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Wednesday 6 October 2004

ITV vs. BBC - new channel, new offensive... same shite? [Brit]

There is a fairly substantial rumour floating around that the independent television companies are considering combining resources in some manner to create a new terrestrial TV station, with the explicit mandate to "take on the BBC".
You may wonder what this means exactly - after all, the ITV network and their affiliates, along with the likes of Sky and cable content providers already compete against the BBC.
Well yes and no. I think in this instance, the new channel (whether that results in the formation of a new broadcaster in itself or not) is intended to garner the same level of professional and consumer respect as the BBC, but of course with substantially larger resources and flexibility thrown in as well.
Now, the BBC has many faults - it is a 'uniquely funded' quorate of government appointed mandarins and media luvvies, but has a rich and proud tradition of being level headed, groundbreaking in many respects, and delivering quality programming.
Bar Channel 4 and a handful of satellite channels, independent TV is anything but - more like programming for the lowest common denominator.
I'm keen however that if this project does get past the Blue Sky Thinking Bullshit stage, and doesn't get commercially raped before delivering the unwanted bastard child of collective network execs, it actually does deliver something better than HBO reruns and yet more 'reality' shite with Vanessa Feltz and a collection of farmyard animals.
What would you guys like to see on such a channel (and there are already plenty of porn channels out there, so I don't think that'll be much of a goer)? Given that it could become a serious rival to the BBC - certainly BBC1 - what sort of channel do you think we need? Do we even need such a channel? Is it likely to threaten the BBC and perhaps make that organisation more considerate of it's programming schedules, or simply spin off into commercials-up-it's-own-arsehole land and become yet another useless channel clogging up our already stuffy airwaves?


  1. Yeah this was on Media Guardian awhile back. It's an Ofcom thing apparently, not something the indies came up with but it's something they're keen on - presumably because it erodes the value of the license fee. BBC is squealing that this is Ofcom moving out of its juristiction and the BBC board of govenors should be left to manage the feeding trough.

  2. It's early days, but I don't see the point or the benefit for the public. British folk gone crazy if you ask me.
    What you need to do is encourage further financial accountability within the BBC (it is improved and still improving) and stop them making shit DIY programmes. You mustn't let them attempt to dumb-down Panorama and Newsnight either, this is utterly barmy and will set the trend for the ongoing degredation in the educational value of the BBC's public broadcasting responsibility.
    The BBC is a highly competant corporation, with an amazingly positive, thoughtful, and experienced staff. If the UK wants to maintain the high standard of media from which it currently benefits, it's vital to support the BBC and trust it to deliver you the best Radio and TV in the world - but you must stop it leaking money like a sieve, you must ignore everything the BBC Governors say (political pawns), and you must demand nothing less than the highest quality for every second of the service you are obliged to pay for.

  3. I think that's the agenda here. The BBC is all about making shit programs for grannies and also all about dumbing down the current affairs and virtually vanquishing the science interest programming too. They going to pick up their socks on their own?
    Probably not. So the idea is to show that some other station can compete at doing the real stuff and then this will seriously call into question why we're continuing to pay the Gilligan-tax.
    I don't doubt the BBC *could* do these things but Beej, how do you propose that we make it do these things if the Governors aren't up to the task?

  4. For me, the demise of Channel 4 from groundbreaking channel with a wide range of content for everyone and showing independent films and quality documentaries, to a pile of reality show/HBO shite, means they might as well be rebadged ITV3 now.
    A couple of months ago they had the terrestrial premiere of triple Oscar winner Life is Beautiful. They showed it at 11pm on a Tuesday night. At 9 o clock they had a highlights package of thre previous days Big Brother 'action'. Why do they bother?

  5. Because people watch it. Clearly it should be banned. Yes ban it I say. It's rotten and wrong. BAN THIS SICK FILTH.