CAMPAIGNERS are accusing the BBC of “rinsing” viewers by trying to get them to pay twice for shows.
They already pay a £150.50 annual licence fee but will be asked to stump up another £5 a month to see repeats on a new BritBox streaming service.
Bodyguard may not even be on BritBox as it’s not made by BBC[/caption]
The Beeb will be teaming up with ITV to take on US giant Netflix and both Channel 4 and Channel 5 are expected to join them.
But Harry Fone, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It looks like the BBC are just going to use this service to rinse license fee payers of even more money. This new venture should have been announced alongside a reduction to the licence fee.
“Subscription fees should replace part or all of it, so only those who use the service are made to pay.”
Another problem is that the BBC often does not own its top content.
Luther and older hits like Fawlty Towers will be available. But there will be question marks over others. For instance Bodyguard, Killing Eve and Poldark were made by independent producers World, Mammoth, and Sid Gentle. The first two are now owned by ITV Studios.
Luther – owned by ITV Studios – will be available on BritBox[/caption]
Viewers will also be able to enjoy older hits like Fawlty Towers[/caption]
Beeb skews field
THE BBC is trying to have its cake and eat it too.
It’s long batted away criticism of the licence fee — essentially a £4billion tax on the British public.
But if it’s so confident in its content and wants to be on a level playing field with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, then it should go whole hog and become a subscription service, and ditch the yearly £150.50 completely.
It can’t be both.
- By Andy Halls, TV Editor
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In fact Doctor Who was the only top performing show last year entirely owned by the BBC.
A source said: “ITV have said they are pumping £65million into the scheme. But the BBC will only say at this point that their contribution is content — and much of the more recent productions are not theirs.”
BBC sources insisted “no licence fee funding” will go to the service.