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Why the Murdochs are furious about BBC settlement

Robert Peston | 11:00 UK time, Friday, 22 October 2010

Here is probably the most revealing part of the speech that Rupert Murdoch gave last night in honour of Margaret Thatcher:

"I am something of a parvenu, but we should welcome the iconoclastic and the unconventional. And we shouldn't curb their enthusiasm or energy. This is what competition is all about. Yet when the upstart is too successful, somehow the old interests surface, and restrictions on growth are proposed or imposed.
 
"That's an issue for my company. More important, it's an issue for our broader society".

Here's the point: Lord Saatchi introduced Rupert Murdoch by referring to a league table that rated the founder of News Corporation as the most powerful person in the world, more powerful even than the US president (and considerably more powerful than the British prime minister).

Rupert Murdoch

 

Mr Murdoch - who has enormous commercial media interests in the US, the UK, Italy, Australia and Asia - chuckled at the flattery. But he still went on to say that he considers himself an arriviste, an outsider battling against powerful conservative and vested interests.

This is not a pose. He and his son James, who runs News Corp's European and Asian operations, genuinely see themselves as true-hearted crusaders in an economic war - and not as defenders of enormous, dominant market shares in newspapers, television and other forms of communication, which is how they are widely seen by others.

For them, the statistics of British Sky Television's £5.9bn and rising of British revenues, a fifth greater than the BBC's global revenue (whose large domestic element will stagnate by dint of government fiat), or News Corp's control of one-third of the British newspaper market are far less relevant than Sky's and News Corp's record of digital innovation.

They would simply deny that the market shares of their myriad businesses - which allow them to generate buckets of cash for investment in new products and services - might conceivably starve worthy competitors of the cash these competitors could employ in innovation that might be beneficial to consumers.

So, for the Murdochs, the opposition that has arisen in much of the rest of the media to News Corp's plan to acquire the 61% of BSkyB it doesn't already control is simply the wounded yelp of a threatened ancien regime.

And the Murdochs don't sit still when crossed. James Murdoch will have told Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT, owner of the Daily Mail, what he thought (and in no uncertain terms) of DMGT's participation in a public campaign to frustrate the Sky takeover.

Also, there is a conspicuous current example for the Murdochs of how they have to battle against prejudice, on a playing field tilted against them - which is the unexpected agreement this week between the BBC and the government that the licence fee will be frozen in cash terms (at £145.50) until the end of 2016/17.

This is infuriating to News Corporation for two reasons: first the Murdochs thought they had another year to make the case for more radical reform of the BBC and public-service broadcasting; second they know only too well how valuable it is for any organisation to have certainty about its future cash flows, which is what the licence-fee settlement has given to the BBC for a lengthy six and a bit years.

The BBC's directors and senior managers, of course, don't see it quite like that. They point out that £340m a year has been added to the BBC's costs, largely through the transfer to the Corporation of financial responsibility for the World Service, which is equivalent to a cumulative 16% real squeeze in the BBC's resources.

And the BBC has two other concerns: first that the convergence of the settlement with the wider public spending cuts creates the potentially damaging impression that the BBC is just another arm of the state; second that licence-fee payers will now be paying for services outside the UK from which they derive no direct benefit, thus weakening licence-fee payers' sense that they only pay for what they get - which could in time undermine public support for the BBC.

But the BBC's discomfort probably provides only mild solace to the Murdochs. You can assume that the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who was in the audience for Mr Murdoch's lecture last night (along with the Welfare Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, and the Home Secretary, Theresa May) will know by now that the Murdochs believe he has been soft on the BBC.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Is this the same Murdoch who said in a speech last night that "he financial crisis should not lead to an assault on economic liberalism"

    Which means - "Why should the greed of the bankers prevent me from amassing an ever greater fortune through my monopilistic position"?

    ...just as he backed the austerity measures announced this week.

    I wonder what SKY news will be reporting today? Will the SUN headline be "Murdoch believes the poor should shut up and take their medicine" ...or will it be concentrating on a greedy footballer instead?

    Murdoch is public enemy number 1 - there is no doubt in my mind. He has become a paraody of that classic bond villan - power crazy madman who will happily steamroller, slur or discredit anyone who interferes with his plans for 'world domination'

    The BBC moderation team won't allow me to show what some of his reporters get up to - which shows the reach of his power. He includes the legislator and the judiciary in his army of 'wealth protectors'

  • Comment number 2.

    Robert,
    I think you are showing your anti-Murdoch bias especially following your argument with the Murdochs. The Government has been soft on the BBC, the BBC is a world-class service and I admire it much. However, too often it has had a left-wing bias. The licence fee is effectively a tax, so like elsewhere the Public is looking for value for money.
    Thanks,
    Neil

  • Comment number 3.

    Is it right to allow one person (or a father and son) to have control of "one-third of the British newspaper market"? I also believe that there is a general but common agenda amongst News Corp's publications. Should this monoply be allowed or should we have rules against Market dominance as they have in the US?

  • Comment number 4.

    There's a tune in my head as I read this.

    Old TV advert. 'Everyone's a fruit and .....'

  • Comment number 5.

    So, for the Murdochs, the opposition that has arisen in much of the rest of the media to News Corp's plan to acquire the 61% of BSkyB it doesn't already control is simply the wounded yelp of a threatened ancien regime.

    Seen what he sells.
    It isn't allowed in my home.
    His press are not rational, like his view. Yelp? He's kidding himself on. In order to get his hands on our democracy. (Rup, honey, we have a Monarch already, one that definitely looks regal, unlike your good self and we definitely do not need another one, so thanks, but no thanks. Toddle on somewhere else now, on you go. Good boy.)

  • Comment number 6.

    If there's one thing you can be sure of it's that if Rupert Murdoch favours something he does so because it's good for Rupert Murdoch. This man is a dreadful human being and a cancer on the media.

  • Comment number 7.

    Was this the same gentleman who said "Monopolies are dreadful things until you own one"?

  • Comment number 8.

