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What about RTE ?

Maxi 1

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#1
Surely the BBC can not expose all British channels (with out a encripted card) on a signal that covers fully another country that being its neighbour Ireland ?

RTE is the Irish BBC and I am sure they will not wanrt have foreign channels of such high value freely available in their field.

What action can be taken here, also in relation to sport rights etc, I fell that the BBC are taking on a big big legal issue that perhaps could cost them more. If they were to change their minds and go back to Sky, I am sure Sky will screw them!
 

rolfw

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#2
I'm sure that the BBC must have considered the implications, both legal and competition based, but they now have almost a full bouquet of channels to offer and may look at carriage through other european providers as well, perhaps even the US. With the money saved, perhaps they will invest in more original material, who knows, a touch of advertising may even appear.
 

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#3
Quick comment on Rolf's post.

With this decision the BBC have effectively killed-off the licence fee. There is no way a locally residing Brit is going to cough-up the licence fee - when half of europe can receive eight BBC TV channels for free.

Now, my continuing Rant.

Since 'Black Wednesday' not a single party (BBC, BSKYB, GOVT, SES-ASTRA, Major Film Distributor’s, or, even RTE) have commented further on these bird-hopping shenanigan's.

I am formulating the nicest possible letter to all those above; because I don't believe for one moment that BBC have thought about what they are doing: save for the grandiose announcement made by Greg Dyke (who (sic) has been mis-informed that you will still be able to use BBCi on, say, a Nokia MM9800).

The BBC must not be allowed to blow holes in EU legislature, mess up future rights negotiations (which will inevitably be more expensive), the TWF directive, ignore competition concerns of cross border broadcaster's and transmit beyond the UK signals from the world's most well-known and (debatable) the world's best broadcaster.

I hope that all ex-pats who currently pay (as I do) to watch BBC channels will express their concerns to all parties that might affect change in this case.

Mark's ever-so-simple math's lesson (not too many mistakes I hope):

WITH ENCRYPTION:

GBP 17 million (EPG/Encryption) / 6.8 million (min) SKY subscriber's = GBP 2.50 per viewer per year (includes one-off and replaceable card and free P+P).

a. Ensures cheaper right's for content (due to controlled borders).
b. Better National Border control (through encryption).
c. Licence Fee control (no pay - no watch).
d. Allows for paid-up clever ex-pats to have a reminder of the UK.
e. Enables local right's control (Scots and Welsh footy for one).

WITHOUT ENCRYPTION:

GBP 30K (for EPG only) / 6.8 million subs (as above) = 0.004 Pence per viewer per year.

a. No quantifiable border controls.
b. Ensure higher right's negotiations.
c. Local and cross-border competition concerns.
d. FTA viewing for non-licence fee payer's across western and middle europe (why pay for your licence).
e. Loss of signal to paid-up ex-pats in wider europe.
f. Local Right's Issues become irrelevant (e.g. no extra income for Scots and Welsh football)
g. Continued use of SKY digibox technologies without realistic contributions to development (i.e. the BBC taking the p*ss).
h. Extra carriage costs incurred by extension to channels transmitted (4 - 5 tps in total. Current, 3 tps)
i. Bogus investment in BBC local regions and Nations.

Do you still believe this is a good idea? Are they going to pour this 'saved' money into programmes? And what about Johnny Foreigner being able to watch for free - while you have to pay (something to stir-up a Brit for sure)?

One hopes that the BBC shuts up, pays up and stays put.

Regards,

Mark.
 

zansi

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#4
Mark.

yes, I agree with your comments on this matter.

Lets hope that a amicable solution is reached between Sky and BBC to resove this matter.

Just a point, who is going to replace the FTV cards for ITV,Ch4,Ch5. when BBC pull out??:confused
 

rolfw

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#5
Hmmm,

Not so sure about the validity of a lot of the points, with regard to RTE, the present Irish Sky subscribers already receive BBC1 and 2 NI, so not too much change there.

With regard to Mark's point about currently subscribing ex-pats, a non-starter, they are subscribing outside the terms and conditions in any case and do not subscribe to BBC, it comes to them free, just happens to be enabled with a subscription card.

Concern about BBC taking unfair advantage of Sky's EPG and technology, touching, but misplaced, someone worrying about Sky????????

Concern about the rest of Europe receiving free of charge what we in the UK pay licence fee for, most Europeans with fixed dishes are not pointed at 28.2 E, the number with steerable dishes is far fewer and the vast majority will not be interested in viewing anyway.

@ Zansi, Who is going to manage the FTV card system is a question I have been considering, one of the reasons that the ITV and five might follow suit before the end of their contracts.
 

BarMoo

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#6
There has to be a first time - but, even if I love Rolf and his posts - I totally disagree with every point that he has made; mainly because he dismisses them as par of the course.

