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03/13/2003 Entry: "Reality catches up with the BBC"

The Guardian reports today that the BBC is going to be scaling back its investment in the net:

Some of the BBC's websites are likely to close as the corporation cuts back on its online investment, BBC new media director Ashley Highfield admitted today.


In the last two years, the BBC's web traffic has more than doubled from 4.2 million users to 8.5 million.

As a result, the BBC is also spending increasingly more money on its technical infrastructure and Mr Highfield said that another key goal was to decrease the amount of time that users had to wait for pages to download.

Hmmm, where have I read that expenses increase as the audience increases? Oh yeah, right here.

Replies: 2 Comments

ALL BBC CHANNELS BLOCKED ACROSS EUROPE BY POINTLESS "ECONOMY" This weekend Sky digibox users across Europe were blacked out from all BBC channels as well as ITV2, by the apparent move of those channels to the same tiny footprint (Astra 2D) that had previously blacked out only ITV1. You may well know that tens of thousands of British families have brought their digiboxes with them while working in Europe, and are in a strange limbo as they cannot admit that they are non-resident, which would mean that their cards would be disabled by Sky. I understand that the legal basis for the restriction of certain channels to certain geographic areas lies in the price paid by broadcasters for movie rights, which are based on geographies (like locations of cinemas). Although logic says that if a movie bundle is paid for and the subscription is valid the movie owner loses nothing, rather he gains, if it happens that for any reason additional subscription income comes from expatriates. Apparently the rights business is complicated by the fact that the (US) rights owners cannot understand that it could be possible for a family to be non-resident and yet interested in keeping their home-country packages and willing to pay full price for them. Instead they think that all persons in (say) France will want to watch their movies in French. This muddled thinking has led to the situation where Sky turns a blind eye to use of "host addresses" in the UK to which Sky guide and new crypto cards are sent to be forwarded. This was the situation until this weekend. Now at a stroke the BBC "domestic" channels have been cut off, (think of children away from home for 2 or more years, struggling to maintain their British identity suddenly deprived of Postman Pat or Ballymory on CBeebies). What defeats me completely is the logic behind this move. The Brits presumably continue to respond to the advertisements (by ordering things they see to be sent out) - Voters might be interested in keeping abreast of news and politics, and might just be tempted to fill in postal ballots - the licence fee is paid in many cases, and would be in all cases if that were the issue, and it were asked for... There is so much spare capacity, what is behind this move? Who decided it? Who gains by it? I would appeal for your readers help in understanding this, and if at all possible in reversing it.

Posted by Swiss Grandpa @ 23 May 2003 2224 UTC

Yeah!....Internet Radio, the wave of the future.....Just today infact I was on the BBCWS Streamcast on my computer at work...ON A LAN!!!!.....Nothing like the sound of echoing and "pshht" "pshht" while trying to listen to what's happening with Iraq!...Such pristine clarity!....such quality!..Way to go Mr. Byford!...Way to go BBCWS!.....

Posted by Vince Ponzio @ 18 March 2003 1638 UTC