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State broacasting

What is TV licence?


Its a (yearly) fee that needs to be paid to a state broadcaster in return for owning a TV.

Wider definition

  • Does the owner just have to own it, or do they just have to watch it.
  • What about watching tv at someone elses place?

TV licence

In the U.K you are forced to pay for the BBC regardless if you never watch a BBC broadcast. This is done via the BBC Licence fee.

In New Zealand, they removed their licence fee.

State broadcasters tend to be
  • Statist
  • corporatist
  • defeatist
  • anti-business
  • Europhile
  • Overwhelmingly biased to the left
The problem is a state broadcaster cannot be free of bias. No-one should be forced to pay for something that an be biased against them.
 three elements of potential bias in any news organisation –
  • omission (of an appropriate range of views on a topic)
  • selection (of what is newsworthy who should be asked to comment on it)
  • presentation (the context of news stories and how spokespeople are introduced).
So even though the broadcaster may claim they are unbiased, and just relaying conventional wisdom, it may just b the conventional wisdom of those in charge.

Some state broadcasters also compete with the private sector n some segments. This severely puts the private broadcasters at a disadvantage.

" when radio was born in the early part of the twentieth century the Post Office was tasked with issuing and charging for licences.
As yet there were no regular broadcasts. In 1922 radio manufacturers, working with the Post Office, formed the British Broadcasting Company to provide news and entertainment programmes. At first this was funded by the sale of receivers, but as users of existing sets came greatly to outnumber new purchasers there was a need for continuing funding. In 1927 the company was nationalised, awarded a Royal Charter as the British Broadcasting Corporation, and given most of the revenue from the annual licence fee. For many years the BBC was effectively a monopoly broadcaster. It offered what can be described as a ‘club good’, one provided for a fee to ‘members’.
The same principle was maintained when television came along. It took its current form in 1946 when TV was re-established after World War II: a joint licence allowed people to watch TV and listen to radio."

Justification for licence

It used to be argued that television had the two key characteristics of a public good. ‘nonrivalness’ and ‘non-excludability’.
Public goods may be underprovided in a free market and state provision could be justified. A television broadcast is clearly non-rival, in the sense that everybody with a TV can watch simultaneously. It used to be the case that nobody could be excluded, but now digital transmission means that exclusion is technically possible and the public good argument falls.