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Random question for UK'ers...

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  • Random question for UK'ers...

    I was reading a news article that I got off the ever popular Fark. It was talking about creative ways that people in Scotland, in particular Aberdeen, were trying to get around paying their TV licensing fee.

    What is a TV licensing fee? Do you actually have to pay a license to own a TV?
    I am disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious? - Mr. Sparkle

  • #2
    Yes, you have to own a licence to own a TV in the UK, except for some very specific exemptions (the fact that you're blind and only listen to the TV is no defence for example). The money helps support the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) which doesn't air paid advertising and so needs another source of revenue. And no, it doesn't actually make any difference if you use your TV to watch satellite TV or one of the "commercial" channels. I personally hate it (but then, I personally hardly ever watch BBC and certainly wouldn't if I had to pay for it specifically) but successive governments have stated that they have no intention of abolishing it.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

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    • #3
      Wowzers. Here we would call the BBC "PBS" and we force them to beg 2 or 3 times a year for donations to keep going. I'd feel bad if I ever watched PBS, but I really don't so I don't feel bad when they are low on cash. [Wink]
      I am disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious? - Mr. Sparkle

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      • #4
        Unlike PBS which seems to rely heavily on 1970s UK sitcoms for its output the BBC does make a lot of excellent shows, many of which it exports.
        On terrestrial TV we have BBC1 andBBC2 and on cable they go up to something like BBC7, theres also four national radio stations, Radio1 pop, Radio2 mixture/easy listenening/talk, Radio3 classical and Radio4 talk. They also run regional radio stations all of which we pay for in a licence fee of about

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        • #5
          Well, God bless you folks for funding the BBC -- some of my all time favorite TV shows originated there (Monty Python, Coupling, Manchild, Men Behaving Badly, Jonathan Creak, Robot Wars, and Junkyard Wars just to name a few). Coupling & Manchild frequently have me laughing so hard my sides hurt. I only wish we could get more of your shows here.

          PBS used to air a lot of BBC shows, but I think now that we have the BBCAmerica channel on cable, we're seeing less and less on PBS (though PBS still has some good programming -- enough to justify the support we send them each year).
          "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. " -- ???

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          • #6
            Xanthorius:
            quote:
            I'd feel bad if I ever watched PBS, but I really don't so I don't feel bad when they are low on cash
            PBS and NPR get government funding also. I feel bad about my tax dollars helping them push their liberal agenda. About the only time PBS in my area shows something worth watching is during pledge drive. There are some PBS stations that show some good programs though. I really like Red Green. Unfortunately our local affiliate doesn't carry the show.
            Bill R

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            • #7
              hi Peacefuldragon, glad you like the shows, they do make some great ones especially comedies like Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Steptoe and Son, One Foot in the Grave, Open all Hours, Porridge, The Office, The Royle Family.
              I had forgotten about BBCAmerica, I think thats self funding but they also run the BBC World service on the radio.

              As for PBS I wasnt aware they had an agenda, the times I have seen it they just seem to run from show to show with even fewer breaks than the BBC.

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              • #8
                I thought the tv license fee was only if you actually used the tv...not just because you owned one. I had a roommate in Bristol that had one, but we only watched movies (rented) on it. According to her, there was never anything good on BBC anyway!

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                • #9
                  I guess I forgot about PBS getting funds. NEA grants and stuff like that, don't they get those?
                  I am disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious? - Mr. Sparkle

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