    We do do sinister. T Blair understood the influence of Mr Big (Bond villain allusion from No.1 is excellent). We do not have the classic mega millionaire leading a very private life counting the millions and plotting more profit. We have someone who wants to interfere in politics and influence the course of general elections and phone up prime ministers and presidents and peddle the usual free market waffle which is no more than "let me do what I want". No surprise he rages against the BBC who are clearly a major obstacle to his domination of the planet media even though the corporation values embrace a certain liking for the 'bread and circuses' that Sky excel at.

  • Comment number 9.

    He's just sore that he cannot compete with the BBC. He wants to charge people for getting their news through the internet e.g. The Times must be subscribed to. He now knows his big plan has been scuppered but it is nice to see this multi millionaire pointing to Thatcher and 'the ladies not for turning' claptrap to urge Cameron and co not to blink when the rest of us are in misery. He has too much power and it has to be curbed. Perhaps the BBC got off a bit light because they helped sell the cuts to us paupers. Bring on the black economy it won't be long because the big plan is to have big multinationals dictating our choices for us there will be no help for small SME's only a few will survive these cuts the big corporations will run the rest.

  • Comment number 10.

    He is still pretending to be the 'little guy'.

    This man is the head of a very powerful dynasty and is the personification of everything wrong with the plutocratic capitalist world we live in. Greedily forever craving more money and power.

    #1 WOTW, do you mean the Bond villain Elliot Carver?






  • Comment number 11.

    Murdoch's arguments against the BBC are so often surreal given his own dominant position, I find it harder to care if he ever brings up valid points.

    I like to think I hold the BBC to a higher standard because the public funds them, but whenever the Murdoch's start bleeting I have a kneejerk reaction against them, and reaffirm my trust in the BBC over and above other broadcasters despite specific issues which may crop up. I imagine a significant proportion of the pubilc having the same response is one reason the Murdochs get so aggrieved, to the point of apparently failing to notice their own frequent and appalling, self serving hypocrisy. They can get things right, but it gets so mired in all they get wrong (which they deliver with consumate arrogance) it can be hard to discern sometimes.

  • Comment number 12.

    I still have faith in the public not being stupid, i honestly believe it was Murdoch's cynical switch of support from tony to dave which cost the tories an outright majority.

    i almost have more of a problem with the BBC these days. News or indepth reporting seems to be more about soundbites, the personality of the interviewer, how people are dressed, or irellevant ousting of peoples private lives than the old fashioned hack, working tirelessly to get to and report on the unbiased facts

  • Comment number 13.

    That's why no one can take RM seriously as being anything like objective. He wears his own 'top down' version bias like his three piece suit.

    The 'elephant in the room' issue is that the BBC licence payer might get better value from the current BBC licence fees being spread around a bit with e.g. ITV and C4 and the Sky News should be investigated/curtailed for competition reasons and see how the biased BBC would get on having to earn, at least part, of its revenues in the 'real world'?

    Watch this space! Proper and effective UK (pan european) media competition would be a good thing if linked to 3G technology and more UK spending on broadband rollout.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dennis Potter had it about right when he named his malignant cancer 'Rupert'.

  • Comment number 15.

    # 2. At 11:28am on 22 Oct 2010, Sam_From_Hendon wrote:

    "This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain"

    Has your unabashed adoration of Rupert offended the BBC moderators? - what a shame we can't hear what the 'hendon opinion' is today.

    ...still why would you want to 'hear' people's opinions when the talent of SKY reporters means you don't need one- you can have theirs (whether you like it or not)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt_cUiCjggE

  • Comment number 16.

    'This is not a pose. He and his son James, who runs News Corp's European and Asian operations, genuinely see themselves as true-hearted crusaders in an economic war.'.

    I doubt, very much, that they are just sitting in Cyprus sipping Ouzo, waiting for the go ahead. The free press, isn't. The timing of this appearance is very suspicious, and quite frankly, what some greed driven, monopolist has to say about the cuts matters nought to me. Other than if he's happy then he probably had a hand in it. Anything to distact from the real problems.

    I see Mortgage backed securites are getting brushed under the carpet again.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/shirakawa/Fed%20Balance%20Sheet%2010.20.jpg

  • Comment number 17.

    I think that Murdoch was important twenty/thirty years ago and I am sure he can probably have an effect on a UK election but he is no where remotely close to world significance. The world has changed it is Microsoft, Apple , Google, Facebook and people hot on their heels, people who develop technology not the users of it like Murdoch that count. His son also has not contributed to fundamental media technology change (I presume he has no relevant education to do this) and without the force of his father's personality will soon fade when Rupert goes. I pay for Sky because it has football but I presume even this is a temporary phase before faster broadband does for a clunky satellite dish that does not work as well in heavy rain. What was that poem by Shelley ..Ozy someting or other.

  • Comment number 18.

    Murdoch is another, albeit powerful, free-marketeering/anarchist/ Trotskyite (aka Libertarian).

    You have to look into their backgrounds to understand where their love for money and profit comes from (at the expense of all else). These people are extremely clever and dangerous as they veil their ulterior motive through the promotion of civil liberties and equality legislation (think dumbing down to create compliant consumers) and via the erosion of the state (think diminishing the BBC) in order to deregulate all corporate/financial activity. They are predatory and incorrigible.

    In praising Thatcher during his speech last night, he was simply using code, as he was really praising Thatcher's former mentor (and ideologue) Keith Joseph and his policies.

    Birds of a feather...

  • Comment number 19.


    I can understand Murdoch being annoyed - and the rest of us should be glad.

    I would agree with the right-wing posters that much public spending is inefficient: and note that when it is replaced by private service providers it tends to ecome less efficient.

    To my eye, the BBC offers an insight into how Government (say publicly owned corporations) can contribute greatly to the overall performance of essentially private markets. It does so by setting and maintaining standards - and by setting the benchmark against which any private offerings can be measured.

    Then any private undertaking (including Mr Murdoch) is free to provide a better service if it wants to.

