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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded...

A fact that the BBC might prefer not to dwell on when it comes to discussion of licence fees is the fact that it's a very successful commercial international media organisation. Being a Brit abroad I'm reminded of this every time I open a TV guide and see BBC programs in the schedule - glancing at today we've got Three Men in a Boat and The Graham Norton Show on ABC1 and Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS, and off the top of my head I know that tomorrow there'll be Doctor Who on ABC1 and old Top Gear repeats on one of the digital commercial channels (which has also bought the current series as well as the format so it can do Top Gear Australia as well). Obviously they're making a few quid out of this to add to what they get from all the book and DVD sales. Oh, and the licence fee of course. And how much money they have sloshing around has been brought home to me just now when I read that they've recently found £42 million down the back of the BBC Breakfast sofa to spend on a 25% stake in the Lonely Planet.

To add to the 75% stake the corporation already owned.
THE BBC's commercial arm says it has bought the remaining 25 per cent stake in travel publisher Lonely Planet that it did not already own for STG42.1 million ($67.31 million).

BBC Worldwide said it had this week acquired the final part of the Australia-based company that produces the popular travel guides, dubbed the "backpackers' bible", after purchasing 75 per cent of the firm in 2007.
And it might well be a decent investment, but looking at the Business section of the Beeb's website there's not a peep about it. Whether that's because they think it's not newsworthy or because when they want £145 off of everyone they'd no more want to shout about this than they would if they'd given it to George Allegation to snort lines of coke off of Kate Silvertongue's backside.

The Grauniad do mention it, but rather than asking why, when they're clearly fairly a commercial operation that's at least moderately flush, their broadcast buddies the BBC are allowed to continue feeding parasite like off of Britain's poor TV owners The Graun's business reporters would rather focus on Barclays, which in 2009 made £11.6 billion profit and used perfectly legal tax minimisation strategies to reduce it's corporation tax bill to £113 million (to howls of protest in the comments, natch).

2009, The Guardian is unlikely to mention, is the year after the Guardian Media Group paid only £800K tax on profits of 300 million pounds.

Motes and beams, fellas, motes and beams. Barclays is using legal means to keep its tax bill down, just as GMG did, and has also stood on its own feet as corporations as supposed to rather than feed of the taxpayer's back as so many other banks have done to survive. And as the BBC has been doing for decades.

Hypocritical wankers.
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