Licence fee beats subscription TV

good value? 7.6million people watched Doctor Who on Christmas Day, placing the BBC1 show fifth in the top 10 ratings list of programmes - all of which were aired on Freeview channels
good value? 7.6million people watched Doctor Who on Christmas Day, placing the BBC1 show fifth in the top 10 ratings list of programmes - all of which were aired on Freeview channels

I must respond to Steve Webster’s second tirade against the BBC and the TV licence fee (Your Say, December 28) which he mischievously calls a tax.

BBC is a “channel that hardly anyone watches”. This year, like most previous years, the BBC was the most watched over the Christmas period. That means the majority, not, “hardly anyone”. Steve’s praise for Sky TV is misguided when you consider that the majority shareholder is Rupert Murdoch who had the close one of his newspapers because of illegal activity. 
I don’t recall the BBC having to close a channel due to illegal activity. Steve complains that the licence fee is compulsory whether you watch the BBC or not. So is the alternative of adverts, where you pay the added cost to every product you buy that is expensively advertised on TV, whether you watch that channel or not. 
With 72 TV channels on Freeview, paid for by the licence fee and adverts and with instantaneous selection of any channel is the direction TV is going, not subscription TV where you have to sign-up to channels in advance then miss some programmes because you’re not signed up to that channel for cost reasons. 
Also regional programmes are impossible with subscription satellite broadcasting because the satellites footprint covers the whole UK not just one region. 
So not an alternative for a regional broadcaster like the BBC. The viewer pays for their entertainment whether it’s a transparent licence fee or hidden advert costs, it’s just that some people are deceived by hidden costs thinking it’s free. It’s not, and subscription TV is the most expensive of all.

Colin James

Palace House Road

Hebden Bridge