Dear The BBC,
I am sorry to hear that you are in financial difficulty with more and more households not having a TV licence.
I don’t have a TV licence, and in the past 6 years, I have watched iPlayer twice (and I regretted one choice instantly). One program got me watching, and it was a documentary about bipolar disorder that didn’t feature Stephen Fry and probably would have had more views if you’d titled it better. I don’t know if there might be others at this point, because I don’t have the time or inclination to wade through all the rubbish to find the good stuff (if any), for it to stop working after a few minutes. I have never owned a TV licence because I believe it is daylight robbery given the absolute crap you are producing, which is an insult to the intelligence of the British public. Even Doctor Who is shyte these days, and it used to be my favourite TV show.
Perhaps if you stopped wasting ridiculous amounts of money flying Brian Cox around the world so he can stand in a desert and tell people about science he could have talked about from a studio, or if you stop throwing ridiculous amounts of money at biased, poorly researched news articles (I always regret accidentally clicking on a BBC online news article when I could have chosen any other news source), you might still be breaking even.
The fact that you are not making money from your “TV money with menaces” scam is not my problem, and it should not give you the legal right to spy on my internet usage, or that of my household, in any way, shape or form, just because I don’t own a TV and am therefore a dangerous social deviant.
I watch about 5 hours of Netflix in a week, usually as something to get me away from my work while I eat. One of the hazards of working from home as a content creator is the potential to spend 16 hours a day glued to my work. Not that you would know anything about that; the last time you actually hired anyone to “create” content was probably before I left school in 2006, but you were already in decline by then. These days, the BBC seems to simply derive crap based on marketing-led focus groups, or based on the BBC’s desire to dictate to the UK what we want to watch.
People are voting with their feet, which means you are wrong, you don’t actually know what people want to watch, and your little licensing scam is becoming irrelevant to the daily lives of most people who aren’t addicted to badly written and drama-filled British soaps. Claiming that every person who doesn’t own a TV licence is watching iPlayer instead, so you can make up an inflated figure of money you’re losing, is flawed logic indicative of your general incompetence. You’re not even considering the people using a UK proxy IP address to access iPlayer from around the world because shows are not reaching them any other way, for example, over which you have no jurisdiction.
How about instead of using your considerable political clout to keep criminalizing and eroding the rights and privacy of those of us who just want nothing to do with television, you could perhaps spend your time, money and influence making things people actually want to watch?
Content is king, BBC, and that is why people are leaving you in droves in favour of watching Netflix, Youtube or Amazon Prime. The only reason you get as much money as you do is because it’s mandatory to pay YOU so people can watch all the other TV channels who receive none of that money. It must be particularly embarrassing to you that there’s loads of twenty-something Youtubers making videos in their bedrooms and putting them on Youtube who each individually have a bigger audience than your prime-time Saturday slot. You’re becoming obsolete, and your new law is shooting yourself in the foot.
The fact that this law got through parliament without much publicity just goes to show that the BBC still controls the news and that the news they report is selective. You do not deserve the power you wield.
Someone who studied enough Media Studies to know she never wanted to watch your crap again.
PS: Readers, after September, delete iPlayer from your bookmarks, your apps, your browser history… just delete it. Otherwise you might get criminalized for something you haven’t even done.