I was very disappointed to hear about Sky getting its claws into what should be a free to view service. It is plain wrong, and a sorry state of affairs. However you cannot really attack the Beeb for it. The BBC is always taking flak and people complain about the cost of the license fee but to me for the sheer quantity and quality of output I think it is a bloody bargain. I think it's days in it's current format are numbered and it will be a very, very sad day when it is broken up, sold off and forced to show adverts. I miss the BBC living abroad but still access it's services frequently; news and sports websites, BBC news 24, listen again and live to the radio, some cheeky downloads of shows - mostly Top Gear. Word service broadcasting was recently stopped in Dubai due to risings costs and it was quite a story here I can tell you, one interesting this too was that it wasnt just British expats kicking off about it but pretty much everyone who appreciated the impartial nature and quality content.
And sorry Ben-B but I feel that those are pretty misguided and ignorant comments. Your complaints about them showing repeats make little sense in this argument too, showing repeats will save money so they have more to spend on new programming for their flagship channels. The BBC is obligated to provide public service broadcasting so has to produce quality entertainment that appeals to all who pay for a license.
BBC 4 may not be to everyone's taste but it is hugely popular with a great deal of people, as visual equivalent of radio 4, covering arts, culture, debate. The cost of BBC 4 per annum is less than the cost of broadcasting an F1 season. BBC 1xtra costs 11 million a year and 5 Live Extra just shy of 5. Dropping these are not really going to make much of a difference at all. 6music is excellent, in fact I believe the Beeb were going to drop it but received such a backlash they had to back down, they didn't realise quite how popular it is. Sacrificing Wimbledon or the Olympics! Seriously?!?
It's a damn shame and a sign of things to come. Don't beat the BBC up about it, boycott Sky.
License fee works out at about 12 quid a month. The least amount you can pay Sky to get the F1 races is as posted previously £31. Or £145 v's £372 a year. I think I'd rather pay a few quid extra a month towards the license fee, keep F1 and save having a feck ugly expensive dish stuck on the side of my castle.
BBC spending for those of you that are interested: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/12/bbc-spending