Friday, March 02, 2007

More Cake For BBC

Choice pickings overseas
I don't blame the BBC for wanting the cake of UK tax-funding and the freedom to eat international ad revenue. But I do blame our rulers for permitting it.

After all, we poor telly owning schmucks here in Blighty have to pay £3bn tax every year on the flimsy premise that we're getting public service broadcasting in return. So wtf should the BBC be allowed to expend their resources on providing free telly and internet services for non-tax paying foreigners?

Well of course, they reckon the gameplan is to make those services earn their keep. Hence today's deal with YouTube which will reportedly allow them to earn ad revenue from showing entertainment and news clips to non-UK viewers.

But even if they earn a pile of cash (dubious I'd say), why should we let them do it? They're supposed to be our public service broadcaster, not a commercial rival to Murdoch. And just as we have no freedom to opt out of the telly tax, they should have no freedom to opt out of their status as our humble public servant.

Personally, I want abolition of the telly tax and full privatisation of the BBC. But if I can't have that, it's completely unreasonable to give them carte blanche to pursue their commercial ambitions globally.

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