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(C|Net)   Brits require a television license to watch football online   (news.com.com ) divider line 135
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5485 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jun 2006 at 11:40 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-06-13 11:45:35 PM  
Can someone please explain to me what television licenses are for. I've heard that you need one to watch or buy a TV in UK.

/Ignorant American
 
2006-06-13 11:46:43 PM  
Don't the little socialists have receivers to see which houses have televisions in order to tax those who are evading the tax?
 
2006-06-13 11:46:48 PM  
Chronocide: Can someone please explain to me what television licenses are for.


It's essentially a tax to fund the BBC.
 
2006-06-13 11:46:51 PM  
Some Germans are apparently complaining about the same thing.

Although the arguments in favor of a TV license are persuasive--the BBC is a pretty good source of news and probably wouldn't exist as it does without licensing--I'm still really glad that America doesn't have TV licenses.

First, I think it's dumb and confusing to tax computers as well as normal televisions. Besides the convoluted legalese required to justify things like the linked article discusses, it appears to me in these cases that the licensing requirement is done clearly only for profit. The licensing men want your money.

Second, the rest of the world seems to enjoy watching American television just fine. We don't require TV licensing to produce popular shows that are watched in Sri Lanka, Sweden, and El Salvadar, so I doubt that licensing would improve the quality of television greatly.
 
2006-06-13 11:47:51 PM  
But is this the line to purchase a fish license?
 
2006-06-13 11:48:07 PM  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_license

I didn't read much of the aritcle, but I assume it is like a BBC tax, so the BBC remains free with still pumping out as much Monty Python ripoffs as it can.
 
2006-06-13 11:48:28 PM  
With the loss of net neutrality, how far can the US be from this..
 
2006-06-13 11:49:24 PM  
I think it's about time the UK caught up with the rest of the world.
 
2006-06-13 11:50:21 PM  
Also img.fark.com, they call soccer "football". ;-)
 
2006-06-13 11:50:49 PM  
"It's not a television, it's a toaster!"


/not obscure
 
2006-06-13 11:52:32 PM  
biatch and moan, but it pays for the BBC which still, somehow, NASA like, can provide a couple decent outings a year on a tiny public budget.
 
2006-06-13 11:54:04 PM  
It must suck to be in the UK, and have pay money on a desktop that had dual tv tuners...
 
2006-06-13 11:54:17 PM  
jimmyego: tiny public budget.

Of course I meant "tiny" proportional to the cost of operating a tv station/production or a space R&D corporation.
 
2006-06-13 11:56:58 PM  
I love the Beeb. Thank you British Taxpayers for helping fund such great shows as:

Spaced
The Mighty Boosh
Garth Mehrengi's Darkplace
I'm Alan Partridge
Big Train
The Thick of It
The Armando Ianucci Shows
The Office
Black Books
Dr. Who
...and so on.
 
2006-06-13 11:57:58 PM  
The BBC is taxpayer funded. I don't see it being that much different from pay per view. Just because it isn't a private company demanding revenue doesn't make it right that people are getting a service without paying.

Fark is in the same position, though it tries to balance the best of both worlds. The efforts of the people who make this happen have to be rewarded in some way, otherwise there is really no point in them putting in all of the effort they do.

The cool thing is that you can get a lot of it for free. The downside is that if you have any level of ethics you begin to feel bad about the fact that so much effort is being made for so little reward. Ad revenue does not pay for that much. When ad revenue starts to pay the bills, things start to suck because the content caters to those paying the bills.

It's a catch 22. Either you replace the ad revenue by helping to pay for the service, or you can reasonably expect the service to have to cater to those who are paying the bills.
 
2006-06-14 12:01:52 AM  
Thank you to every british person who paid for the IT crowd!
 