    An absolutely key issue of quality in this regard is the impartiality of the news service. One only has to look at the partisn outpourings in the USA - eg that of Mr Murdoch's Fox Newsd - to know how lucky we are.

    The BBC only lets the public down when it lowers the quality of its output.

    For my part, i would be happy to see a similar approach taken to banking. Let the Government fully nationalise RBS and HBOS: and then use the National Savings Bank so created to set the standard for retail banking. The private sector can then strive to offer better service to its customers.

  • Comment number 20.

    It seems fitting that Mr Murdoch should be making this speech at a gathering to honour the very person who set him on his way - allowing the sale of the Times to his Australian coporation she broke the restraint on the British media being owned and controlled by British citizens. We now have a media mainly foreign owned and conbtrolled - other than the BBC which is increasingly being constrained by Mr Murdoch's chosen government.

    We now have a situation whereby an ex-Australian citizen, now an American citizen, who controls a large portion of the American media (and thus his nationality change, as American rules still say the media must be owned by Americans) now controls the government of the United Kingdom. When the Major government would not provide him with the control he required he turned to Blair (having previously swung an election with the famous Sun lightbulb) and somehow BSkyB blossomed on the back of the restrictive control of sports broadcasting. Whenever public broadcasters developed an audience for sporting events Murdoch stepped-in and outbid the competition. With the Premier League the first to sell their souls to the Murdoch empire, with the resultant destruction of fair competition, the influx of foreign billionaires using successful clubs as either playthings (Chelsea and Manchester City come to mind) or as cash cows (Manchester United and Liverpool). Since the influence of Murdoch in the national game the same 4 clubs have dominated the lucrative top 4 places and thus the additional purchasing power. The result has been the death of competition, and in consequence the death of the national team which reflects the vast influx of overseas players into even the smallest of lower division clubs, excluding the development of national talent locally and on the international stage.

    The recent government closure of the UK Film Council highlights the effect of American domination on the media, and thus the permitted view of world and local events. It is interesting that Channel 4, through its Film 4, used to finance British film-making. Murdoch then castrated the main rival to his own BSkyB film offering by turning Film 4 from a paid for channel into a free channel, but imposing the introduction of advertising as an interruption to what had previously been a reasonable film experience. The loss of revenue changed the nature of the film content and the finances to support film-makers. Interestingly I note that the recent hit film Made in Dagenham was part funded by the BBC and the UK Film Council and like its predecessors The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, Brassed Off dealt with social issues that would never be allowed by the American Fox Corporation (owned by Mr Murdoch).

    It is time that Mr Cameron showed some backbone and put Mr Coulson out to the wolves where he belongs; cut the Murdoch strings that make him and Mr Osborne jump and took his responsibilties in government seriously. For too long (since the days of MacMillan) UK governments have been manipultaed by the news barons from Beaverbrook to Murdoch they are subject to the personal views and interests of powerful individuals with little regard for anything but money and control. Maybe somebody should be investigating Mr Murdoch, and his family's, links to the actions in the News of the World and Mr Coulson's editorial control and practices. The implications of recent revelations concerning phone hacking by the News of the World being that the Metropolitan Police and Parliamentary Committees have been influenced by threats from the Murdoch empire. What these are can only be guessed - but by implication would suggest that Mr Murdoch has learnt much from the long rule of Mr Hoover at the FBI.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This foreigner was the architect of Blair's education (education, education) policy (it was a condition of his media's support) and yet he took the opportunity last night to denigrate the UK's education system. What do you think is sinister about this and what do you think his motives for it were?
    Remember, the education system in this country is still a valuable state asset (...but only just).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8079048/Rupert-Murdoch-talent-is-not-limited-to-class.html

    "We must move from a system that tries to make up for deficiencies to one that really teaches. That is why so many of my company’s donations are devoted to the cause of education – including the adoption of new academies here in London.”

  • Comment number 23.

  • Comment number 24.

    "...will know by now that the Murdochs believe he has been soft on the BBC."

    Hardly news, Murdoch will believe anyone who doesn't completely dismantle the BBC and the licence fee as being "soft on the BBC", he's made that abundantly clear in the past, and doesn't need another speech to clarify his position.

    The fact that he can't crush the BBC through commercial pressure, like he does every other competitor, naturally infuriates him.

    The rest of us breathe a sigh of relief though.

  • Comment number 25.

    # 21. At 12:46pm on 22 Oct 2010, you wrote:

    "This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain"

    Interesting....was it what I said, or was it this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBdoITgV2E8

  • Comment number 26.

    22. At 12:51pm on 22 Oct 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:

    These new academies will have to purchase text books from where?
    And who will decide what text books?

    This is how it works.

    George W decided he liked Charter Schools (their version of this new schools thing).
    By chance George W had a brother who suddenly developed a passion for educational material.
    And that passion was after a certain bank went bust. A lot of bankers went to jail for that, but one or two managed to simply have themselves barred from banking for life.

    Wonder if Murdoch sees a market for his books - a kinda closed shop in each school...

  • Comment number 27.

    Now we have Freeview the Sky subscription is about to be cancelled. I also now never read the Times online since Rupert decided to charge for it.

    The only way to deal with this bloke is to starve him of his income. No ITV channel should be on Sky and the BBC should now work only with Freeview and Freesa.

  • Comment number 28.

    WOTW:

    For once you and I are in agreement. I ain't left wing, but this guy has plenty of power and plenty of money. The government should protect the country from any extension of his influence so long as it does not obvious damage. I can't see any argument that allowing him to take the rest of BskyB would somehow improve competition/innovation to the detriment of the country. Let's face it, there's more than enough TV already.

  • Comment number 29.

    ...and here's another 'clear and shining example' of privatisation being 'efficient' (well efficient in the fleecing of customers)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11605560

    "The regulator said all companies should automatically refund all money owed, but only three currently did so."

    (p.s. we're (the taxpayer) are also on the hook for this private company pension scheme - all the risks and none of the rewards)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/8079404/Taxpayers-face-22bn-bill-if-BT-goes-bust.html

    ...was a nationalised BT really that bad? - and what have we actually gained from privatisation? - better service? - more control? - less risk? - on the evidence of the above - it was a 'stitch up'.

