[thechat] PBS vs. BBC Funding

John Handelaar john at evolt.org.uk
Thu Dec 19 11:15:00 CST 2002

On Thu, 2002-12-19 at 16:55, Roger Austin wrote:
>   How does the BBC do it? Do they own the local stations that carry
> their programming?

We're a *really* densely-populated island or 5 here.

There's no local TV to speak of from the BBC (except
about 6 hours a week of 'regional' programming in the
English regions, almost all local news, and maybe
another 6-12 hours a week for Scotland and Wales which
includes Cymraeg and Gailige progs).  The BBC operates
2 'normal' national TV channels, 5 rather cheaper
ones which are available only on cable and satellite.

Oh, and World and Prime, which aren't available in the
UK at all.  Those are the ones which get picked up in
several US markets by cable / DSat operators.

Radio:  5 national stations, a BBC local radio station
*everywhere* (except, bizarrely, Scotland, Wales and
N Ireland where apparently one each is enough) - all
of which produce about 18 hours a day of their own
programmes, and relay out to either Radio2 or the World
Service overnight.  On digital/satellite/internet only
the Beeb also operates a secondary service for Radio 5,
BBC 6 Music, and since last week, BBC7 (which is a
rolling compilation of the best comedy and drama radio
in the archive).

And then there's the World Service, of which only half
is covered by the BBC itself, the remainder being
bankrolled by the UK Foreign Office (our equivalent of
the US State Department).

> I wonder if the funding would be closer if you
> compared all the local carriers budgets and PBS budget with the BBC
> which I thought owned it all.

Sure, but the numbers still come out in the same region
of spending:  our 55 million people have (*broadly*) the
same amount of money spent by the public broadcaster as
your 300 million.

Whingers aside, I suspect that most UKers recognise the
BBC as possibly the country's proudest achievement of the
post-war era, bar none.

John Handelaar

T +44 20 8933 1494       M +44 7930 681789
F +44 870 169 7657   E john at userfrenzy.com

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