 - 19.00 to 04.00, generally aimed at younger adults
BBC4 - 19.00 to 04.00, documentaries and "thinking" programming

CBBC    06.00 to 19.00, older children's TV
Cbeebies 06.00 to 19.00, younger children's TV

BBC News 24   24 hour news
BBC Parliament - Feeds from the Commons, reports on European Parliament, Lords, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly

There are also 10 national radio stations and local radio (plus the BBC World Service which is outside the licence scheme).

There are no advertisements as such although program previews are used as fillers between shows. Also bear in mind that there is are a lot of repeats on the digital channels which mean for example, a show will be screened at different times over different days. The early am repeats are also used to broadcast programs with on-screed signing in BSL (Virtually all programs are subtitled using a digital system similar to close coupling) There are also cross-programming features like the "making of" documentary shown on BBC3 immediately after the week's Dr Who is shown on BBC1.

Is that worth a $20 a month subscription I wonder? One drawback I can see it that the BBC buys in programming from other countries like Australia and the USA so there may be problems in relaying those. They have also had trouble with contracts for actors to allow rebroadcasts etc and I do not know if the same would apply to a subscription scheme.

Some programs are also co-produced with US broadcasters (Rome for example) so again there may be problems over contracts. The good news of course is that you get to see these anyway. They are also revamping BBC America and including programs from the other nationally owned (but funded by adverts) network, Channel 4. Because it cannot subsidise from licence money, BBC America carries ads.

by Londonbear on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 08:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Is all that worth 20 dollars a month ? one meal out ? ! You cannot be serious ! -  as a notorious tennis player used to say.

Then there's the BBC web sites - all of them - god knows how many - want to learn French ? - go to the BBC, lots of options just for that - and free !

Oh then there's this news:

6 June 2007, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK  

 BBC celebrates three Webby awards  

The BBC News website has picked up two awards at the internet's most glamorous night of the year.
The site won Webbys for Best News Website and the People's Choice Award for online news sites for the third year running.

The BBC's Radio 1 website also won an award for Best Radio Website.
The BBC received the most nominations of any organisation in this year's awards.

BBC News Interactive Editor Steve Herrmann said: "To win both the Webby and the People's Choice awards again this year is a huge honour for us."


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Jun 6th, 2007 at 11:00:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume from your sig line that with a crafty bit of satellite dish pointing, you can get those for free.

Actually it works out about $3 or so more than my mental calculation but it is, what, roughly the cost of a coffee at Starbucks a week. I suppose it was really a question of whether a much bigger offer than BBC America could be marketed as a subscription service somewhere in between.

by Londonbear on Wed Jun 6th, 2007 at 02:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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