Barry Cox calls for an end to public service broadcasting?

 by Martin Belam, 27 January 2003

Barry Cox argues in todays Mediaguardian that it may be time to axe what he calls the BBC's poll tax - arguing that the provision of public service broadcasting can be maintained in a digital micro-payment or subscription environment. He also questions the longevity of the Sky practice of bundling a whole package of unwanted channels together just so you can access the premium channels.

However, in a stratified digital television market solely consisting of niche pay-per-view channels you simply won't stumble across The Life of Mammals - because it is unlikely there would be an initial investment to make it, and even if there was, unless you subscribe to a National Geographic style channel you wouldn't be exposed to it.

And the market principle works all very well for adults, but how do children get to see and be introduced to potentially enjoying public service provisions like drama, music, arts, historical or religious programming, if their parents only subscribe on their behalf to the American Wrestling and cartoon networks, and on their own behalf to EastEnders and Corrie?

Most of the Guardian's messageboard seem to agree.

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