UK members, a question; US Members, a challenge

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Hello all!

    Most people who read the "Et Cetera" threads on here know I lean to the left, so it should hardly be a surprise that I listen to public radio and watch public TV.

    However, I also visit BBC.co.uk quite often and clicked on a little ad about TV licensure...our friends in the UK have to pay 116 pounds sterling (approx $200?) a year just to have a color TV set. This does not, I do not think, include any fees for cable TV?

    http://www.tv-l.co.uk/tvlic/index_frameset.html

    So my question is this: to our members in the UK, is this worth it? Do you watch and enjoy the BBC enough to pay $200 just to have to have a TV set? I mean, my property taxes on my HOUSE are $1300 a year. I'd welcome any comments from UK members.

    The challenge is this: even if you don't like public radio or TV, fellow American members, no one can argue that TV or radio without commercials is better to watch - some of the stuff on public TV is fascinating...anyway - the next time they have a pledge drive - I'm thinking the LPSG could give to Wisconsin Public Radio (here's the funny part of the post) - if we give $500 - they will make us part of the 9XM leadership circle and announce us on the air...c'mon, it's only pennies per member (over 12000 of us). Just imagine:

    "Wisconsin Public Radio is supported by the Large Penis Support Group. We thank you for your...um... support."

    Anyway - I was flabbergasted at the cost of the license in Great Britain and thought, since this thread has dealt with international issues and differences before, this would be a decent topic for discussion....since I'm sure we all watch TV....and given the different political opinions on this board.... I thought "fire away"!

    7x6&C
     
  2. Max

    Max New Member

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    7 by 6

    A moment for British chauvinism here ...

    Every time I watch TV or listen to the radio almost anywhere else in the world (I have to say especially in the US), I am convinced yet more firmly the UK Licence Fee (which funds the BBC) is a bargain. In the US in particular, I don't know how you put up with it; and I don't just mean the frequency and duration of ads, I mean the whole shooting match.

    [BTW, a topical point: you may know the the BBC and its independence are facing pressure in connection with the suicide of Dr. Kelly.]

    And despite what you may think, I'm in no way left leaning at all. Not in that way at least ;)
     
  3. Imported

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    7x6andchg: See and that was my question, Max, you answered...

    Here in the US, Public Radio and TV has a "leftist" affectation that I didn't think the BBC carried in its native country. I love the BBC for its candor and thoroughness compared to, as you say, the whole shootin' match here.

    The price did seem a little steep to me - I could see maybe, oh I don't know, 50 pounds?

    Of course I was also surprised that B&W TV's still exist...I mean my 19 incher (TV, people! :D ) is somewhat antiquated here....

    7x6&C
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    There are two very important things that politicians don't fool with in the US:

    Your driver's license and your TV set.

    I pity the pol who tries to convince his peers in Congress that Americans would be gladly pay a "User Fee" to own a TV.

    They know they'd all lose their jobs quicker than you can say Gray Davis.
     
  5. jonb

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    [quote author=Max link=board=99;num=1060733857;start=0#1 date=08/12/03 at 22:46:47]7 by 6

    A moment for British chauvinism here ...

    Every time I watch TV or listen to the radio almost anywhere else in the world (I have to say especially in the US), I am convinced yet more firmly the UK Licence Fee (which funds the BBC) is a bargain.  In the US in particular, I don't know how you put up with it; and I don't just mean the frequency and duration of ads, I mean the whole shooting match.

    [BTW, a topical point: you may know the the BBC and its independence are facing pressure in connection with the suicide of Dr. Kelly.]

    And despite what you may think, I'm in no way left leaning at all.  Not in that way at least  ;)[/quote]
    Sez Merkin advertisers: "Fine, we'll spam you instead"
     
  6. Ralexx

    Ralexx Member

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    All rightie !! BBC and the British government !!
    This is a question I always wanted to ask :

    When are the British going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ? (Are the British willing & going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ?)

    Perhaps it is my Conservative penchant who makes me ask such a question. I cannot "pardon" Blair for what he did in November 1999 with the House of Lords. (I might be ridiculously more attached to the Britishness than the British themselves, but - well - we need models, we need patterns - or I need models, I need patterns !!) Or, perhaps it is a sort of antipathy I have againts "Leftist" political movements that motivates this question of mine.
    Anyway.
    When are the British going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ? (Are the British willing & going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ?)

