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  • #16
    Originally posted by garth View Post
    How did the zebra get his stripes, Bonekicker? By propagandising for the BBC?

    I'll solve this mystery one of these days.
    eh?

    Comment


    • #17
      . Firstly, I seriously doubt the BBC would be a threat to Sky if they decided to take the subscription route. I would say Sky's main attraction is the sport packages, which is the sole reason I have it myself. The BBC could never come up with the money to pay for the rights to show live Premier League football, let alone other sports events such as rugby, cricket, etc.
      The BBC would have to come up with some sort of special content if they went down a subscription route, but sport isnt the area I was thinking of, in part because thanks to Sky, its fantastically expensive to buy the rights to showing much of it, and I assume the 'Crown Jewels' rule would no longer apply.

      Sky is a provider of content, such as sport, which it can charge high prices for, since it has the sole rights and its a something best watched live. But it also buys the bulk of its content in - it commissions drama, for example, but it doesnt tend to take that many risks and makes much much less than the BBC or C4 does right now. Its a provider, which could be more difficult where large content holders can effectively stream everything via their own channel - something that Disney is looking to do in the States. Game of Thrones is shown by Sky, but is made by HBO. HBO is owned by Times Warner, who are in turn are now owned by AT & T. If you own the cable/broadband company, and the production company, and the back content, why do you need Sky as a middleman?

      But its relationship to the BBC and perhaps the other terrestrial channels which is a bit delicate. Because ultimately, Sky is a platform - it hands you a box, which actually a way of making sure you pay for your content, and then it effectively hosts stuff. And that stuff includes BBC channels.

      Sky viewers actually watch BBC channels and programmes at about the same rate as everyone else does, which should be no surprise. Yes, you might have 900 channels, including Carp Live and the Paper Mache Channel, but since Sky 1 is showing a sports game show and then a movie from 2000, and the final of Strictly is on, Strictly it is. People want to see whats going to happen in Eastenders, even with its elderly set, or Dr Who, or the end of The Bodyguard, or the footie with Gary Lyneker, or even just the news. Its a free market, so people can watch what they like.

      But if the BBC goes subscription, then that access would presumably vanish, or would be subject to Sky paying for it. Some years ago, Sky made the BBC pay to show its content, until the BBC then threatened to charge Sky. The truth is that Sky needs the BBC a bit more than the BBC needs Sky. If your going to have to pay for 2 subscriptions, you could ask yourself which gives you more for your money - and if your not into sport and you work out that you watch BBC more than you watch Sky1, etc, even when your using Sky, who do you chose?

      Its a delicate ecosystem, and Sky could get hurt if things change. Maybe not bankrupt hurt, but its a serious moneymaker, and losing subscribers is something it tries to avoid.

      As for how much onscreen talent costs - it costs what it costs. I dont really get why footballers are paid so much money, but there you are. Its a market, and therefore there is a market rate. Same with on air talent. In theory, anyone can sit in front of a camera and talk about football, but in reality, they cant (just look at Youtube), any more than anyone can be a teacher, professional sportsman, pilot,write actor, or standup comedian.

      And even if you nurture talent within your own organisation relatively cheaply, if they are good, then the pull of the market means they dont have to stay with you...

      Ultimately, it's about choice. I wouldn't generally quibble over a couple of quid a week and I do agree with you that the BBC does make good programmes too including radio. But I think this discussion all started because viewers aren't given the option to opt out of paying for the BBC.
      Thats an argument I have heard loads of times. And there is a debatable point. The problem is that since pretty much everyone in the UK uses the BBC in some way at least once a week, the costs of having a pay as you go system, etc, is far more of a hassle and costly than just a universal flat fee. As I said, its a sort of philosophical/ideological problem which doesnt really apply to most people, the fixes for which are far more difficlut than the current solution. The licence fee is the worst idea, apart from all the rest.

