Ads on – good / bad?

Ben Metcalfe is very concerned with the BBC's plans to add advertising on their International version of

Ben outlines the reasons for his concerns and I've read them, but I still don't know enough about the ins-and-outs / pros vs. cons on the issue to decide whether this is a bad idea or not.

That said, as an 'ex-pat', living in Seattle, I do miss the live / streaming content from the BBC site (example: the World Cup commentary here is...unfortunate...).

If my understanding is correct, having a commercialized (z) version of the BBC site for viewers outside the UK would mean getting all the streaming / live media goodness too. Currently, this is blocked from me as my IP address is outside the allowed range. It may be short-sighted of me, but for this reason alone, I would probably support the move to an ad-supported service. I thought this a while ago.

Am open to be persuaded on this either way though.

Comments (6)
  1. Sure why not, lets go with the American model where we whould get a 10-minute block full commercials for every 5 minutes of programs. That’s the reason that it is not possible to broadcast the Worldcup in the USA because each half takes 45 minutes and that is way too long. The problem is that after the game has started for like 5 minutes they show a block of commercials and when the commercials are over you missed a goal or two.

  2. monkchips says:

    its a fing terrible idea. why?

    because the anti beeb wingnuts – led by Rupert Murdoch and quislings,  the Blairocracy, and a Tory party that still dislikes the beeb, will use this revenue model as an excuse to cut her funding and kill the last bastions of successful public sector service delivery in the UK. The BBC works. That’s why the BBC shouldnt pull stunts like this, even if its being encouraged to by charter holders

  3. phil jones says:

    Monkchips is right. It will give corporate media more ammunition. Although I think BBC Worldwide has always had a profit-seeking mandate.

    I’m not sure I buy this need for "live streaming". How much streaming do you really need?

    The beeb should just embrace downloading via bittorrent, which would put an end to worries about the bandwidth cost. It can’t be beyond the wit of technologists to send even a live stream over a bittorrent-like P2P cloud. Isn’t that what Skypecasts are doing?

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