[ubuntu-uk] The BBC Launches Wiiplayer??? WHAT!?

Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
Fri Apr 11 11:31:07 BST 2008

Steve Cook wrote:
> Channel4 recieve some funds from the licence fee.

Hmm, that's not strictly true.

When Channel 4 moved from regional advertising (originally managed by 
the ITV regions) to national advertising (managed in-house), it did have 
an insurance scheme set up by the government (under the Broadcasting Act 
1990) to provide a minimum income in case its advertising revenue didn't 
meet expectations.

These insurance premiums were partially funded by the licence fee.

The fear was that as the ITV-backed advertising was withdrawn, 
advertisers might stay away from Channel 4 due to its less populist 
programmes. The government tendering process for the fourth channel was 
for a high degree of minority and public service programming. Channel 4, 
as the winning tender, was bound by these restrictions.

As things turned out, advertising revenue always stayed above this 
minimum, and thus:

* The insurance never paid out.
* Ergo Channel 4 never received any money.

The insurance scheme was phased out in 1998.

If you really want to stretch the definition, you could claim that all 
terrestrial broadcasters receive money from the licence fee due to the 
way that the BBC helps pay for the terrestrial transmitter network (it's 
not hard to argue that ITV, Ch4 & Five get cheap access to terrestrial 
TV transmitters, both analogue and especially digital), but that 
argument isn't specific to Channel 4. Analogue terrestrial broadcasters 
also receive government/taxpayers' money for party political broadcasts 
and public information films (eg. try not to kill cyclists; don't dangle 
the kettle lead in front of your two-year-old; don't set your duvet on 
fire; if you're not going to get your boiler serviced then at least get 
a CO sensor before you poison yourself to death; put the fscking battery 
back in your smoke alarm you dimwit; remember to breathe; etc.); again 
this isn't specific to Channel 4.

(Spot the broadcasting geek. I have a lovely selection of Test Cards for 
my X-Screensaver, and am working on broadening my selection of 
widescreen test cards for my new widescreen laptop. Test Card W is, of 
course, my favourite, and I plan to personalise it by mocking-up my 
daughter and her teddybear in front of her easel. Don't yawn - at least 
I managed to get this thread back on-topic!)

Andrew Oakley

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