2006-06-14 12:03:38 AM  
I love the Beeb. Thank you British Taxpayers for helping fund such great shows as:

Spaced
The Mighty Boosh
Garth Mehrengi's Darkplace
I'm Alan Partridge
Big Train
The Thick of It
The Armando Ianucci Shows
The Office
Black Books
Dr. Who
...and so on.


Spaced and Black Books were Channel 4 (pops) programmes. The channel doesn't receive income from licence fees, although it was given the broadcasting frequencies for free when it was founded.
 
Rib
2006-06-14 12:05:17 AM  
If it wasn't for the BBC, you would not get unbiased news reporting. Haven't you SEEN FoxNews recently????
Do you really want that trash for your news source?

Just as Americans might laugh at us Brits paying a TV tax, I laugh heartily at you Americans paying a Gambling tax.

/plays poker for a living
//earns $12,000 a month tax free.
 
2006-06-14 12:05:25 AM  
Spaced - Channel 4
The Mighty Boosh - BBC
Garth Mehrengi's Darkplace - Channel 4
I'm Alan Partridge - BBC
Big Train - BBC
The Thick of It - BBC
The Armando Ianucci Shows - Channel 4
The Office - BBC
Black Books - Channel 4
Dr. Who - BBC

'nuff said.
 
2006-06-14 12:08:43 AM  
oh, and flash lights are called torches.
I don't know what they call torches though
 
2006-06-14 12:10:34 AM  
thisispete, DrSIN, thanks for clearing that up. I'm just an ignorant heartland American, so please excuse my confusion.

Still, there is a lot of good stuff coming out of the UK, so I stand by my point. You pay for what you get, and the BBC is top notch.
 
2006-06-14 12:12:56 AM  
They sure got a lot of rules in Britian.

Do they need a licence to jerk off too?

Because there could be alot of tax revenue in that I'm sure.
 
2006-06-14 12:13:44 AM  
I must admitt , the public service they offer is second to none. Nature Documentary's , Comedy , Website/News and they stuff they do for people in education (Open University . Bitesize)

Though the drama absoloutly sucks , the only thing I enjoyed was Band of Brothers and im not sure wether that was exclusivly a HBO thing or wether the BBC had some part in it.
 
2006-06-14 12:14:34 AM  
Japan has this sorta 'tax' too, but is usually handled:

NHK guy: Hi, I'm here to collect for NHK.
Resident: Um, I don't want to pay. Run along now.
NHK guy: Alrighty then. Sorry to bother you!

Funny thing is, friends of friends who've gone on to work for NHK are checked out to see if they've paid up, and in one case a guy had to fork over a ton of cash. I *think* they went after the guy's family too.
 
2006-06-14 12:15:51 AM  
Just as Americans might laugh at us Brits paying a TV tax, I laugh heartily at you Americans paying a Gambling tax.

Member of the Royal Family?
 
2006-06-14 12:20:10 AM  
Well as Dr Who seems to be very popular herein the US so far, I have to imagine that the BBC is raking in the Pounds sterling.
 
2006-06-14 12:20:36 AM  
I hard once that in Englind, a "fag" meant a cigarette.
 
2006-06-14 12:23:46 AM  
Chronocide: Can someone please explain to me what television licenses are for.

TV, radio and internet with a guarantee of no government control and no adverts. If a similar service were available in the USA I'd sign up in an instant.
 
2006-06-14 12:24:17 AM  
BloodyL

Some Germans are apparently complaining about the same thing.

Although the arguments in favor of a TV license are persuasive--the BBC is a pretty good source of news


biased, left-wing propaganda, actually

All Apologies

The BBC is taxpayer funded. I don't see it being that much different from pay per view. Just because it isn't a private company demanding revenue doesn't make it right that people are getting a service without paying.

This case is a little different because the viewers are specifically hitting a site feeding a BBC program, UK TV owners are taxed for owning a TV even if they never watch the BBC.

Furthermore, if you decide to pay for a broadcast channel with tax dollars, the taxpayers should at least be able to specify which channel(s) they want their tax money to go to. And in point of fact, the government should only perform the functions that only government can do, which doesn't include owning and operating media outlets.