    Thank you.
    Yours sincerely,
    The Duke of Ralexxshire

    (by the Duke of Ralexxshire himself ;))
     
  7. Imported

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    jon.adkins: Yes - the licence fee is on the steep side, but I am definitely in favour. It is bliss not to have to sit through commercials, and that the BBC has the independence that it has.

    However, a discussion such as this is traditionally the point where the British boast about how great their TV programmes are compared to the rest of the world. Not me. I can only apologise for the crap that we have foisted on the US - Pop Idol, The Weakest Link, Big Brother etc., and in turn acknowledge the greatness of programmes like The Simpsons, Six Feet Under and Friends.
     
  8. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Teen Idol, Weakest Link and Big Brother are programmes.

    The Simpsons, Six Feet Under and Friends are programs.

    You're butchering the President's English. :D
     
  9. Imported

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    Javierdude22: -clearing throat-

    Well....even though i am not proud of it....Big Brother was actually a Dutch invention...

    ::)

    well...ok....maybe a tiny bit proud 8) that a country whose capital name doesnt fit its geographical size on a world map can invent things the entire world wants to air...

    Butta... 8)...yeah Big Brother...bad show... ;)
     
  10. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    [quote author=Pecker link=board=99;num=1060733857;start=0#7 date=08/14/03 at 07:06:11]You're butchering the President's English.  :D[/quote]

    English is butchered by the President badly enough as it is!
     
  11. Ralexx

    Ralexx Member

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    So... was my question about Blair unfair and misplaced ?... :p or it is too soon to tell, LOL ?
     
  12. Max

    Max New Member

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    [quote author=Raal Lexx link=board=99;num=1060733857;start=0#5 date=08/14/03 at 01:22:41]
    When are the British going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ? (Are the British willing & going to make Blair step off 10, Downing Street ?)[/quote]

    Radu,

    It may well be that Blair is more vulnerable now than he has been since election in 1997 and again in 2001 with thumping majorites both times ... but if this is so I'm afraid it has nothing to do with the removal of the hereditary principle in the House of Lords (R, you can't be serious!) but is everything to do with the general feeling of mistrust since this country under his leadership joined in the Iraq war.
     
  13. Ralexx

    Ralexx Member

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    Max,
    Ha-ha, of course I'm not serious regarding the Lords, LOL. [says R., sighing nevertheless] I just wonder if the "Kelly affair" won't be his Suez...
     
  14. jonb

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    [quote author=Pecker link=board=99;num=1060733857;start=0#7 date=08/14/03 at 07:06:11]Teen Idol, Weakest Link and Big Brother are programmes.

    The Simpsons, Six Feet Under and Friends are programs.

    You're butchering the President's English.  :D[/quote]
    I WILL NOT BUCHER THE PRESEDANT'S ENGLISH. I WILL NOT BUCHER THE PRESEDANT'S ENGLISH. I WILL NOT BUCHER THE PRESEDANT'S ENGLISH. I WILL NOT BUCHER THE PRESEDANT'S ENGLISH.

    Hey, Bart's already written worse lines, including "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US" and "I WILL NOT PLANT SUBLIMINAL MESSAGORES."
     
  15. Imported

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    Finnmark: Yeah, all great stuff, but back to the TV licence.

    Yes, it IS exorbitant, in line with the price tag on so much in the UK. It's not good news, and neither - save for the occasional worthy offering - is much of the fare dished up on TV in general. I pay the licence fee, with bad grace, simply to see the gems that are sometimes there amidst the dross. But it is an expensive deal.

    Having said that, and having endured worse screen-suffering in the US and in continental Europe, I still have to rate UKTV at the top of a very bad heap.

    To be specific about the BBC is another question, however. It is (my opinion, maybe) - despite all the carping that may take place - the world's most comprehensive and intelligent news-gatherer and presenter. I believe it to be true, at least in Britain, that people are increasingly turning to the BBC (and not least its Radio programmes) for reliable analysis of world affairs (the Iraq issue inevitably pre-eminent, but not alone), for essential critical comment, and - dangerous but distinctly necessary - a fearless examination of this government's mendacious duplicity: Blair's legacy to history. If the BBC is cast in the role of "opposition", it can only be because we search for one in the House of Commons and fail to find it.

