TV licence is frozen until 2013

tv_3004_narrowweb__300x373,0The BBC has today announced it will freeze the licence fee at £145.50 until 2013. Good news if you're the sort to actually pay your licence. However, it isn't all good news as this could well mean cuts in TV and radio programming budgets. Well, no-one is going to willingly take a pay cut or stop taking so many taxis to work (you know who you are, BBC employees).

This all comes about after intense political pressure from the government who have wanted to break-up the Beeb for a while, with this move taken out under the veil of wanting Auntie to recognise the difficult economic environment and how everyone is making sacrifices.

The BBC have done their sums and reckon that this will take £144m out of the BBC budget which "will require some on-air changes", the BBC trust said.

There's also a review afoot to identify long-term efficiencies after 2013, which look to find out whether new structures and working cultures could help to reduce the BBC's cost base. The National Audit Office is assisting the corporation with this work it is reported.

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, said to the Telegraph: "I have made it clear that the BBC needs to take proper account of the current economic climate and this move, which comes with the Trust’s assurances that it will not significantly impact on the quality of services provided to licence fee payers, will be welcomed by the public."

Is it welcomed? Does this reek of bad news to you? Or are you happy to see someone telling the BBC to sort their ship out? Or are you completely ambivalent?


  • dopz
    Hands of the BBC tory swine.
  • foxy l.
    They make lovely wildlife documentaries.
  • Jim
    As long as the actual amount isn't cut I don't have a problem with it. Government departments are having to make cuts of 25-40%, that must be around 10% of their budget at most - I'm sure they'll cope without any significant changes.
  • Idi A.
    I wish peeps would stop calling de BBC "Auntie". Dey am not some warmy cuddly pusson in a cardi eating de Werthers! No! Dey am corporate bullies who am ridin' de train of gravy and who bung you in chokey if you don't pay de telly tax. Let dems go out of business! Maybe I even chuck a few out ob de helichopter mysel'.
  • Adam D.
    I love the BBC. I hate that the Tories are pushing ahead with their thinly veiled attempts to break up the BBC, probably heavily encouraged by Murdoch. But if the only thing the BBC can come up with in the daytime are such bullshit titles as "Animals at Work", "Flog it!", "Homes under the Hammer", "Bargain Hunt" and other such joys, surely the better alternative would be to just turn off the entire of BBC2 during the day?! Move the semi-worthwhile shows to BBC1 and save a fortune.
  • Alexis
    I don't pay it anyway. And you don't have to either! Just ignore Capita and say nothing if they turn up. They then leave you alone.
  • CompactDistance
    I greatly dislike casual lawbreaking. Where do you draw the line?
  • MK
    Tories have always thought the BBC were full of Communist-sympathisers who were responsible for eroding the Victorian values of the UK...obviously the behaviour of some Tory MPs should be seen as either rogue bounders or high-jinks. I think the BBC used to do a great job at producing at excellent quality programming coupled with some fairly brave and innovative forays. In my opinion, this will undoubtedly disappear from the collective consciousness. The question is what will replace it? If it is anything like the recent programs on BBC3, I will be very disappointed. My biggest concern, however, is the impartiality of the news reporting. I think the Tories will demand (and get) sweeping changes to the way that news is handled. I guess, the Ministry of Truth may not be as far as some suspect...
  • MK
    BTW, Jim; Govt. departments are NOT having to make 25-40% cuts. This was pushed out into the media for us to expect worst-case scenarios...let's see what happens when the full Spending Review is delivered.
  • Jack T.
    I HATE THE FUCKING BBC. THIS IS A GOOD START. The BBC 'lose' £144m? No, the honest taxpayer saves £144m. This is under 4% of their current budget when everyone else not only does not get increases but massive cuts. What did they expect with their smug self-indulgent support for Labour and terrorists - more taxis and champagne?
  • Chris
    @Jack of no Trades The BBC is a bargain. I'm more than happy to pay the fee for BBC Radio alone.
  • blagga
    agree with Chris. Just try to watch an episode of anything in the US and see if the adverts make you want to chew your own eyeballs out or not. That's the alternative. Mark my words. I don't have any eyes.
  • Mr M.
    Until BBC3 just becomes a dedicated channel for showing the good HBO series they can shove the license fee up their collective arse.
  • Jim
    Ok they don't have to make that level of cuts, but they have to draw up plans should they be required to. I do like the BBC and don't want the license changed, but freezing any increase for a 2 year period sounds very reasonable to me considering we are in a recession. And realistically, I doubt the BBC was going to do anything interesting with that extra money anyway, I don't imagine people noticing over the next 2 years that they had a slightly lower budget to what they were expecting.
  • Paul C.
    What fucking HBO series are you on about Miga? The only channels I can rely on are BBC2 and BBCFOUR. And when those fail me, Channel 4, More 4. I have to agree that commercialising the BBC is a stupid idea that will lead to further channels of watered down programming for simpletons. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy my healthy dose of American Dad on BBC3 or Celebrity Juice on ITV2 but for the most part, these channels are tabloidy trash 24/7. I am quite willing to continue to pay my license fee to fund the services that are instrinsic to daily media communication such as their excellent iPlayer service, the BBC Website (inclusive of news streams) and also the plethora of talent being nurtured through BBC radio. Eg comedy on Radio 4.