    ...and what's this new coalition putting it's faith in now? - ah yes, privatisation.

    If at first you don't succeed - then just lie about what you're doing, even better if you can gain credibility by taking the Liberals along with you...

  • Comment number 30.

    25. At 1:06pm on 22 Oct 2010, you

    So it's established then - you won't hide the truth, but you won't allow me to comment on it?

    Maybe commenting is best left to reporters eh? - I mean what do we (the general public) know about anything.

    Clearly we're idiots - that's why your reporters talk down to us in the street.
    I think I'll pass by later.....

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    " Also, there is a conspicuous current example for the Murdochs of how they have to battle against prejudice, on a playing field tilted against them"

    Didn't Sky and BSB get a "free pass" by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to merge back in the day when both were on the verge of bankruptcy (and Sky's bankruptcy being a threat to News International itself...) - wasn't the concern at the time that they would end up dominating the market to the extent it would destroy other media?

    Having worked for a company which tried to compete with Sky (on Sky itself) I can hardly think Murdoch can complain that the playing field is against them given that Sky the broadcaster really should be separated from Sky the platform (hardly fair for any competition in the market place with such infrastructure costs...)

  • Comment number 33.

    1. That would be Eliott Carver who was actually a paradoy of Murdoch (although the bond villian was far less sinister with lower ambitions...)

  • Comment number 34.

    I was amused at his comment that he agreed with the Governments budget cuts - Cameron and Osbourne are merely carrying out his orders.

    But we do have to make cuts - which is why I've cancelled my Sky subscription - it only takes about 5 months to action it - perhaps an area of their empire that they are not so efficient at!

  • Comment number 35.

    32. At 1:37pm on 22 Oct 2010, Horned_Devil wrote:
    I can hardly think Murdoch can complain that the playing field is against them given that Sky the broadcaster really should be separated from Sky the platform (hardly fair for any competition in the market place with such infrastructure costs...)


    It's part of the trick they all play. If they say it often enough then the tabloid readers will 'deduce' that it must be true.

    Same with the deficit and the cuts. You aren't supposed to figure out that they are just saying mindless words that do not reflect reality - that's a sign you went to the 'wrong school'!

  • Comment number 36.

    If you want to see the impartiality of the BBC (and why my posts keep getting removed) then please watch the video in #25

    It seems it's one rule for them.....

  • Comment number 37.

    32. At 1:37pm on 22 Oct 2010, Horned_Devil wrote:
    I can hardly think Murdoch can complain that the playing field is against them given that Sky the broadcaster really should be separated from Sky the platform (hardly fair for any competition in the market place with such infrastructure costs...)


    It's part of the trick they all play. If they say it often enough then the tabloid readers will 'deduce' that it must be true.

    Same with the deficit and the cuts. You aren't supposed to figure out that they are just saying mindless words that do not reflect reality - that's a sign you went to the 'wrong school'!

  • Comment number 38.

    Was it "BT Vision" who did a deal for sky sports 1 and have you noticed where sky has since moved the football too?

    20. At 12:46pm on 22 Oct 2010, honestgeraldinho wrote:The result has been the death of competition, and in consequence the death of the national team which reflects the vast influx of overseas players into even the smallest of lower division clubs

    Indeed you should see the number of Scots we have at Watford FC

  • Comment number 39.

    » First they came for the quangos,
    And I did not speak out because they're a bunch of squandering bureaucrats who perform no useful function.
    » Then they came for the students,
    And I did not speak out because I got through university when it was free so stuff them.
    » Then they came for half a million civil servants,
    And I did not speak out because there are 172 civil servants who earn more than the Prime Minister and that made me very angry.
    » Then they came for the police,
    And I did not speak out because I'm looking forward to committing more crimes and not getting caught.
    » Then they came for the BBC,
    And I did not speak out because Rupert has repeatedly assured me that the BBC are evil leftie wastrels.
    » Then they came for the armed services,
    And I did not speak out because I never thought they were all heroes anyway.
    » Then they came for mummies on child benefit,
    And I did not speak out because anyone earning 44K a year can always cut back on au pairs and tapas.
    » Then they came for the arts,
    And I did not speak out because a couple of DVDs on a Friday night is all the culture I need.
    » Then they came for council tenants,
    And I did not speak out because only losers live in council houses and I am not a loser.
    » Then they came for rail subsidies,
    And I did not speak out because I can drive there cheaper.
    » Then they came for my pension,
    And I did not speak out because I'm not going to be old and poor for ages.
    » Then they came for the community centre round the corner,
    And I did not speak out, although I'll miss the Spanish evening classes, and the jumble sales they used to run were good, and my nan went there a lot, and I guess they kept those annoying kids off the streets.
    » Then they came for the benefit cheats,
    And I did not speak out because anyone on benefit is a cheat in my book.
    » Then they came for my local hospital,
    And I did not speak out because I'm not planning on being ill any time soon.
    » Then they came for the bankers,
    And I said Oi! No! Bankers perform a crucial role in our economy and their obscene bonuses must be protected at all costs.
    » Then they came for my children's future,
    And I did not speak out because they can jolly well make their own way in life.
    » Then they came for all the projects the last government started,
    And I did not speak out because the entire global crisis was Gordon's fault.
    » Then they came for the public sector,
    And I did not speak out because the private sector can easily absorb half a million unemployed losers on part-time minimum wages.
    » Then they came for something fundamental,
    And I did not speak out because "we simply can't afford it".
    » Then they came for the welfare state,
    And I did not speak out because I'd forgotten what life was like before we had one.
    » Then they came for my next-door neighbour,
    And I did not speak out because cuts aren't a problem when they happen to someone else.
    » Then they came for me,
    And by then mine was just another livelihood on the bonfire and nobody gave a damn.
    » And then they smiled, state rolled back, job done.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    #29 WOTW

    If at first you don't succeed, lie, lie and lie again!

  • Comment number 42.

