During his Guinness Book press conference last Wednesday – 600 journalists attending -, Nicolas Sarkozy outlined his new dream of a French BBC, by proposingto remove advertising on public television, and replacing this money by a new tax (cheer-up!)on private TV and radio, and also on internet providers and mobile phone carriers. Problem is figures don’t compute. Offsetting €835m of advertising losses will require much more than new taxes. Furthermore, the new taxes will inevitably pass buy ISP and telco onto the user.In other words, the French viewer will pay twice for its public TV : one through the basicTV tax each household ispaying (currently €116 per year) which account for 60% of FranceTelevision’s revenue and through its subscriptions to its mobile and internet service. Great idea, indeed. And as far has having a French BBC, it will require a complete reset in the mind of French politician ; they’ll have to give up their compulsive obsession to control public broadcasting. Plus it will cost a bundle : BBC receives each year €6.3bn, versus a total budget of €1.2bn for France Television.
> in the Financial Times a detailed story on the subject, explaining why the figures don’t add-up.
> and another story in the FT on governance issue at the Beeb

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