  • Paul C.
    Oh while I'm here Mr Miga, do some research, fella. Sky bought all those rights a month ago.
  • Chris a.
    Chris wants everyone to pay £3.5b every year for radio alone. He must work for the BBC. Get the bus you free-loading twat. Blaga, no-one says it has to be like the US. How about like the rest of Europe? Reach across your desk and smack Chris in the mouth while you're wasting time.
  • Sh
    I am happy to present any of your quality shows For example I can overtake the old sod Brucie on Come Dancing or Jeremy Vino the Wino on panarAma you'll find I charge much less then those greedy cunts give us a call: 01604 761131
  • singhster
    Sack all the Football Focus staff - it's shit. Sack James Martin, he's a fat twat, and isn't funny. His weekly egg jokes are fucking excruciating. I'll happily pay my licence fee then.
  • zleet
    One step closer to heavily sensationalized American style 'narrative' news and TV shows changing their content based on the demands of the sponsors. The BBC has always run at a profit (selling programs abroad and DVD's) which has for the most part been invested back into uk media (freeview, Iplayer, internet, digital radio). Rupert Murdoch has already expressed a desire to buy the franchise (likely at a pittance) for selling BBC products abroad and in the process kill the BBC as we know it. I would prefer not to have to pay road tax as it's a fair amount of money but I pay it all the same because I know the travel infrastructure would suffer if the money wasn't there, same for the BBC.
  • singhster
    Zleet are you a journo? One step closer cos they've frozen the fee, ie not raised it in the first time in years? Get a grip man. You probably though Woss was worth £6M a year too.
  • GMail U.
    The BBC gravy train rumbles on.... give it a break everyone.. the BBC needs all our millions to pay twats like Chris Moyles, Chris Evans, Terry Wogan, and previously Jonathan Ross, Adrian Chiles, Christine Bleakley to much cash to do fuck all...
  • zleet
    @singhster Not a journalist, just concerned. It was a badly kept secret in the run up to the election that Rupert Murdoch had thrown his usual support behind the Tories, but this time with an added twist. He wants the BBC dismantled as he sees them as a direct threat and has said so on several occasions. As far as what Jonathan Ross is worth, that is decided by the market and what the BBC need to pay to secure him; the other big channels are always throwing out multi million pound 'golden handcuffs' deals so it's hardly rare. What gets me is when you hear the Daily Mail screaming to the high heavens about extortionate BBC executive pay when the editor of the Mail gets £1.6 million a year.
  • Phil
    Murdoch and Tories can f off and leave the beeb alone. Only government service I appriciate and feel I get some value for! Personally I'd go TV/newspaper free before give Murdoch a penny. Sure some of the stars are over paid but at least BBC stuff is watchable unlike 99% of ITV/FIVE etc.
  • Jack T.
    Zleet, I am not FORCED to pay for the Daily Mail - and I don't. If the DM can afford and want to pay the editor that it is their choice. I am FORCED to pay for the BBC even though I HATE THE BBC and don't watch it. Fuck off Phil and get back to reading the shitty lies in the guardian. Let's make the BBC a subscription service and you can pay for it if you want it. Let's see how many people will....oh shit they did the research and less than 7% would pay.
  • me
    Mine has been frozen since 2001! ZERO! F*CK off BBC!
  • the r.
    If you can't see the BBC for the bargain it is then should watch aussie TV for 5mins!! the radio alone is priceless, not to mention the best back catalogue in history. Now that our media is 2nd only to Italy in its level of control by one man (murdoch's NI) Do we now look forward to murdoch the "king maker" deciding who wins the general election (via a biased media spreading lies or misinfomation, it happens every fooking day!) he'll probably have a good say in the new Labour leader as thay must have a good "relationship" with NI. jesus people we're already dumbed down to hell, can we afford to lose the BBC??
  • Jack T.
    Rev, you forget to mention the BBC winning the last Labour victory and damn near allowing Labour back in at the last election despite them ruining and bankrupting the UK. They are still trying to stick the knife in to the Coalition at every opportunity now. R4 should be renamed 'Radio Four Labour'. How many BBC employees have celebrated Labour wins and how many celebrated Conservative wins? 95% to 5% might be an understatement. Dumbing down is caused by the BBC being overfunded and competing unfairly against the commercial market. Yes we can afford to lose the BBC.
  • BBC c.
    The bbc is a joke; charging people even if they do not watch their chanels. I do not watch BBC or their crappy radio and still need to pay up. and how unfair is that to any other tv station? everyone tv recording equipment and skip the advertising nowadays anyway. There is even software that skips past it for you by identifying the black frames between the program and the adverts. It would be nice to live in a democracy where its up for discussion and the people have a say. However the dictatorship will persist and make the people cough up
  • Donna
    BBC is shite. Tories, do your worse. My good money being spent on all that crap like EE, I'd prefer ads myself.
  • Raeumung
    Very interesting blog. Im glad I checked it out....will follow.

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