    The Ruling Class...they see the world differently. The serfs are such a troublesome lot. Just because the bankers bankrupted the nations and economies shouldn't cause complaint because the wealthy came out of this with additional wealth. Of course everyone else has to pay the bill...seems fair. Once he purchases Buckingham Palace he will feel the world is in proper order. Why would people need other points of view? They just need to do what they are told, and he will tell them what that is. Oligarchies are coming back into fashion.

  • Comment number 43.

    30. At 1:23pm on 22 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall

    As I pointed out a couple of days ago (when RP suggested journo's wouldnt be sympathetic to the new wave of public sector jobless) its only natural that your comment gets 'moderated' since you're doing a paid journo's job for free! Can't have that.

  • Comment number 44.

    The reason Murdoch and Son are so depressed at the BBC settlement is that however M&Son try, their output is frankly just so third rate.
    Try as they might the presenters just don't cut the mustard.
    And the output is cringingly bad.
    They can stamp their feet as often as they like but it won't make their TV channels any better. They don't like that. Tough. What are they going to do about it? Why don't they just accept that they are third rate?

  • Comment number 45.

    Post 34 Ex Sky comment makes a good point.
    I eventually had enough of being fleeced by Sky tv but trying to cancel it was a trial of wills.
    It can't be cancelled online as far as I could see so a phone call was needed.
    It took ages to get to the right department and the employee of Sky did not simply action my instruction but stalled me for ages with questions and excuses.
    In the end I had to repeat my instruction to him but felt I was made to justify my decision.
    I should have complained to Sky and Ofwhatever.
    But I finally got rid of them and the sense of freedom is great.
    We should try to be ourselves again and act more on principle.

  • Comment number 46.

    33. At 1:38pm on 22 Oct 2010, Horned_Devil wrote:

    1. That would be Eliott Carver who was actually a paradoy of Murdoch (although the bond villian was far less sinister with lower ambitions...)


    ....and there was me thinking that when 'M' told Moneypenny to issue a press release informing that Carver had died in a boating accident the inference was to Robert Maxwell. I guess I had the right idea but got the wrong......

    Does Murdoch have a cat?

  • Comment number 47.

    The most revealing bit of the speech for me is as follows: 'What might a successful Britain look like in this new century? A government that spends modestly, because it leaves its people free to make their own decisions for themselves; citizens who look out at the world with confidence, because they have grown up accustomed to taking responsibility for themselves, and are allergic to the culture of dependency.' Given that criteria, the banks would have been allowed to fail (or nationalised without compensation) and we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

  • Comment number 48.

    "If you want to see the impartiality of the BBC (and why my posts keep getting removed) then please watch the video in #25

    It seems it's one rule for them...."

    Your posts get removed because you repeatedly post garbage, like at least 3 of your posts here.

    No conspiracy, just good moderation.

  • Comment number 49.

    Perusing Murdoch produced trash is pretty much akin to having a nasty old man whispering headlines into your frontal lobe. Not recommended.

    I feel mightily sorry for the millions (billions?) worldwide still under its sway.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    The world she be a changing. TV comes over a terrestrial aerial, via a satellite or down a cable/over the internet. There needs to be a benchmark of quality about all this access or we shall drown in a sea of media mush.
    Murdoch's monopoly of the media and his excess profits have combined to make broadcasting and newspapers dumbed down to sound bites and 'celebrity' clap trap. His bribes to sport have meant that it costs a fortune to attend a first class sports match played by people who are paid far to much for their own or our good and has subtly removed free to air coverage of major occasions and damaged the national teams in most sports.
    Now the BBC needed a clip round the ear and lets hope that the many £400k+ jobs there and the massive fees to some overrated performers get pruned a bit, after all most people in the media would PAY to work for the BBC. It perversely now has stability for 6 years to get its thinking right and restore sanity. First - no more 'One minute news', secondly no coverage of non-news.....please. Show Murdoch what a quality cost-efficient service is and don't attempt to copy him.

  • Comment number 52.

    39. At 1:59pm on 22 Oct 2010, writingsonthewall

    Excellent. All true unless you live in Switzerland...then you can surely ignore the last 3 lines and pretend you're out of reach, even though no-one blogging here lives in Switzerland really.

    Remember, Switzerland and Hendon are the economic equivalents of the valley in Z for Zachariah.

  • Comment number 53.

    10. At 12:08pm on 22 Oct 2010, newblogger
    33. At 1:38pm on 22 Oct 2010, Horned_Devil

    "#1 WOTW, do you mean the Bond villain Elliot Carver?"

    Yes - he doesn't have the class of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blofeld

  • Comment number 54.

    14. At 12:15pm on 22 Oct 2010, MarkofSOSH wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    The Dennis Potter/cancer comment was true. He said it during a South Bank Show interview with Melvyn Bragg shortly before he died.


    If you Google it, you'll find the BBC listed as the first reference.

  • Comment number 55.

    27. At 1:15pm on 22 Oct 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    Now we have Freeview the Sky subscription is about to be cancelled. I also now never read the Times online since Rupert decided to charge for it.

    The only way to deal with this bloke is to starve him of his income. No ITV channel should be on Sky and the BBC should now work only with Freeview and Freesa.

    --------------------------------------------

    Absolutely. I don't have Sky and I don't - on principle - buy any of News International's publications. The only way this right-wing nutcase is getting any money out of me is if he really does turn out to be Death and someone puts pennies on my eyes

  • Comment number 56.

    WOTW:

    "and then they came for me"

    Thought they came for the bankers in step 15? ;)

  • Comment number 57.

    Makes me laugh...

    As if anything spouted by Murdoch does not have his best interests at heart: Labour one election; Tories the next; and shock, horror - laying into the BBC, his main rival in the UK? You don't say??

    It's like taking nutritional advice from Ronald MacDonald.

    I can't believe people are even debating this.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    Why are the moderaters so slow frightened of offending Murdoch or something has he got his legal team all over you like a rash is he trying to prevent people airing their views or something.

  • Comment number 60.