    So ... if that licence fee helps to keep "Auntie" on her feet, it might not be such a bad thing after all. If I can feel proud of and grateful for one UK institution, I think my vote would go to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

    (I'll add a disquieting note, however: I worry that - in line with this government - it's coming under the thumb (heel, even) of institutional religion(s). Britain - and the world - watch out!)
     
  16. Imported

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    7x6andchg: Finnmark-

    You brought back my thread from the dead!

    I agree with you - even what little exposure to the BBC we get in this country is enough to make me think it has to be one of the better news gathering and disseminating organizations in the world.

    Certainly better than the clap-trap we have here in the US.

    7x6&C
     
  17. Imported

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    tracksuitboy: Ok, we have to pay £116 ($185) just to own a TV (this novel tax has been with us since the creation of the BBC is the 1920?s) but what do we get for it?  How about:

    2 Terrestrial TV channels

    2 Digital only TV channels

    2 digital only children's TV channels

    1 24 hour TV news channel

    6 major national radio stations

    several other radio channels including the renowned BBC World Service

    1 orchestra and choir

    1 two month long classical music jamboree (The Proms)

    No bloody commercials

    Is it worth it?  Damned right it is!!

    Our commercial TV stations are, in the main, bollocks.  Channel 4 used to be radical but now they chase viewing figures like everyone else (Big Brother - say no more!); ITV has only ever been interested in viewing figures and Channel 5 - well the less said the better.  Yes, ITV can produce the occasional good drama series, Channel 4 has some superb documentaries but for all-round good programming, you can't beat the BBC.  

    I have been to the US and saw some of your TV and all I can say is 'oh dear!'.  How the hell can you watch something like '24' interspersed with all those commercials - god, I'd be throwing things at the TV!!  There have been some wonderful series made in the USA ('24', 'The West Wing' among the current and 'MASH' and 'Hill Street Blues' from the past), it's just the presentation which is f**ked up.

    Whoever thought of commercial television should be shot.
     
  18. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: [quote author=tracksuitboy link=board=99;num=1060733857;start=0#16 date=10/31/03 at 06:12:08]
    I have been to the US and saw some of your TV and all I can say is ?oh dear!?.  How the hell can you watch something like ?24? interspersed with all those commercials ? god, I?d be throwing things at the TV!!  There have been some wonderful series made in the USA (?24?, ?The West Wing? among the current and ?MASH? and ?Hill Street Blues? from the past), it?s just the presentation which is f**ked up.

    Whoever thought of commercial television should be shot.
    [/quote]

    That's why I hardly watch any regular TV....I stick with the cable channels such as Discovery, History Channel, TLC, etc. They are just so much better than being interrupted every few minutes with an advertisement for something.
     
  19. Imported

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    longtimelurker: Raal - have you seen our major opposition party??? I mean - their latest party conference had a major policy issue of 'we'll send all asylum seekers to a place far away' - when asked where 'far away' was the response was 'Um, we'll we don't know yet!'. Along with all right-wing parties of the world, ours seems to have gone so far to the extreme that they only appeal to their own fundamental grass-roots.

    I don't think Blair will step down for some time yet - and when he does I expect it will be a leadership switch rather than a change of ruling party.

    PS Good to see you back!

    ----

    OK license fee...

    Yes, it's expensive but it's hardly as though we have a choice!

    Besides, someone has to pay for the commercials as the acting, sales teams and commercial design don't come cheap, so you end up paying for your TV through buying advertised products anyway - AND you have to sit through a ton of adverts for the privilege! And no, it doesn't include cable TV, but you can get digital terrestrial with a few extra channels.

    Apart from that, the only really good TV series seem to either come from us or from American premium cable channels (which you have to pay for anyway (and still get adverts even then, right?)). So, even though I begrudge it when it comes round to paying my £116 (which reminds me, I have to do tomorrow) - I prefer the system that we have.
     
  20. Imported

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    Tender: we dont have a TV.

    ( breathe! its ok... no youre not going blind ;) )

    i cant say i even missed it for the first 6 yrs or so...
    but the last year or two i have to say, we are looking into remedying that....

    anyway, too much filth....

    but i wanted to comment on Paul's, tax.

    $1300 a year??
    are you for REAL??
    ours is only $350...
    i wonder why such a difference?

    im with Pecker, though, lord bless anyone who comes between a couch potato and his TV lol !!
    he would real fast like be a homeless politician... if he were *lucky*... :D

    Tender
     
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