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19/02/2020 17:54:14  

But will you see your phone bills decreasing?

Ofcom must repay £218m to the UK's four main mobile network operators (MNOs) after overcharging them for spectrum access, the Court of Appeal ruled today.…

18/02/2020 10:52:33  

As the future of the BBC hangs in the balance whilst No. 10 finally work out their policy on the licence fee, you would imagine the BBC are hoping at least Labour have their back. The latest leadership hustings snuffed out that fantasy…

The post Labour Deputy Leadership’s BBC Bashing appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

17/02/2020 11:49:30  

No 10 is urged not to pick fight with broadcaster amid reports it wants it "massively pruned back".
16/02/2020 18:53:12  

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16/02/2020 08:53:01  

Fran Unsworth claims row over impartiality was ‘a Brexit thing’ and frank debate is needed over broadcaster’s role

The BBC was taken aback by leftwing attacks on its general election coverage, Fran Unsworth, the broadcaster’s head of news and current affairs, has admitted in a frank assessment of the political pressures that are undermining efforts to preserve the licence fee.

Unsworth, 62, said attacks on BBC standards of impartiality from sections of the political left, as well as from rightwingers, “was a Brexit thing”. “When you get a binary referendum choice that re-frames politics, people take sides in a way that they don’t in normal times,” Unsworth said.

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16/02/2020 00:56:21  

Source claims Boris Johnson is ‘strident’ about broadcaster’s reach being scaled back

Claims were made on Sunday that Downing Street may be preparing a new onslaught on the BBC with a threat to scrap the television licence fee and turn it into a subscription service.

The Sunday Times quoted a senior source as saying that the broadcaster could be forced to sell off most of its radio stations in a “massive pruning back” of its activities.

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15/02/2020 23:49:12  

The death of former Love Island host Caroline Flack features on many of Sunday's front pages.
15/02/2020 08:52:41  

Enforcing fee payment through criminal courts is outdated in populist world, says Knight

The Conservative MP tasked with scrutinising the BBC has said it is hard to justify enforcing the licence fee through the criminal courts, suggesting the corporation is losing support in its battle to prevent the decriminalisation of the £154.50 charge.

Julian Knight, the chair-elect of the Commons culture select committee, told the Guardian the sanctions on individuals who did not buy a television licence were increasingly out of date. “In 2020, when we’re looking at a world of populism, a world in which elites are being challenged an awful lot, the idea of criminal sanctions over the licence fee sticks in a lot of people’s throats.”

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12/02/2020 14:54:11  

The BBC channel is a lifeline to parents of small children. Getting rid of it, as the corporation’s chairman has suggested, is unthinkable

If some people have their way, the days of the licence fee are seemingly numbered. And in a bid to protect it, the BBC chairman, David Clementi, has gone nuclear. Take the license fee away, he says, and there won’t be any more CBeebies.

Honestly, that’s enough. Take my licence fee. Double it. Triple it, even. David, I will give you my pin code and the keys to my car if you promise not to get rid of CBeebies. It is the crown jewel of the BBC. It makes parenting possible.

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12/02/2020 07:49:07  
11/02/2020 22:51:59  

Subscription service would lead to ‘big cuts’ to children’s and local TV, says David Clementi

The BBC’s chairman will warn that replacing the licence fee with a Netflix-style subscription service would result in big cuts to its children’s output that would potentially spell the end of dedicated channels such as CBeebies and CBBC in their present form.

Sir David Clementi will say that while the BBC welcomed debate on its future funding model, the public broadcaster would also be forced to make substantial cuts to its educational programmes and retreat from the regions if it had to put its content behind a paywall and compete on a commercial basis.

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10/02/2020 14:51:57  

The motoring show is being switched over to Britain’s biggest channel to turbo charge its success. In fact, it’s like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic

Top Gear is moving to BBC One. For the first time in almost half a century, it has been announced that the motoring show is going the way of The Apprentice and the Great British Bake Off, switching to the country’s biggest television channel in order to turbo charge its success.

Related: Top Gear is switching to BBC1 in attempt to safeguard licence fee

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10/02/2020 14:51:55  

Job specification says new boss faces ‘unprecedented scrutiny’ of value of services

The next BBC director general could be based outside London, as the broadcaster formally launches the search for a leader who can secure the corporation’s future in the face of changing media habits and a battle for funding with Boris Johnson’s government.

The official job specification released on Monday makes clear the scale of the challenge facing the individual who replaces Tony Hall. Issues highlighted included the government’s consultation on licence fee decriminalisation, finding ways to adapt output to meet the changing media habits of younger audiences, and dealing with “unprecedented scrutiny over the breadth, quality, content and value of its services”. Due to the level of stress associated with the job, they must also be able to show “demonstrable resilience”.