    46

    Didn't you know Murdoch and Maxwell are actually the same person...:-)

    well have you ever seen them in the same room? And, if you have seen them, you have probably seen them on TV or in the paper which are controlled by...

  • Comment number 61.

    47. At 2:30pm on 22 Oct 2010, Mark Ruston wrote:

    Lord that speech was so bang out of order. For an American to talk about freedom!

    We like our NHS. It's a British decision Mr Murdoch! And we freely make it. How many Americans get their choice?

  • Comment number 62.

    Maybe one positive to arise from the spending review will be the cancellation of many thousands of Sky subscriptions.


  • Comment number 63.

    48. Soxsexsax - Ha Ha Ha Ha - brilliant.....couldn't agree more with you my friend.

    The moderators are doing a fantastic job!

    I'm growing so tired of reading WOTW's rubbish.

  • Comment number 64.

    Can I ask a simple question - would this blogg and its comments (blocked or not) be allowed under a Murdoch future? Or would bloggers feel the cold wind of the Murdoch media on the back of their necks. As WotW so aptly points out - it is quite easy for "troublemakers" to disappear, through action or influence. Listen for the unexplained click on the phone, lookout for the unexplained pre-read/listened to text or voicemail.

  • Comment number 65.

    Before everyone starts jumping up and down at the big bad Murdochs some thoughts:

    - there would have been no digital Sky television launched in 1999. How would the competition have developed if Sky had not existed? same old Beeb and ITV? 5 TV channels instead of 600?

    -The financial risk to Sky (& the Murdochs) was £2 billion (in 1999 that was an enormous gamble - but it paid off). Good for Murdoch, Sky and actually, us.

    - what would have happened to the Times andf the Sun newpapers if they had not been rescued from the unions by Murdoch. Like most papers now, struggling and possibly consigned to history?

    I would argue a strong financial competitior has actually preserved diversity. Its easy to forget just how sad the world was without the Murdoch influence.

  • Comment number 66.

    Absolutely delighted with the BBC settlement. The timing of the announcement was wonderfully manipulative- almost a 'bury it while there's lots going on' approach, playing commercial competitors at their own game.

    I hope that with the tighter finances (particularly if inflation continues as it is), the BBC is given a broader remit to make money, e.g. from the BBC commercial arm, ultimately this would serve to reduce taxpayers contribution either directly or indirectly.

    The BBC should start a broadsheet to maintain the competition so vital to any market.

  • Comment number 67.

    60.

    I do now. It's all BSB :-D

  • Comment number 68.

    Don't know if it has been said - but with Murdoch another name comes to mind - Another big hitter born out of a media empire and wanting to rule, well europe at least - Berlusconni

  • Comment number 69.

    Whilst everyone with a TV has to pay for the BBC (even if they don't watch) nobody has to watch SKY or buy one of his papers. It is worth noting that BT undercut his prices on SKY Sports and many newspapers are cheaper, I can only assume he does well because he offers what people want.

  • Comment number 70.

    I think this article demonstrates the deluded thinking that exists within the BBC.
    News Corporation has such a large share of the UK media segments because it produces what it's customers want. The BBC these last 10 years or so has continued in pursuit of the puerile and mediocre. This is not what the BBC was set up for, and it is why I can not support the continued existence of the BBC. The picture that Mr Peston attempts to paint is the usual politic of an out of control, arrogant semi-authoritative entity.
    I do not want to see further growth in News Corporation's share of the UK media segments, but it is disingenuous to attack it as a way of defecting attention from the poverty of the leadership and employees that make up the BBC.

  • Comment number 71.

    45. At 2:29pm on 22 Oct 2010, thomas_paine wrote:

    "Post 34 Ex Sky comment makes a good point.
    I eventually had enough of being fleeced by Sky tv but trying to cancel it was a trial of wills.
    It can't be cancelled online as far as I could see so a phone call was needed.
    It took ages to get to the right department and the employee of Sky did not simply action my instruction but stalled me for ages with questions and excuses.
    In the end I had to repeat my instruction to him but felt I was made to justify my decision."

    Thomas - you have stumbled across how SKY are reporting 'record numbers of customers' in a recession - were you offered 6 months free per chance?
    I mean it must be good because they're giving it away from free - I know 6 'ex-sky' customers who are still on the books with the 'please don't leave us' offer.

    "I should have complained to Sky and Ofwhatever."

    Sorry - they're busy trimming down...

    http://www.bectu.org.uk/news/1034

    "But I finally got rid of them and the sense of freedom is great.
    We should try to be ourselves again and act more on principle."

    I share your sense of freedom - rest assured it won't be missed after a while other than it being one less parasite to carry on your back!

    What did Chris Rea sing? "57 channels and nothing on" - a SKY theme tune if ever I heard one.

  • Comment number 72.

    Did anyone see Hendon on Newsnight last night? A lovely shot of Hendon Town Hall, now called Barnet Town Hall, at The Burroughs. Very neat and tidy it was; not like the old days when the bus garage was almost opposite.

    I am surprised the Hendonistas have not celebrated this already, but then they wouldn't recognise the place as they are not from Hendon, are they.

    Anyway, back to Murdoch: why is it that so much of the UK media is owned by someone who is not a UK citizen? In my view something as influential as the media needs to be managed by people who live in this country and not by wealthy foreigners with their own agenda to grind.

    To my mind Fox News is the best argument against Murdoch owning anything.

  • Comment number 73.

    48. At 2:38pm on 22 Oct 2010, SoxSexSax wrote:

    "Your posts get removed because you repeatedly post garbage, like at least 3 of your posts here."

    Really? - well if you've read them and the moderators remove 'garbage' - then surely that's a contradiction? - or can't you spot a contradiction....actually don;t answer that I think I already know.

    "No conspiracy, just good moderation."

    ....said the gastapo agent to the activist....

    You could always point out what is 'garbage' and I could explain why it isn't - but then that would require a DEBATE and I'm thinking that's not your thing.

  • Comment number 74.

