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Rather missing the point about public service broadcasters

Summary:
Of all the puzzling things to demand:An influential cross-party group of MPs and peers has called on the government to guarantee parliamentary time to create new laws to ensure shows made by the BBC and other public service broadcasters (PSBs) do not get buried on the streaming services of big tech and pay-TV giants such as Netflix and Sky.In a rare alliance across the political spectrum, nine MPs and peers – including deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, Liberal Democrat baroness Jane Bonham-Carter and the Scottish National Party’s Hannah Bardell – have written to the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, arguing that if the government is willing to stand up to the tech giants over tax then it also needs to act to protect Britain’s public service broadcasters.“The digital revolution has brought

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Of all the puzzling things to demand:

An influential cross-party group of MPs and peers has called on the government to guarantee parliamentary time to create new laws to ensure shows made by the BBC and other public service broadcasters (PSBs) do not get buried on the streaming services of big tech and pay-TV giants such as Netflix and Sky.

In a rare alliance across the political spectrum, nine MPs and peers – including deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, Liberal Democrat baroness Jane Bonham-Carter and the Scottish National Party’s Hannah Bardell – have written to the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, arguing that if the government is willing to stand up to the tech giants over tax then it also needs to act to protect Britain’s public service broadcasters.

“The digital revolution has brought greater flexibility and choice but if we are not careful the enormous power of the global internet giants is going to sweep traditional PSB television away,” said the letter, timed to mark the joint birthday of the BBC and Channel 4.

The purpose of public sector broadcasting is to produce and provide what the market unadorned will not. That such production is being “swamped” by that market unadorned production shows that we don’t in fact need that public service broadcasting, doesn’t it? People are already able to gain their fill of uplifting documentary and woke agitprop.

Thus this claim for special protections - hmm, what’s that? You say this is ageing bureaucracies, or series of them, demanding privilege, protection, from the upstart whippersnappers who risk showing they’re now irrelevant? Oh, well, that’s fine then, that all makes sense.

Carry on.

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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