5 thoughts on “Broadcasting is a club good, not a public good. BBC channels should become subscription channels”

  1. Posted 27/04/2016 at 19:25 | Permalink

    The real significance of this is negligible, and besides this, it would put an undue burden on lower income families who would suffer a great net loss from this. The point of a public broadcasting service is the very fact that it is non excludable; to keep everyone fully informed on events that might affect their lives. Just because the BBC can be provided as a club good, doesn’t in itself mean that it should.

  2. Posted 28/04/2016 at 07:14 | Permalink

    There is a further complication when it comes to the BBC. Although it is funded by TV licenses, this funding also funds its radio broadcasts (which, with current technology, can’t be offered as subscription channels) and web presence. So it’s a slightly more complex issue than this article acknowledges.

  3. Posted 17/05/2016 at 13:39 | Permalink

    TJ – Last time I checked Strictly Come Dancing wasn’t exactly a service that we need to “keep everyone fully informed on events that might affect their lives”?

  4. Posted 23/05/2016 at 13:14 | Permalink

    Silly example Christian. The BBC’s brief has always been to “educate, inform and entertain” and Strictly comes in the last category. I could also point out that the BBC has earned £500 million from licensing the format to other broadcasters.

    Viewers of all incomes should have access to high quality informative, educational programming. Most subscription services also carry adverts which suggests that the market will not support subscription fees that are sufficient to fund broadcasters by themselves. The growing number of broadcasters are all chasing the same finite advertising/subscription budget which gets spread more thinly leading to a fall in quality and an inevitable race to the bottom. Can anyone imagine ITV making anything as good as The World at War or Brideshead Revisited today?

  5. Posted 23/05/2016 at 23:27 | Permalink

    The silly example wasn’t about whether Strictly falls into a conveniently broad definition of what the BBC thinks it should be doing. The silly example was about whether shows that the BBC produce fall into a working definition of public service broadcasting. Not sure what’s sillier, Strictly actually falling within that definition or locking up low income families who can’t pay a regressive TV-tax so I can watch Vince Cable strut his stuff in White Tie.

Comments are closed.