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5 pounds per month for maybe 5-10 interesting articles is quite steep price compared to offering of Netflix for instance or BBC

I like to think of it as buying a journalist a pint once a month.

Also, when I had Netflix I found it to have a pretty terrible selection after I'd finished the two or three series I liked. Maybe that's just me though.

Finally, at £145 a year, the BBC costs quite a bit more.

"...at £145 a year, the BBC costs quite a bit more"

Because anyone in the world can have free access

The BBC website and radio is free, although ad-supported outside the UK.

Only BBC television costs £145 a year.

I've never seeds ads on BBC website or radio outside of the UK. Do you have more info on this?

It's a thing, at least in the US. Perhaps try a few countries with a VPN.

bbc.com has ads, not bbc.co.uk.

BBC iplayer is free to access throughout the world. That's pretty much all of the TV output.

Theoretically you are obliged to buy a TV license if you watch iPlayer.

Alas, no.

> BBC iPlayer only works in the UK.

> Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.

"BBC iPlayer only works in the UK"

Yes, of course??

Last time I tried it (from Spain) it told me I need to be in the UK.

Sorry, since this is Hacker News, I assumed people would have a basic understanding of how the iplayer knows your location and how trivial a matter it is to circumvent?

Since I spend 9 months of the year in Spain I use a vpn by default and I access iplayer just the same way I would back home.

The not free aspect amounts to a tick box to say you have a licence. To most people on the internet today this does mean it is free.

The point was to explain why the bbc is expensive compared to netflix since it is a lot less convenient to get content for nothing.

Yes, I do have a licence and subscribe to netflix as well as prime. The point was theoretical.

iplayer radio is free around the world. TV is not.

Yes it is.

You pay for BBC's TV programmes; you don't pay for the BBC's online news.

Full disclosure: I pay nothing for the BBC (I don't live in the UK).

However, the BBC news I use does appear to be funded by licence-fee payers, among other sources.

"The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising[6] and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd.[7] The service also gets £289 million each year (agreed up to 2020) from the UK government.[8]"


do they have additional expenses to produce news for foreign readers compared to British paying for this service? they would need to produce those news anyway, so no need to feel guilty about reading something paid by others, anyway these news agencies cooperate and I guess almost anyone in Europe pay for their national TV/radio/news agency which is sharing their news with other countries

Sure, more users and more languages will definitely mean more expenses. The BBC World Service's origins are visible in its original name as the Empire Service. I'm not sure they would still form the world service if the BBC were created today. It is, in my view at least, a great form of soft power for the UK and in some cases one of the only decent reporting options.

everyone i know read English site, so no need to produce anything additional for these users, it cost them just little bit if bandwidth and processing time, but zero human resources

The Guardian is free whether you contribute towards it or not. Unlike Netflix and, in theory, BBC.

Well, if no-one contributes, the Guardian will probably close down in about three years' time.

I can assert this because I used to work there.

There was a lot of fanfare a few years ago when they sold Auto Trader for almost $1 billion, which was justified as a sale that would put so much money into the Scott Trust endowment fund that the paper's finances were now "secure for generations to come" [1]. I guess that was optimistic?

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/gnm-press-office/guardian-media-...

The Guardian Media Group has been haemorrhaging money for years. Their operating loss was £69m last year and is forecast to be around £90m this year. Even with the best part of a billion quid in the bank, they're a long way from financial sustainability.


The online advertisement market has got much less lucrative per impression since then. It's resulted in most online news sources trying other things to keep the lights on (donations, as with the Graun; paywalls, as at the NY Times; native advertising as at the Huffington Post; lots of other things...)

They also have a top-notch sporting section with live coverage(if you're not American- they mostly cover soccer, tennis and F1), their mobile/ipad app is one of the best out there and their long reads essentially make them a nice weekend reading magazine. Plus they have a few nice podcasts too. They are probably worth the 5 pounds.

I read zero sport news per month, they could be all behind paywall, for long reads you can just check dDigg or Longform, there is anyway so much content I have no chance to read everything I am interested for free why would now I pay for it if there is so much free content I can't ever read?

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