Basically, the left-wing cultural mandarins insist on forcing the public to pay for their programming irrespective of the actual wishes of the people. It's the same situation in the US with PBS and NPR.
 
2006-06-14 12:25:21 AM  
Rib: If it wasn't for the BBC, you would not get unbiased news reporting. Haven't you SEEN FoxNews recently????

BBC News is about as ignorant and biased as CNN (Fox is on a planet all their own). I don't know where the idea that BBC News is unbiased and the greatest news source on the planet comes from.
 
2006-06-14 12:26:42 AM  
BizarreRecords: I hard once that in Englind, a "fag" meant a cigarette.

According to Freud, your subconscious was disappointed.
 
2006-06-14 12:26:46 AM  
when I lived in London we were squatters, so we were illegaly hooking up everything - water, electricity, etc when we could - so I heard that the Brits had to pay their TV tax, but it was just another thing we were stealing. It always stuck in my head with VAT as that as what separated us from Europeans.
 
2006-06-14 12:27:56 AM  
TV, radio and internet with a guarantee of no government control and no adverts.

How can something be owned by the government and not be within their control?
 
2006-06-14 12:28:52 AM  
Thread Jack: Still, there is a lot of good stuff coming out of the UK, so I stand by my point. You pay for what you get, and the BBC is top notch.

Indeed. I'm in New Zealand, most of our imported television is from the US, but we get a steady diet of British stuff too, and yet the television shows in my dvd collection are mostly Brtish.

Back of the Y Masterpiece Television [NZ]
Band of Brothers [US]
Battlestar Galactica: 2003 Miniseries, Season One [US]
Big Train: Series 1-2
The Complete Black Adder
The Complete Black Books
The Complete Ripping Yarns

The Day After Tomorrow [US TV movie]
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series
Family Guy: Seasons 1-4, Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story [US]
Firefly: The Complete Series [US]
The Goodies: 8 Delicious Episodes
Jeeves and Wooster: The Complete Collection

Lost: The Complete First Season [US]
Red Dwarf: Just the Shows - Volume 1
Scrubs: Season 1-3 [US]
Spaced: Definitive Collector's Edition
Spooks: Series 1
Yes, Minister: The Complete Series 1-3
Yes, Prime Minister: Series One, Series Two
The Young Ones: Series 1-2


The US does produced quality television now and then, but I think the reason why the British are a bit more consistent is that their seasons are shorter. 13 episodes, or even just 6. That lets writers bring their A-game more often instead of settling for second-rate jokes.
 
2006-06-14 12:30:10 AM  
Impossible to listen to the BBC radio commentary outside of the UK. I'm stuck watching games with Japanese commentary, which is pretty shallow. Wah, wah.

Anyway, I could understand if it was just about the TV license... but radio?!?! Holy crap, that is just way too many lawyers messing up a good thing.
 
2006-06-14 12:30:57 AM  
Ohhhhh yes, the British are *so* stupid for paying 11 quid a month for TV that actually has quality programming, and has no commercial interruption.

Oh, that and their silly, silly system of free-to-view terrestrial digital channels with the aid of a one-off payment for a digital converter box.

HOW COULD THEY BE SO STUPID AND BLIND TO THE WAYS OF THE ENDLESS BLOODY COMMERCIALS THAT INSINUATE, BELCH AND FART THEIR WAY OUT OF EVERY DAMN CHANNEL ON US TELEVISION*! HOW COULD THEY BE SO WRONG? STUPID AND WRONG!

*except TCM, I grudgingly have to give Ted Turner thanks for that.
 
2006-06-14 12:31:36 AM  
The BBC makes all British TV shows better because it raises the bar for the other networks to reach.
 
2006-06-14 12:32:12 AM  
Hossenpheffer: Impossible to listen to the BBC radio commentary outside of the UK.