Not so sure about the validity of a lot of the points, with regard to RTE, the present Irish Sky subscribers already receive BBC1 and 2 NI, so not too much change there.
Perhaps, but RTE is encrypted and is not part of the UK package. My concerns regard RTE - not UK SKY viewers wanting to watch RTE (which they cannot).
With regard to Mark's point about currently subscribing ex-pats, a non-starter, they are subscribing outside the terms and conditions in any case and do not subscribe to BBC, it comes to them free, just happens to be enabled with a subscription card.
NO. This is not a non-starter. It does not come to me free. I, as many a member of this board knows, that I went through hell to get BBC TV in Berlin three years ago.

Moreover, I was the first on this board to explain that phoning (to authorise cards) from abroad was fine and not something any ex-pat wishing to get UK telly should do (as was the info at the time). The subscription card argument is irrelevant.
Concern about BBC taking unfair advantage of Sky's EPG and technology, touching, but misplaced, someone worrying about Sky????????
I will let others decide. I have no problems paying for a SKY service. I don't, as it happens (cancelled after two years). The fact remains that, just with ITV Digital, the BBC will be utilising existing technologies for their own end without a pfennig of investment. You tell me whether that is a cool thing to continue?

Concern about the rest of Europe receiving free of charge what we in the UK pay licence fee for, most Europeans with fixed dishes are not pointed at 28.2 E, the number with steerable dishes is far fewer and the vast majority will not be interested in viewing anyway.
Fact is - it will be there and its free. This is a bogus argument. Anyone with a dish and a box will be able to tune into eight channels of un-encrypted english language TV channels for FREE. Only a fool would forget what this means.

Furthermore, if it was simply a case of 'fixed dishes' why can I swing my dish from 40° east to 7°east and find NO FTA national broadcaster's across Europe. Don't assume anything.

@ Zansi, Who is going to manage the FTV card system is a question I have been considering, one of the reasons that the ITV and five might follow suit before the end of their contracts.
This becomes irrelevant, somehow.
 

FRAZER

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#7
With regards to Mark's concerns about EU legsilature, rights issues, cross border competition concerns etc, why do the same points not apply already to German broadcasters who are readily available across Europe (thankfully, for half-Germans like myself), and show all sorts of sports events FTA?

I presume this means they own the rights to broadcast on that satellite (and that the problem they had with the World Cup was that Kirsch were demanding too much money for them), which the BBC would no doubt have to have for Astra 28.2. As Rolf says, those people in mainland Europe who have had a fixed dish system installed as part of a subscription package- which must, I would think, be the vast majority- wouldn't be able to pick up the BBC channels anyway.

As for RTE, I guess that for any programmes which the two channels share, the rights they negotiate to buy them in future would have to take into account those people in Ireland now able to watch on the BBC as well as RTE, wouldn't they?

And aren't the present border restrictions wholly anti-competitive anyway? Why can't I choose a Premiere package over a Sky one if that suits me better?

Of course, I understand that this is a right royal pain in the backside for ex-pats who have been bending these rights issues in order to pick up the BBC abroad (and nobody blames them for so doing). But I guess most enthusiasts within the UK will be glad for the chance to pick up all the BBC channels on the same box as they use for other satellites. Certainly I look forward to being able to record BBC programmes on my hard disk (as I don't own a video recorder).

Frazer
 

BarMoo

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#8
German as a first language could be a significant problem with rights negotiations in the UK.

Yet, in the end, there is no difference between english TV and the german TV.

Well there isn't now - if the last fiasco regarding the World Cup (over german DSAT) is anything to go by.

Have Fun,

Mark.
 

rolfw

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#9
Certainly some interesting points surfacing here and I've got to say that I'm sitting on the fence as to whether the move is good or bad for UK citizens (inluding those who are expatriate).

I would add though that The BBC are not alone on the free broadcast map, Germany, as Frazer mentions are out there, as are France in analogue and I believe Italy have most of theirs available as well, there are probably others and a look here will provide more http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/Europe.shtml

Another interesting point, made on another forum is the possibility that with the move of satellite of currently freely available radio services, Radio !, 2, 3, 4 will suddenly be unavailable to a huge expatriate audience and for no good reason.
 

BarMoo

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#10
I should stop doing the graveyard shift :-ohmy

@me, huh? Bullship transmitter on full power me thinks.

Furthermore, if it was simply a case of 'fixed dishes' why can I swing my dish from 40° east to 7°east and find NO FTA national broadcaster's across Europe. Don't assume anything.
The fact that I have to swing my dish round to other locations - does kind of back-up Rolf's 'fixed dish' point, doesn't it. Doh!

Thank you Rolf for sorting me out there. ;)

Have Fun,

Mark.
 

BarMoo

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#11
The BBC Press Release made no mention of Radio - a further indication of the BBC's incompetence, perhaps?

Saying that: when moving to a new house - you don't leave the family silver behind, do you?

Ooh, an extra twist of the knife why not. Get out those dusty short-wave radios!

Mark.
 

dvart

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#12
If you feel strongly about the radio issue, please write to Roger Bolton at the Radio Four feedback programme
feedback@bbc.co.uk


I have sent this to the Chairman of the House of Commons Culture,Media and Sport Committee

To The Rt Hon Gerald Kaufman MP

Dear Mr Kaufman,

Since 1999 the BBC has been encouraging listeners to its services in
continental Europe to tune in to its rich and varied domestic radio output
via the Astra 2a satellite. The information is contained in a document
entitled "BBC Radio Services on the Astra Satellite" which was revised as
recently as 19 December 2002 and is still on the BBC Website.