    56. At 3:05pm on 22 Oct 2010, Dale_Lemma wrote:

    "WOTW:

    "and then they came for me"

    Thought they came for the bankers in step 15? ;)"

    Cheeky!

  • Comment number 75.

    48. At 2:38pm on 22 Oct 2010, SoxSexSax wrote
    63. At 3:47pm on 22 Oct 2010, BytheCringe wrote

    If you want a real laugh check out these guys' contributions

    SoxSexSax
    BytheCringe

  • Comment number 76.

    59. At 3:14pm on 22 Oct 2010, bmac1 wrote:

    "Why are the moderaters so slow frightened of offending Murdoch or something has he got his legal team all over you like a rash is he trying to prevent people airing their views or something."

    I think it's a 2 way problem, the Beeb Mod's are fearful of legal reprisals and we're a lot more outspoken when it comes rto bond villans - sorry I mean media moguls.

    The comments above are the opinion of the blogger and do not reflect the position of the BBC. If you want to sue me for them then the BBC will provide you with my E-mail address and you can send the legal boys round.

    I love a day in court proving that the law is an A** - it's so easy to do it's become embarrassing.

  • Comment number 77.

    63. At 3:47pm on 22 Oct 2010, BytheCringe wrote:

    "48. Soxsexsax - Ha Ha Ha Ha - brilliant.....couldn't agree more with you my friend.

    The moderators are doing a fantastic job!

    I'm growing so tired of reading WOTW's rubbish."

    Shall we look back?

    "3:33pm 22oct "Lessons for Government" - you wrote Moderators tut tut.....I was merely acccusing writingsonthewall of being a moron"

    Clearly your level of rubbish is a cut above mine!

    I've noticed that Ha ha ha ha seems to be your catchphrase - asides from the originality does it show your uncanny ability to take an argument apart with superb diction and clever cryptography?

  • Comment number 78.

    64. At 3:47pm on 22 Oct 2010, honestgeraldinho wrote:

    "As WotW so aptly points out - it is quite easy for "troublemakers" to disappear"

    ...never fear - have you seen the film conspiracy theory? - well my flat is set up like that - I'm prepared for when the spooks arrive.
    Everyone knows what to do - even the cat.

    I'm looking forward to the day the man messes with the wall.

  • Comment number 79.

    65. At 3:59pm on 22 Oct 2010, Bigpicture wrote:

    .. Its easy to forget just how sad the world was without the Murdoch influence."

    Yer what!!??

  • Comment number 80.

    65. At 3:59pm on 22 Oct 2010, Bigpicture wrote:

    "there would have been no digital Sky television launched in 1999. How would the competition have developed if Sky had not existed? same old Beeb and ITV? 5 TV channels instead of 600?"

    Can you name one decent programme on the other 595? - just one, I'm not fussy...

    "The financial risk to Sky (& the Murdochs) was £2 billion (in 1999 that was an enormous gamble - but it paid off). Good for Murdoch, Sky and actually, us."

    Gamble? - weren't you paying attention? The whole deal was a combination of Government and Murdoch. He assisted with the election "It was the SUN wot won it" and got his odds reduced.

    "what would have happened to the Times andf the Sun newpapers if they had not been rescued from the unions by Murdoch. Like most papers now, struggling and possibly consigned to history?"

    Good - at least in history they would stand a chance of being less partizan.

    "I would argue a strong financial competitior has actually preserved diversity. Its easy to forget just how sad the world was without the Murdoch influence. "

    Sad? - come one, is this the PR department of News international? - shouldn't you have knocked off by now - it's nearly 5!

  • Comment number 81.

    65- see my comment 32 for my take on the financial risk

    I'm not for knocking success but I feel in Sky's case there needs to be a split between Sky as a broadcasting platform and Sky as a broadcaster for their to be true competition (and therefore better consumer choice options)

    Their reorganisation of the EPG killed a company I worked for as Sky placed their own product in a better position than ours (yes, this is effectively the same as Tesco taking over the shop on the high street and repositioning that shop down a back alley without that shop having a say!)

    I would argue this is all fair in capitalism kill or be killed mentality except the rules were changed to allow them to exist in their current state so its not a level playing field

  • Comment number 82.

    65 big picture
    Ever looked at the content of those 600 channels? The last time I did there was nothing on.

  • Comment number 83.

    69. At 4:13pm on 22 Oct 2010, rangerray wrote:

    "Whilst everyone with a TV has to pay for the BBC (even if they don't watch) nobody has to watch SKY or buy one of his papers. It is worth noting that BT undercut his prices on SKY Sports and many newspapers are cheaper, I can only assume he does well because he offers what people want."

    ..or uses his monopolistic position to get what he wants (see post 38)

  • Comment number 84.

    > Why the Murdochs are furious about BBC settlement

    Who cares? It'll all be on the Internet in 3 years.

  • Comment number 85.

    Murdoch's just wised up and sent his blogging sycophants to sing his glowing praises. Mind you, it probably pays to grovel at the feet of one of the most powerful men in the world.

    Won't catch me doing it though.

    You can stick the Sun, the Times and your Sky box where the sun don't shine!
    Cheap pap for people who are too scared to think for themselves.

  • Comment number 86.

    70. At 4:18pm on 22 Oct 2010, Lorentz wrote:

    "News Corporation has such a large share of the UK media segments because it produces what it's customers want."

    "WE MUST GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT"

    ....who said that? mmmmmmmmmmm maybe fiction is closer to reality than you think.

    Some people want to abuse children - should we give them what they want too? - maybe we'll make them 'customers' first..

    "The picture that Mr Peston attempts to paint is the usual politic of an out of control, arrogant semi-authoritative entity."

    Mr Peston isn't a painter (well not that I'm aware of) - and I know you might find this hard to believe, but most people on here with a dim view of Rupert have formed it themselves through his actions and his company's actions.

    ...you see not every is 'given' their opinions, some people actually produce their own.

  • Comment number 87.

    Rupert Murdoch flatters himself as a parvenu or arriviste.

    Self opinionated newspaper heir and tax dodger more like.

