Monday, March 28, 2011
broadcast debates proposal to all the main broadcasting companies and some individuals saying that if they there was no commercial reason why broadcasting debates were not permitted and if my low estimate of costs was valid it would strongly suggest that the only other reason suggested, deliberate censorship, was correct.
Channel 4 sent an acknowledgement promising somebody would reply within 7 days but nobody did and the BBC explained "I can assure you we are guided by viewer feedback and your points have been fully registered on our audience log".
One individual in the industry did reply and while describing trying to get anything new in Scottish broadcasting as energy poured down the drain, did give a useful estimate for what such a programme would cost, assuming the broadcaster already has a couple of cameramen with free time and a venue, as major broadcasters always have.
It wouldn’t cost much more than a couple of thousand pounds to research and do travel expenses of punters and pay for guestsWell under what I had been willing to estimate and what the BBC, with its £3.5 billion budget, spends every 18 seconds. I suspect that is well under 1% of what 10 O'clock Live, now on under 700,000 viewers, costs. Effectively dissected by Delingpole as "like attending one of those Maoist re-education lectures the Chinese used to impose on captured British and American prisoners during the Korean war. Only without the levity, rapier wit and penetrating intellectual sophistication" and more importantly, for commercial comparisons, still running. By comparison my poll on this question suggests a possible regular audience for serious debates would be 50% above Question Time's at 5 million.