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Opinion : What’s on TV this Bank Holiday?

| May 2, 2014


It’s Friday, the weekend is about to start and another Bank Holiday has arrived.

In fact it doesn’t seem a fortnight since the last Bank Holiday weekend, indeed they do come around fast these days!

Those who follow my blogs will know of my regular criticism that there isn’t much to do on a Bank Holiday in Wycombe however at least excitement is guaranteed this weekend with the final of the World Snooker Championships. Regular readers will know of my passion for activities on the green baize.

Apart from the billiards there doesn’t look much of interest on the television this Bank Holiday weekend. In fact these days TV in general is very poor.

Your humble servant doesn’t even have a TV set and should anything of interest happen to come on then a trip to my neighbours is required.

With so many free to air and commercial channels I often wonder why we have to pay for a licence to own a television when the licence fee goes to just one broadcaster. Commercial television is self funding but thanks to the archaic licence fee viewers like myself without a TV set can’t see the commercial programmes.

Of course the internet brought moving pictures to our computer screens. Video, DVD and blue-ray players can provide the latest home entertainment all of which don’t require a licence so long as they can’t receive live broadcasts.

The licence is effectively a tax on seeing a live broadcast no matter who the broadcasting channel is yet the money only goes to one specific broadcaster who just happened to be there at the start and set the television service up all those years ago.

Times change and it’s about time something was done about the TV licence. Maybe they could make TV sets that could only receive specific channels funded only through commercial means?

The bureaucracy associated with keeping track of every house that has a TV then ensuring it has the relevant licence was only efficient when television was something enjoyed by the few.

I say abolish the licence fee and put all the broadcasters on a level playing field. Collecting licence money so one broadcaster can be propped up outside a commercial funding environment is just not fair on the other broadcasters and the people like me who refuse to pay for a TV.

Will anything be done? Probably not, the TV licence is like the road tax, it’s a problem from the past which nobody has had the guts to do anything about.

What do you think?

*Don’t forget my blogs are published twice a week here, on the Wycombe Today site, every Tuesday evening around 8pm and late on Friday evenings.

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