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Posted Thu Aug 28th, 2008 12:56am Post subject: Licence Fee == Subscription?
As Stephen argues in this most excellent podgram, the licence fee is best put to use in producing content that otherwise wouldn't get made. Personally I think this is an international and cultural imperative lest we are destined to a future diet of mediocre programming aimed at advertising friendly demographics.

I live in New Zealand and would HAPPILY pay a fee to enable access to view all BBC funded content. Couldn't they just take the commercial - "it's a Subscription, not a licence" approach and go international with it? Surely this would lower the cost for the British consumer while probably increasing the amount to spend - especially if the distribution and broadcast arms were left to free markets.

The BBC is uniquely positioned to capitalise on it's years of expertise through it's unique funding/distribution model to reach audiences all over the world. So why do they choose to reach out to us in this digital age through the medium of DVD? It's expensive, enables no preview, and is not something I want to own in that medium. I can easily hook on to tvtorrents and organise all my telly viewing essentially choosing from the content providers, not the networks - and in HD. But his makes me guilty. I know it costs to produce. I WANT to pay the BBC to continue it's excellent work.

If only they were innovative enough to look beyond their own borders, surely their are more than enough like minded individuals to fund the BBC to continue and expand their production capabilities.

Personally I love being surprised by BBC content and could happily live without our limited Sky and TVNZ "content" and would happily turn over my Sky subs to them. TVNZ and SKY services are corporations trying to return a dividend to their shareholders through aforementioned advertising revenue - surely a dying model in this day and age? What is a TV Network if not a proprietary ISP who's worked out how to embed advertisements?

Subscription for quality content has to be a model worth arguing for lest we starve our brains with mediocrity.

Glad to get that off my chest. Keep up the good fight Mr. Fry and thank you for articulating your POV in such an engaging manner.

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