Try masking your IP (pops)
 
2006-06-14 12:32:42 AM  
2006-06-14 12:24:17 AMgrotto_man

Your not considering Aunt Beebs reputation amongst those in the UK I think. Not only are most people happy with the service they get for their taxpayer money, it is so popular that politicians are loathe to challenge the BBCs existence.

The BBC does a damn good job, and are appreciated for it. If BBC material is distributed, it should be paid for, like any other service. Otherwise it is no different from stealing music from companies who sell it. Other than the fact that voters can influence the BBC if they are not happy about what it is presenting.

The BBC did not disappear during the Thatcher years. It is a service those in the UK have come to appreciate deeply. I feel fortunate that I can get it here in the US for free.
 
2006-06-14 12:33:33 AM  
I don't know where the idea that BBC News is unbiased and the greatest news source on the planet comes from.

The first clue is the fact they don't have to sloganize the way that they are either:

1) Fair
2) Balanced
3) The Most Trusted
 
2006-06-14 12:33:50 AM  
Originally, the TV license was a license to receive TV signals over the air.

Then, when people bought TVs and said 'but I don't use it to watch TV, only videos!' they said it was a license to own a set that was capable of receiving OTA transmissions, whether or not you actually used it for such.

It is a de-facto 'BBC tax'. This is not a bad thing, since the revenue from the license actually does directly go to the BBC, and makes up a large chunk of their budget. At least it doesn't go into the general Treasury funds like, say the Road Tax and Petrol Tax stuff (which is *supposed* to go to road improvements, but in reality is just used by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, to make money to fund other projects).
 
2006-06-14 12:33:56 AM  
Your = You're.
 
2006-06-14 12:34:29 AM  
AutomaticHatstand: Ohhhhh yes, the British are *so* stupid for paying 11 quid a month for TV that actually has quality programming, and has no commercial interruption.

If they could opt out of it, great! But it is farking assinine to force every television owner in the country to pay a tax to support something they may well not want to watch.
 
2006-06-14 12:35:03 AM  
thisispete: the reason why the British are a bit more consistent is that their seasons are shorter

And don't forget that they know how to quit while they're ahead. They don't keep their series on life support for years after they should have pulled the plug. Which brings us back to commercial sponsorship.
 
2006-06-14 12:36:11 AM  
It seems it would be easier and more efficient to integrate the tv tax into the VAT or whatever else they have taxes for. What percentage of Great Britain doesn't watch tv? I'm pretty sure 99% of their households own a tv. I don't understand why they waste their time tracking down people buying tvs and not paying the tax.
 
2006-06-14 12:39:05 AM  
I spent many a fond night watching snoocker (spell?) can't believe people can aim and follow through like that.

I loved the Giles cartoons - they were the quintesential Brits
 
2006-06-14 12:45:34 AM  
The BBC makes all British TV shows better because it raises the bar for the other networks to reach.

Coming soon to America! NSA NETWORK! Based on the smash hit inspired by the BBC!

/Tinfoil hats make your head sweaty.
 
2006-06-14 12:46:03 AM  
So what if I have no interest in watching TV at all, but need one to hook up a video game console to? I'd have to pay a license? That's BS.
 
2006-06-14 12:46:34 AM  
If they could opt out of it, great! But it is farking assinine to force every television owner in the country to pay a tax to support something they may well not want to watch.

They *can* opt out of it, by not owning a TV set or a computer with TV tuner card.

Can you opt out of paying for Social Security? Do you think you're ever likely to see anything of that Social Security tax when it gets time for you to draw on it?

I'd rather spend 11 bucks a month towards a TV license/tax on the offchance I'd want to watch TV, rather than do what equates to throwing lemon meringue pies at a black hole.
 
2006-06-14 12:47:20 AM  
I don't understand why they waste their time tracking down people buying tvs and not paying the tax.

Reality TV.
 
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