I love BBC shows, I enjoy watching them from this side of the big pond as much as you Brits no doubt enjoy our greatest hits like Lost and Glee. But I was amazed when I find out how ridiculously scammy the BBC business model is. Are you Brit’s seriously okay with this?
For non-British readers, here’s how their BBC tax system works –
Every household in the United Kingdom is charged a flat fee, currently approximately $238 USD for a color TV or $80 USD for a black and white TV. This is in complete disregard of ability to pay (ie. rich or poor, all pay the same). If a household/citizen doesn’t have the means to pay, they are allegedly hounded by collections agencies for months on end until they either cough up, or are taken to a UK court and given a fine of approx. $1600 (£1000) and possible JAIL TIME. I’m not making this up, check wiki. The Brit’s really will provide jail time on her Majesty’s tab for not paying a TV tax. How a citizen would pay a $1600 fine when they didn’t have $238 in the first place I don’t know, but that’s the law over there.
Now this is all frankly quite amazing and of course ridiculous, but what is worse is what you get when you break this all down for 62 million UK citizens.
According to their own data, the BBC claws in £3.6 billion through this BBC licence fee tax (To be exact, it’s £3,578.8m in total BBC Licence fee revenue for the period 2009/2010 *). That’s for a TV channel and a pretty good website. Yes, £3.6 BILLION. That’s £3,600,000,000. That’s around $5.7 billion USD for us Yanks (4,333 Cruise Missiles).
Well, lets take a look at a statistical TP breakdown of the BBC tax.
- Per year – $5.7 Billion ($5,700,000,000.00)
- Per month – $477 Million ($477,000,000.00)
- Per day – $15.7 Million ($15,700,000.00)
- Per hour – $653.7 Thousand ($653,000.00)
- Per minute – $10.9 Thousand ($10,900.00)
- Per Second – $181.57 Bucks ($181.57)
* Data sourced from the BBC UK website covering TV licensing (link opens in new window).
$180 per SECOND of BBC output. Day or night, fresh product or rerun. It’s funny from this side, but I’m sure you’d feel less of an idiot if you were paying for some of these guys to get a decent haircut. Saying that, I just checked the BBC schedule for today and it’s mostly reruns from the 60’s and 70’s. No idea what the shows are but with names like “Dad’s army” and “Only Fools and Horses” it can’t be up to much (we have cars now guys!).
And what if you don’t have a TV? Well, if you are capable of receiving BBC broadcasts you pay the tax. Yes, that includes the BBC website. So if you have no TV, but you do have an Internet connection or even a Smartphone (without a computer!), then hand over the $238 because you MIGHT stumble upon a BBC program this year.
The British TV licence situation is ridiculous and has been apparently going on since around 1946 (link opens in new window). Check that link for some serious inflation.
Come on Brits. I can’t believe you guys would put up with this for so long. Land of justice and equality and all that. I can’t see you lot wanting to hound older people and those on welfare, which makes it seems like a relic of a bygone era.
Why not just get rid?
What do you think?
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