      You can stop paying a licence fee if you want - its called 'cutting the cord', and there is a whole series on it here. But its a right faff, your kind of potentially limited in the size of screen, and you potentially miss out on a lot of content, and the amount of money you save might not be that much, if at all.

      Garth, I dont work for the BBC (I was accused of that, simply because I can use Google to find out facts), certainly not propagandising for them, and have a go at them when warranted I the case of much of their news coverage of Brexit, it very much is).

      But when you look at the big picture, they are mostly OK, or even do very well. And in an experiment about 4 years ago, it turned out that a lot of people changed their mind about the BBC and licence fee, once they were denied access:

      A perceived lack of quality from the BBC’s rivals was also a common complaint. Mr O’Donnell said: “The weather on ITV is Mickey Mouse. You can tell that the person who’s reading it doesn’t understand it. Whereas when you watch it on the BBC they clearly know what they’re talking about and put the script together from the research they’ve done. It’s quite a profound difference. I now think the BBC is incredibly good value. I’d probably willingly pay even more. I’m actually quite a good ambassador for the BBC now.”

      The BBC commissioned the study to dig deeper into existing research that suggests that around 30 per cent of people are opposed to paying the licence fee. It would appear to confirm suspicions held at a high level in the corporation that many viewers do not realise how much they depend on the broadcaster’s output.

      Sonia, a local government worker in Bristol, who did not want to give her surname, was a case in point. Before the study she was opposed to paying the licence fee and said she “found it hard to imagine what as a family the BBC gave us that we can’t get anywhere else”.

      After nine days without the BBC, she had changed her mind. “It was shocking in that we realised how much we did watch BBC programmes,” she said. “I think we just took it for granted.”

      A further 22 of the 70 households had initially said that they were happy paying the licence fee. After the study, 21 said that their views were unchanged.

      At the conclusion of the experiment, families were given £3.60, a rebate for the nine days of BBC access they had foregone. For many, that was a watershed moment. “That’s what, £12 a month,” said one unnamed participant, who was initially against the licence fee. “And we pay £70-odd a month for Sky. That’s a bit of a shock to be honest.”

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
        You can stop paying a licence fee if you want - its called 'cutting the cord', and there is a whole series on it here. But its a right faff, your kind of potentially limited in the size of screen, and you potentially miss out on a lot of content, and the amount of money you save might not be that much, if at all.
        That's the thing with Sky boxes - they can be used to pick up all the terrestral channels as well, including the BBC. As for "cutting the cord", yes you're right, that's one way around the issue. But as I like watching live sport on my TV (never watch anything on a PC), then that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

        Sky Sports is pretty much all I watch if I'm watching Sky programming. I never watch Sky 1, and as for the BBC, I don't watch Eastenders nor Strictly - in fact I don't watch any soaps whatsoever. These and reality and make-over shows are a big no-no to me. Although I avoid them at all costs, I appreciate that plenty of people do enjoy them.


        QUOTE:
        ""At the conclusion of the experiment, families were given £3.60, a rebate for the nine days of BBC access they had foregone. For many, that was a watershed moment. “That’s what, £12 a month,” said one unnamed participant, who was initially against the licence fee. “And we pay £70-odd a month for Sky. That’s a bit of a shock to be honest.”"

        The above sentence highlighted in bold (from one of the participants) made me laugh. It's almost as if he/she only realised they were paying £70 for Sky and weren't aware they had the option to stop subscribing. I don't really understand why it should come as a shock to them.

        Sky is expensive, no doubt about that and especially when you add BT Sport to it as well, but that's the option one has - you can choose to pay the fee or not, without affecting any of the non-Sky channels. By the way, I never realised there was a Paper Mache Channel......I'll see if I can find it.

        Comment


        • #19
          That's the thing with Sky boxes - they can be used to pick up all the terrestral channels as well, including the BBC.
          Yes, and until there was a bit of an outcry a couple of years ago, if you stopped subscribing, then the Free to view HD channels werent available to watch on a no card Sky HD box, only SD.

