Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dream over ?

A delayed kick in the vital parts is Osborne's Budget present to the BBC, according to the Sunday Times. Or two kicks, depending on how you read it.

Reporters Tim Shipman and Richard Brooks have the front page lead (paywalled, but already picked up elsewhere), saying that the BBC will take responsibility for licence-fees for the over-75s from 2020. Then it'll be up to Auntie to decide whether or not to maintain the benefit, or face an annual drop in income estimated at £650m - around 20%. Of course, if the BBC honour the deal, it's a sum that's likely to keep growing year by year as long as the NHS keeps more of us alive.

Osborne will argue that the money, currently coming from the coffers of the Department for Work and Pensions, can be used more effectively, and the BBC have produced no reason to be excused from austerity measures, apart from luvvy moaning. Anyway, his aides argue, here's a good idea - instead of letting people to watch live streams on computers, smart-phones and tablets for nowt, the BBC will be allowed to charge. I think this is a second kick. But would love someone to prove me wrong.

If this is done via the licence fee - i.e. each licence fee has a unique code, which you use to access the iPlayer, how on earth do you limit the number of devices ? How many is reasonable ? And when Jacintha and Noah go to college, how do you stop them taking the number with them ?

No, I'm afraid this does bad things. The forthcoming BBC Store will have to work even harder; the pricing plan will be really tricky, as ITV and others can do push ads on their live and catch-up streams; and the BBC will be edged, over time, into competing with Netflix etc as an IP-based subscription service.

More after Marr v Osborne. 9am BBC1 - while stocks last.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other people who read this.......