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Old September 20 2008, 09:30 AM   #426
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Re: Ratings are in !

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
Yeah of course, you guys don't have the "wonder" of the UK known as the BBC. Where, even if you never, ever, EVER watch a single show on ANY of their channels, you still have to pay them 130 a year for the RIGHT to have a TV in your home!!

I've no idea if anywhere else in the world works like this, but it's the reason that some of the Digital BBC Channels get a bad rip (BBC4 escpecially), cos to be honest they're crap, yet everyone in the entire country pays for the programmes on them.
Try Germany. We have the "GEZ" which isn't even a tv channel. There an institution with no other task but to rake in the cash.
If you have a tv, you have to pay something like 17 € per month. If you have a radio (including your car radio), you have to pay 5 € per month.
And, and this is the best part, companies with internet-enabled computers also have to pay the fee (though I think it's slightly reduced) because, who knows, you might venture out and use the public tv stations' internet services. There was talk about a fee on private computers as well but I'm not sure that was ever realized.
If you're not paying, they'll send you letters where they're all but threatening punishment for not paying and where they demand you respond (whether you have a tv/radio) or not. The irony is that you don't actually have to respond even though they make it sound like you do.
Also, if they come up to your door you are not obliged to to let them in. So, as a consequence, they'll sometimes pretend to be with the public tv channels, just taking a survey, and try to find out if you're failing to pay that way.
What's really annoying is how insatiable our public broadcasting services have become. Whereas everyone else on the planet looks at their budgets and plans accordingly. They simply plan ever grander schemes - new channels, new orchestras, new internet services, etc. - and then demand the monthly fee be raised. And sadly, most politicians are happy just to play along with it all.
It's ironic, really, that in a time where there are cuts in the health or education system there's no politician with the guts to really cut down on the whole public broadcasting service. The first thing to go should be the intolerable "GEZ".

So I totally know where you're coming from.
"For everyone lost in the endlessly multiplicating realities of the modern world, remember: Philip K. Dick got there first" - Terry Gilliam
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