BBC is ‘clinging to past glory’ claims radio host
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TalkRADIO presenter Kevin O’Sullivan debated the TV licence on his show and wondered what the point of the fee was to those under 30. Supporters of the Beeb claim the broadcaster provides a key function for ordinary people by showing and reporting on key events which are important to the day-to-day life of the country. But Mr O’Sullivan furiously disagreed, pointing out the young are turning their backs on the BBC as it desperately holds on to its “past glory” as streaming giants slowly make the broadcaster redundant.
Speaking on his TalkRADIO show, Mr O’Sullivan wondered what the point of the BBC and other channels were.
He explained: “The BBC and for that matter the other terrestrial broadcast like ITV, Channel Four, Channel Five.
“I mean, they all look a little like foxes caught in the headlights startled by the sudden onset of the streaming giants, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Apple TV.
“And now these are offering alternatives, particularly to young people that certainly render the BBC’s contention that it’s vital to public life in Britain as rather redundant.
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“It’s not true, there’s a whole generation of people under 30 couldn’t give a flying.
“Young people want to watch Netflix, they don’t want to watch BBC.
“So the BBC is clinging to its past glory in a world that sort of forgotten it.”
BBC director-general Tim Davie defended the increase of the TV licence despite the broadcaster struggling to compete with streaming giants like Netflix.
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He told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: “Netflix, Spotify, Apple – price rises of 20-30 percent this year, we have gone up 1 percent this year.
“When you ask what people would pay for the BBC, we are well ahead of the £13.
“We are not asking to go well ahead of that, but we need to make sure we are not stripping this service because we will then be into a spiral if you haven’t got the investment.”
Anyone who watches linear TV is currently required to pay £159 a year.
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The licence makes up a large part of the BBC’s annual budget and is paid by over 25 million households.
Failure to pay the fee is a criminal offence and can lead to a prison sentence.
Throwing his weight behind campaigners pushing for change, BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman said it was time for the BBC to “start again”.
He told the Sunday Times: “I don’t think the licence fee can survive — it’s mad.
“We don’t tax any other bit of household equipment, it cannot possibly survive in that form.
“It belongs to another age. It’s a bit like coal.”
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