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10/02/2020 09:51:54  

‘The time is right to move the world’s best motor show to the nation’s most popular channel’

Veteran car show Top Gear is switching to BBC1 after 43 years on BBC2 as part of the corporation’s drive to attract younger viewers and safeguard the future of the licence fee.

Following the success of new presenting line-up Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, Top Gear is to follow in the footsteps of other hit shows including Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders and Great British Bake Off and make the transition from BBC2 to its bigger stablemate BBC1.

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09/02/2020 10:51:32  

The supposed ‘lack of patriotism’ in the CBBC show is another poor excuse from those who would dismantle public broadcasting

”Was any of the licence fee used to produce something purely designed to demean us?”, the elderly BBC journalist Andrew Neil tweeted, regarding last week’s nine-minute European-themed compilation of the delightful children’s series Horrible Histories. In these arse-tip times, the multiple-Bafta-award-winning success is “unpatriotic”, while pouring cider on a smouldering EU flag is the tits.

But Horrible Histories, more than any other human endeavour, fulfils the Reithian remit to “inform, educate and entertain”. In the very British tradition of the music hall, Monty Python and 1066 and All That, the show brings the past irreverently to life for generations of future historians, many too distressed by Neil’s gibbous presence to learn from his informative broadcasts. And yet, long ago, I had heard Neil’s words before.

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09/02/2020 06:51:40  

The case for public service broadcasting is as strong as ever – but Boris Johnson wants to undermine this cherished British institution

The BBC’s first director general, Lord Reith, believed that one of the purposes of public service broadcasting was to be a unifying force, “making the nation as one man”. Almost a century later, and despite many predictions of its demise, the BBC remains an overwhelmingly trusted institution, cherished by the British public. Last December, 17.1 million sat down to watch the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, making it the most watched scripted show of the past decade, and well over 90% of the population consumes BBC content every week. Yet against a backdrop of criticisms that the broadcaster has failed to keep pace with evolving lifestyles, it now faces an existential political threat: last week, Nicky Morgan, the culture secretary, floated the abolition of the licence fee that funds it, from 2027 onwards.

The case for investment in public service broadcasting is as strong today as it was a century ago. From the production of quality news, to the creation of shared cultural anchors, to the fostering of new British creative talent, the BBC has enriched the fabric of our cultural life over the decades, and through its reporting has helped to speak truth to power. Watched and admired around the globe – BBC One was rated highest for quality in an international survey of 66 television channels – it is an important source of soft power on the world stage.

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06/02/2020 23:51:31  

Trademark Big Red annoyances revealed by JVM software writers

Just 9 per cent of Java devs pay for a supported version of the Java Development Kit (JDK), according to a new survey – despite Oracle introducing a licence fee for the official Oracle JDK from April 2019.…

06/02/2020 18:51:30  

Trademark Big Red annoyances revealed by JVM software writers

Just 9 per cent of Java devs pay for a supported version of the Java Development Kit (JDK), according to a new survey – despite Oracle introducing a licence fee for the official Oracle JDK from April 2019.…

05/02/2020 15:47:01  

Government launches public consultation on decriminalising non-payment of the TV licence fee.
05/02/2020 09:50:41  

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs

The BBC could end up as defunct as Blockbuster unless it finds a new way of remaining relevant and viable in the digital age, Nicky Morgan, the culture secretary, is warning today. The corporation has always been slightly nervous of its prospects under Conservative governments, and relations with Boris Johnson’s government are particularly fraught, partly because Downing Street is boycotting the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme, Today on Radio 4, for reasons that have never been fully explained in public. Now a cabinet minister is raising the prospect of the BBC facing extinction.

Morgan, who quit the Commons at the last election and now sits in the House of Lords, is making a speech today that will confirm an overnight announcement about how the government is launching a consultation on whether to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee. This sounds like one of those consultations where there is little doubt about what the outcome will be. The BBC claims the move could cost it £200m. My colleague Jim Waterson’s overnight story about the plan is here.

Related: BBC licence fee: proposals to decriminalise non-payment

Twenty years ago Blockbuster, the then heavyweight of video rentals, turned down a £38m merger offer from Netflix.

Today Netflix is worth £50bn, 1,300 times its offer to Blockbuster – which has gone from 3,000 stores to a museum in Oregon, for people who want to remember what video cassettes look like ...

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05/02/2020 01:09:13  

Corporation faces reduction in income if plan to decriminalise non-payment goes ahead

The BBC is facing deep funding cuts under proposals to stop prosecuting people for non-payment of the licence fee as the government launches a consultation on the issue.

Ministers acknowledged that any change would inevitably result in a reduction in income for the national broadcaster – requiring further cuts to its output – but suggested that it was unfair to pursue individuals through the criminal courts if they watch live television without subsidising the BBC.

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