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The Communications Bill: should foreign firms be allowed to own British TV channels?

SystemSystem Posts: 8,583 Community Managers
Next week a Lords committee will study the new proposed Communications Bill. If eventually passed the bill will allow newspaper empires such as Rupert Murdoch's and non-European companies to own Channel 5 or franchises of ITV and Channel 5.

So what do you think of this? I see two potential problems with it. One, already powerful newspaper empires will be given even more power and share of the media. Surely nothing good can come out of the Rupert Murdoch Empire owning Channel 5?

And two, will our television lose its identity? There are already fears that private TV channels will become 'Americanised'. The focus of the broadcasting might change and we could be inundated with 'dumbed down' television and cheap foreign comedy series instead of the quality drama British TV channels come with from time to time. And the push for extra profits might have an effect too: if anyone thinks there are too many adverts on British TV I'd suggest go to the States and watch some channels there. It makes Sky 1 look like the BBC!

And last but not least, why is this so-called Labour government pushing ahead with this? Is it, as many suspect, another repayment to Rupert Murdoch for his support during the last two elections and the war on Iraq?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: The Communications Bill: should foreign firms be allowed to own British TV channels?
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    So what do you think of this? I see two potential problems with it. One, already powerful newspaper empires will be given even more power and share of the media. Surely nothing good can come out of the Rupert Murdoch Empire owning Channel 5?

    This certainly troubles me. I have no problem with foreign companies owning TV stations, but I do have a problem with so much media in the hands of one person. Especially if that person is Murdoch.
    And two, will our television lose its identity? There are already fears that private TV channels will become 'Americanised'. The focus of the broadcasting might change and we could be inundated with 'dumbed down' television and cheap foreign comedy series instead of the quality drama British TV channels come with from time to time.

    At this point can I just use examples from current programme schedules:

    {insert name here} from Hell
    Big Brother
    Celebrity Big Brother
    Survivor
    Celebrity Survivor
    Changing Rooms
    Ground Force
    Anything with that Llewellyn chap in it. Ponce.
    Fame Academy
    PopIdol
    Pop Rivals

    etc ad nauseum.

    So, is Brit TV good now?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    LOL. I see your point.

    I just fear that we will be inundated with more 'Jerry Springer' style chat shows and really, really low-budget crap sitcoms. And the ads. Oh, the ads. On a typical Simpsons episode they manage to squeeze in 2 commercial breaks plus another mini-break between the end of the episode and the episode credits. I kid you not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The more foreign investment the UK receives the better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My dad feels Rupert Murdoch has influenced public opinion in the US and played on fears. But there's been such an outcry about Fox being right wing in the US and trying to make anyone who was against the war out to be a traitor...that it may work against them. My dad says America is a naturally liberal country and it's swung too far to the right...thanks to Fox and company. As of now however...Fox has bigger ratings than CNN. And MSNBC fired all of their liberal shows, Donahue, etc. and hired people as right wing as Fox to compete.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by monocrat
    The more foreign investment the UK receives the better.

    And the "cost" of such investment? Is it always going to be worth paying?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    monocrat,

    pnj's report shows exactly why in the case of TV the more foreign investment, the worse. Empires like Murdoch's already have too much power. The last thing you need is News Corporation owning more channels.

    British TV should be kept mostly in British hands.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    British TV should be kept mostly in British hands.

    Nah, the BBC should remain in British hands, and as impartial as possible.

    However, if the other channel are foreign owned, I don't have a problem. But there needs to be limits on the control of all terrestrial media, and Murdoch owns too much already.

    Put this way, if a foreign company owned as much as Murdoch does, and spouted a left-wing agenda the opposite of his, I'd expect you to be as viciferous in your comdemnation of that as you are of him. His politics should never be the issue, the amount of control of information that he has, should be.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be oppossed to any near-monopoly of the press and monster corporations be left or right wing. Murdoch gets mentioned because it is the biggest one, a friend of New Labour and the subject of many raised eyebrows in Westminster and elsewhere.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by monocrat
    The more foreign investment the UK receives the better.

    Why?
    They create jobs and may use UK made goods and there is of course the multiplyer effect.
    But they still get all the profits

    Yes Foreign investment is good but it shouldn't be foreign companies that are investing in Britain, it should be ourselves.
    Lets see just jobs or jobs and profits?

    Do you just read libertarian.org and spout whatever you read on there? Could you please justify why the NHS needs 'more private investment' instead of avoiding it, like everytime MOK asks you to explain.
    That site has a lot of nice ideas, its just a shame most of them aren't based on the real world or take into account the type of people most of the human species are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Murdoch buying British companies won't create more jobs at all, either jobs will be shifted around or they will be lost.

    No one man should wield as much power as he does, we all saw what happened in James Bond after all.

    British tv may be crap at the moment, but American tv has ALWAYS been bad, and I will be VERY annoyed if our standards drop as far as theirs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: The Communications Bill: should foreign firms be allowed to own British TV channels?
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent


    At this point can I just use examples from current programme schedules:

    {insert name here} from Hell
    Big Brother
    Celebrity Big Brother
    Survivor
    Celebrity Survivor
    Changing Rooms
    Ground Force
    Anything with that Llewellyn chap in it. Ponce.
    Fame Academy
    PopIdol
    Pop Rivals

    etc ad nauseum.

    So, is Brit TV good now?

    You missed a good one. ITV has just started a new series of "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!" I'm not sure that some of the contestants should really qualify, though. They only just about qualify as D-list celebrities.

    You're spot on about Llewellyn-Bowen, by the way. I feel my fists start to itch every time I hear him speak. :mad:

    Overall, I have little objection to British TV channels being owned by foreigners, as long as the MMC agrees that they don't already have too large a share of the British media. And I agree that we should keep the BBC as state owned.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The issue with media ownership is not so much who owns what - but how much they own. My personal view is that the agglomeration of media ownership has led to a noticeable drop in the quality of programming - look at ITV; ten years ago every region had to be independent of the other but then they all started merging with the promise of improved programmes, higher quality etc etc and would anyone say that ITV has actually improved since 1993?

    Companies should only be allowed to own - one ITV region or one daily + one Sunday newspaper or a 20% share in Channel 5. Plurality of the media is the most important priority in my eyes.
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