It appears that the BBC intends to remove this facility as early as 30th May
as its radio transmission moves to the Astra 2d satellite, whose footprint
is limited to the UK and Ireland.

I find its disgraceful that the BBC has misled its many listeners in
continental Europe and encouraged them to make expensive satellite
installations at the very time that it knew that the service was to be
withdrawn.

While there are very good reasons which the BBC should unencrypt its TV
output and move this to Astra 2d, there is absolutely no good reason why its
radio output should not stay on the existing satellite (Astra 2a). The cost
of doing so would be minimal since its radio output has always been
unencrypted and freely available in the whole of Europe.
This decision will do great damage to the reputation of the UK in
continental Europe amongst the many opinion formers who make use of this
service.

My comments also apply to the BBC Parliament TV channel which is also
unencrypted and widely watched in continental Europe, where it actively
promotes the UK vision of parliamentary democracy and also fosters a well
informed debate of European issues through weekly magazine programmes.

I would urge you to use your considerable influence to reverse this wholly
unnecessary and damaging bureaucratic mess.

David Hawkins
 

rolfw

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#13
Nice points David, there is no reason why any BBC radio or television channel, if not transmitting copyright (other than by the BBC) material should be encrypted or restricted, your example of BBC parliament being a prime example.

@ Mark, dish moving excepted, the rest of the scenario is a mine field also, but if the BBC were to spend the expected savings from encryption on original content and perhaps use advertising revenue in some limited way, perhaps they could transmit Europe wide with no problems. Still may ultimately mean the end of the licence fee, but that's probably on it's way out anyway and I would say, about time anyway.

To push the point further, why are the BBC spending millions on buying movie rights (Last Christmas was an example, Harry Potter). In my opinion they don't need to, they have a reputation of producing their own high quality programmes and could transmit them with no fears, wherever and whenever they wanted, with no copyright or licence infringement.

The discussion continues....................................
 

BarMoo

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#14
@ David,

Excellent letter. From tomorrow I shall be sending out a significant amount of correspondence to various people; especially those with important sounding job titles.

Naturally, I shall write to the radio contact you refer to in your post. If other affected reader's get the chance they should do the same.

Let's hope we hear of a BBC retreat soon.

Mark.
 

Maxi 1

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#15
I have been in touch with RTE and they say that BBC aren't sure what to do about this issue.

I sense that BBC have not done there research first and that a storm might soon be starting in the Irish sea.

I will keep you all updated!!
 

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#16
There was a similar debate about encryption when ITV was deciding whether to join the Sky platform. I found a post dated 7 Nov 2001 on alt.satellite.tv.europe (search for "easysat" and "ITV" on groups.google.com) which makes the same points : the rest of Europe isn't really that interested in watching English language programs and countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Irish Republic can already get UK terrestrial channels on cable TV or directly with a high-powered TV aerial, most people won't want a multi-satellite system to get their local channels as well as 28°E.

As for the BBC, I presume that the switch to Astra 2D will go ahead even if Sky has a last minute change of heart about the cost of encryption services. So viewers in Greece, etc will lose the BBC whatever happens.
 
D

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#17
Mark,

what is your experience in receiving Astra 2D in Berlin? How enormous a dish is needed to get a usable signal?

Qwerty
 

BarMoo

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#18
Currently a minidish.

After the 30th March - probably a 200cm dish would suffice.

Mark.
 

BarMoo

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#19
@ easysat,

I can understand the 'couldn't give a cock-ship' attitude; but, you guys will eventually wake up and smell the coffee.

Again: we will get BBC TV for free and you will still have to pay. And we will both probably get more BBC DOG's.

Great TV from the BBC? Me thinks not.

Mark.
 

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#20
Mark

I can sympathise with you possibly losing free British TV or having to go to great expense and trouble to install a big dish.

However for those parts of continental Europe covered by Astra 2D, I can't really see a disadvantage if the BBC and later ITV and Ch4, Ch5 become free to air. The BBC's costs will only be marginally impacted by higher copyright fees and this will be offset by lower distribution costs.

A few expats and anglophiles will tune in for free, but so what? The British government has long funded the export of culture and English language teaching through the British Council and the BBC WOrld Service.

When I was a kid, I used to tune in to Radio Nederland and even tried to learn Dutch with their "Dutch by Radio" programme. I can't say it did me any harm and if anything it made me more open to buying Dutch products and services.

There is a legitimate question whether TV in the Irish Republic will suffer 'unfair' competition from its bigger neighbour. It's up to the government there to decide the best way of protecting Irish TV and culture.

As for the BBC being crap, it's a matter of opinion. I don't watch the endless hospital soaps, Eastenders, etc. which seem to attract the largest audiences. But there are still programmes that I like to watch on BBC1 or on BBC2 plus the sports coverage. And my kids like CBeebies.