Reactions To BBC’s License Fee Move: Greedy Auntie

That, in one phrase, is the general reaction among UK newspapers today, following the proposed license fee increase for BBC’s new digital services (among others).

If you really want a pulse of what the UK TV community thinks of this move, read the forums at Digital Spy, the UK TV watercooler site…the main thread has about 7115 replies as of now.

Times UK: “Having moved into education publishing, magazine publishing and manifold merchandising, the BBC should not be encouraged to crash into the music downloading industry or marginalise local newspapers by providing, courtesy of the licence fee, ‘ultra-local’ news services. What of the young journalists in Birmingham or Blackpool or Bath trying to start a local online news service? The BBC is treasured as a national institution. It should not be a taxpayer-funded marauding monopoly.”

Telegraph: “The era when the BBC enjoyed a near-monopoly on the loyalties of television viewers…has gone for good. Digital television may prove fatal for publicly funded television. The only way for the BBC to survive is to curb, and then reverse, its expansionist instincts. The BBC should be setting targets to reduce the licence fee by a set amount every year, while throwing all its efforts into programme-making, not platform-building.