          I am getting a fair number of customers coming in and saying that they have Sky, but although they have had it for years, the monthly cost has gone up, and they have realised that they dont really watch sports, etc. I point out that a Humax Freesat box is a straight swap, and if you do want to indulge in some Sky Sports, etc, then Now TV can do that. Its horses for courses, and if you want sports, then its Sky, Virgin or BT, or a deal with one that gets you BT as well as a bundle, etc.

          I think the guy's comment about how much they were paying for Sky per month was more about putting the licence fee cost into context - Sky isnt cheap for the full package, because thats the way it works, but its easy to complain about the licence fee when you dont think of it as part of the big picture.

          I dont think there is Paper Mache Channel on Sky either, but looking at the EPG some years ago at my parents house, I was vaguely amazed at some of the channels at the bottom of the list - my general reaction being 'who watches this stuff?'. The answer being just enough people to make the channel viable!

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
            I dont think there is Paper Mache Channel on Sky either, but looking at the EPG some years ago at my parents house, I was vaguely amazed at some of the channels at the bottom of the list - my general reaction being 'who watches this stuff?'. The answer being just enough people to make the channel viable!
            No, I was only pulling your leg about the Paper Mache Channel - although there are indeed some really obscure channels, and you have to wonder sometimes who watches them.

            Amongst all the foreign satellite channels, there used to be a Spanish one called TVE International, which was actually part of the basic Sky package. This channel disappeared some years ago now because Sky couldn't agree new terms with TVE (or something along those lines). A shame really as it was the only European language channel on the Sky platform. Now it means having to install a separate satellite system as all the Spanish channels are on a different satellite location.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Carl V View Post

              No, I was only pulling your leg about the Paper Mache Channel - although there are indeed some really obscure channels, and you have to wonder sometimes who watches them.

              Amongst all the foreign satellite channels, there used to be a Spanish one called TVE International, which was actually part of the basic Sky package. This channel disappeared some years ago now because Sky couldn't agree new terms with TVE (or something along those lines). A shame really as it was the only European language channel on the Sky platform. Now it means having to install a separate satellite system as all the Spanish channels are on a different satellite location.
              I was working for the cable television company Videotron at the time the channel was cancelled, we were inundated with complaints, including an extremely irate Spanish ambassador, about the sudden withdrawal of the channel. I am not sure many of us were even aware of its existence until that point

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post

                I was working for the cable television company Videotron at the time the channel was cancelled, we were inundated with complaints, including an extremely irate Spanish ambassador, about the sudden withdrawal of the channel. I am not sure many of us were even aware of its existence until that point
                I remember back in the old days when Sky had their analogue platform, there were several free-to-air channels from some European countries - mostly from Germany however, but one or two from others as well including Italy. Funnily enough, I don't recall there being any Spanish ones at that time. Since Sky moved over to digital, I would like to have seen more European channels on their platform, especially as we are in Europe anyway, and we have quite a lot of EU citizens living here.

                I used to enjoy watching Spain's TVE channel and was sorry to find out it had disappeared. I did actually e-mail Sky about it and they replied simply by saying there weren't any plans to reintroduce it in the future.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Carl V View Post

                  I remember back in the old days when Sky had their analogue platform, there were several free-to-air channels from some European countries - mostly from Germany however, but one or two from others as well including Italy. Funnily enough, I don't recall there being any Spanish ones at that time. Since Sky moved over to digital, I would like to have seen more European channels on their platform, especially as we are in Europe anyway, and we have quite a lot of EU citizens living here.

                  I used to enjoy watching Spain's TVE channel and was sorry to find out it had disappeared. I did actually e-mail Sky about it and they replied simply by saying there weren't any plans to reintroduce it in the future.
                  My memory of it was it came as a surprise to everyone, it was just taken off air one day. The Spanish ambassador (at least he introduced himself as such) used some very undiplomatic language.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post
                    The Spanish ambassador (at least he introduced himself as such) used some very undiplomatic language.
                    I know enough Spanish to imagine what he would have said, that's assuming he swore in Spanish.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Carl V View Post

                      I know enough Spanish to imagine what he would have said, that's assuming he swore in Spanish.
                      He demonstrated a commendable grasp of idiomatic English!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post

                        He demonstrated a commendable grasp of idiomatic English!
                        I can imagine he did Paxton.