    Confiscate his assets and ban him from the country. We've got important things to get on with like hobbling the banks. He's no use to us.

  • Comment number 88.

    Rupert Murdoch: Grubby little man. To be shunned and ignored, or mocked and pilloried. Never do business with this man - at any cost. Ever.

  • Comment number 89.

    why should the wealthy control the media anyway? this is a taboo question. I think, in our times, people should make radio and tv, etc...everything is available, there is no technical obstacle or whatsover...

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    Why so many polititions there to listen to Murdoch are they desperate to be in his little circle hanging on to every word to be honest none of them should have gone at all. It shows what little lap dogs we've got. I hate crawlers.

  • Comment number 92.

    Are you sure the Murdochs are furious about the BBC Settlement, or are they furious about the settlement plus...
    Rupert is probably more angry about the Mark Thompson, the Director-General of the BBC, calling for close scrutiny of BSkyB deal. The nerve!
    Mark Thompson has asked the government to intervene in News Corp’s attempt to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting. The nerve I say!!
    Mr Thompson said that there was potential for an abuse of power by Rupert Murdoch’s UK companies if BSkyB, the UK’s biggest broadcaster by revenue, should fall under the same ownership & control as News International.
    Cable could call Murdoch on this deal, but will he?
    Mr. Thompson has agreed to add his name to the growing list of at least nine national newspapers. The letter will urge Cable to begin an investigation into the proposed bid. The other signatories to the letter are: the Daily Mail; the Telegraph Media Group; the Guardian Media Group; and Trinity Mirror, owners of the Daily Mirror; and others unknown to me.
    The draft urges Mr Cable to step in because if the Murdochs have full control of BSkyB, it would be a direct threat to the future independence of the press and television groups.
    Mr Thompson told Charlie Rose on PBS that the combination of BSkyB and News International (parent of The Sun, The Times and other national newspapers) raised questions about “how you ensure plurality in the system”. Firther Mr. Thimpson said those questions “should be looked at” by the Coalition Government.
    Thompson: “If the two were combined, there might be a significant loss of plurality in our media market.”
    There's already too much loss of plurality in the media market; so I agree 100% with Mr. Thompson. Given the scale of the limited ownership in the UK media, there’s a strong case for analyzing this Murdoch potential deal "systemically and deciding whether or not anything needs to be done to address the issue.”
    Charlie Rose: News Corp has done anything wrong but that there is a “potential of an abuse of power”.
    Mr Thompson: "I think that’s a good way of putting it.”
    News Corp indicated in July it could pay 700p a share for the 60.9% of BSkyB THAT IT DIDN'T ALREADY OWN.
    There are apparently issues that BSkyB Directors are not elated about, but they have agreed to co-operate to overcome potential regulatory problems.
    It remains to be seen whether Mr. Cable will make his decision based on legal merits or monopoly, or to please Murdoch Group. No official bid has yet been submitted to the EU; until such time as it is, Mr. Cable has had no legal right to ­intervene. But there's already talk about, if this BSkyB deal should go through, there will be the appearance of doing favours for Rupert Murdoch. With all The Coalition talk about fairness, I'm sure they want to maintain the appearance of squeaky fair.
    (The Financial Times has already requested that Mr Cable intervene in the News Corp move on BSkyB; it did so via an editorial comment on September 19.)

  • Comment number 93.

    The expense of setting up a satellite broadcast system is considerable. Maybe he's right that it didn't look so certain, and maybe he's right to have felt threatened by vested interests.

    But now he's done it, and the balance has changed. Why has the collective ITV business slumped? (Football seemed the big mistake for what was OnDigital, but did it look such a dumb move at the time?) Is it skill or luck that put him where he is, and how can anyone challenge him?

    He sounds like a vested interest now.

  • Comment number 94.

    Sky News is appalling biased towards coverage of the US, and this is not solely a Sky News problem. The British news media is largely the most insular and constrained that I have seen on the entire European continent. How often do we actually get Continental coverage that doesn't just focus on Strikes or problems in the Eurozone. I regularly watch CNN now, as you get more European coverage on this channel that the BBC and Sky News combined.

  • Comment number 95.

    82. At 4:49pm on 22 Oct 2010, bmac1 wrote:
    65 big picture
    Ever looked at the content of those 600 channels? The last time I did there was nothing on.

    I believe the purpose of having so many channels is that you turn the telly on to see what else is on!

  • Comment number 96.

    Why did the superb investigative journalists from Mr. Murdoch's corporation not predict and not campaign against the Financial insanity that we are now paying for.

    Are they really performing a public service?

  • Comment number 97.

    News should be given the right to take over the reminder of BskyB, but at the cost that it is split 50-50 into separate legal entities a la what happened to the US oil companies all those years ago. We are now at a position in the evolution of pay TV in the UK where having 2 half sized BskyB's and a host of other smaller players will not bankrupt the market as was the case when Sky and BSB merged.

    On the issue of BBC funding. The BBC should use the world service being moved in house to push for a subscription based BBCi service for non UK residents. I’ve never understood why they are happy for their international channels to be shown on other peoples pay tv platforms but would never run a subscription service themselves via the internet.

  • Comment number 98.

    "It's your BBC" - was a simple and effective sound bite.

    To get back on topic- Anything Mr Murdoch doesn't like is fine with me.

  • Comment number 99.

    Since the BBC is not funded by taxpayers, and does its own administration of the license fee collection, and is an independent organisation, why has it had to make cutbacks?
    What effect could this have on government finances?

  • Comment number 100.

    I don't understand the transfer of the World Service to the BBC. Surely the BBC is just a contractor to the Foreign Office? Essentially it is an information service for foreigners, paid for by the Foreign Office (from taxation of course). If the funding is withdrawn, and the BBC gets no income for it, why should they carry on with it? Is the BBC free to decide to close it down - or will there be some legal or contractual requirement? If the BBC do carry on with it, who will decide its editorial policy? If they close it down, will the Foreign Office step in and ask somebody else to provide it (and pay for it)?

    Has this been thought through?

 

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