Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sorting out the BBC

Ironically, the Blair/Brown Broadcasting Corporation was not rewarded terribly well for its 12 years of undying and frequently unquestioning support for New Labour. However, it seems that the ethos of mindless political correctness is now written through the BBC like a stick of rock, and is likely to survive its current round of downsizing, and then some.

For those of us who have occasionally attempted to "do business" with the BBC but failed to find the patience to cope with its subsidised institutionalised arrogance, the sight and sounds of its inmates' discomfort will elicit a few wry smiles. And we will all immediately want to volunteer names for compulsory redundancies. (Are you reading this, Nick?)

Nevertheless, the BBC still does some great stuff - but it could do all this and more with probably 20% of its present establishment and funding, by exploiting better interoperability with external production and talent.

And let's sort out some of this regional nonsense - let the Welsh pay for BBC Wales, and then we'll see how much they still really want it; scrap all terrestrial TV broadcasting - satellite is vastly more cost effective, and the Internet would already be a viable alternative if only anyone understood multicast IP properly.

The commercial media has been baying for the BBC's blood ever more loudly since the BBC lead the way in the New Media revolution and effectively put the Kibosh on all hope of commercial web competition by doing such a fabulous job at the outset. However, the BBC was not to blame for most of the problems suffered by commercial media as the Internet took off. ITV's drubbing by Sky was entirely of its own stupid making; most national press disregarded the web until it was almost too late, and much of the old media still struggles to properly understand the situation.

It is still very much a generation thing, and most 50+ senior execs in media organisations that haven't already managed to cash out, are still trying to wipe the tip-ex off their flat screens.

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