                        Just for curiosity, I had a look earlier on Sky's EPG "international" channels and not even one European channel on there. There must be close to 100 channels in total, and they all appear to be Arabic/Middle Eastern and Sikh/Hindu channels. It would have been nice to have at least one news channel from each EU country, but there's nothing at all.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Carl V View Post

                          I can imagine he did Paxton.

                          Just for curiosity, I had a look earlier on Sky's EPG "international" channels and not even one European channel on there. There must be close to 100 channels in total, and they all appear to be Arabic/Middle Eastern and Sikh/Hindu channels. It would have been nice to have at least one news channel from each EU country, but there's nothing at all.
                          I guess its a marketing decision, more Arabic/Hindi speakers in the UK than Germans. Or maybe they are just airing their BREXIT credentials!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I guess its a marketing decision, more Arabic/Hindi speakers in the UK than Germans. Or maybe they are just airing their BREXIT credentials!
                            Yes - Arabic and Hindi channels make economic sense for the UK - there is a relatively decent market, and so being on Sky makes sense. Certainly a fair number in my area who will also watch Urdu and other languages from the Indian subcontinent.

                            In my area, where there is an established Italian community, a fair number of my customer will have a decoder box and a dish for Italian TV, which use the Hotbird satellite.

                            If you are German, you can have a similar system, or get Sky Deutschland. The German channels are supplied via Astra, which is the same as Sky. Since we have a relatively large Eastern European community, its easy to spot houses having dishes with Polish, Baltic or Sloviakian names on them (and possibly now Romanian).

                            It occurs to me that there is possibly a simple reason why Euro channels are not on Sky UK - because those countries have their own systems and perhaps their own Sky.

                            Remember that its also possible to stream German or French TV via the net, and that might be more cost effective for many UK based users than buying a whole system. And in the case of Freview, France24 is also broadcast.

                            I found this website, which shows just how many channels are available, if you have a motorised dish and the right boxes - its like a whole hidden world. And perhaps shows why some Middle Eastern governments have tried to clamp down on satellite dishs - if you have one, you dont just get what your government wants to see and hear. And setting up a channel to broadcast to a country from exile may not be especially expensive.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bonekicker View Post
                              I found this website, which shows just how many channels are available, if you have a motorised dish and the right boxes - its like a whole hidden world.
                              That's an excellent website, many thanks for the link. I was toying with the idea some time ago of getting either a motorised dish or just a fixed one pointed at whichever satellite happens to show the most Spanish and other Euro channels, but with one thing and another I just never seemed to get round to it. A motorised would probably be better anyway as sometimes channels cease broadcasting on one satellite and change over to a different location.

                              Comment


                              • Bonekicker
                                Bonekicker commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I know little about such systems, but customers with motorised ones are pretty enthusiastic about them - allows you to pick up a huge number of different channels from various satellites.

                              • Carl V
                                Carl V commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Oh without doubt, motorised dishes are the way to go. Spain for example broadcasts channels in at least four (probably more) different satellites. In saying that, not all will be free-to-air, but if you want to receive them all then a motorised dish is your only way to do it.

                            • #30
                              If the BBC moved to a subscription model, there would need to be a way of policing it: a logon account that is enabled when you pay the subscription. That's fine, except it would probably require new equipment to allow/deny access, and I bet DVB-T/DVB-S USB adaptors wouldn't implement that process, so you could only watch/record on dedicated hardware, rather than being able to record to your own PC or Raspberry Pi.

                              That is the main reason why I want things to stay as they are - keep things technically simple.

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