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April 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The publicly funded BBC (owners of TV sets in the U.K. are required to pay an annual “license fee” to underwrite its operations) has come under attack for loading its four TV channels with thousands of hours of repeats. The London Daily Express today (Wednesday) published figures indicating that last year 84.4 percent of programming on BBC3 comprised old shows. “This means that on a typical day when the channel broadcasts for 9 hours 45 minutes, a shocking 8 hours and 15 minutes are previously shown programs,” the newspaper said. BBC4, it added, “fared little better” — airing repeats 79.4 percent of the time. The Express also pointed out that BBC3, which has a budget of about $175 million, attracts just 10.6 million viewers over an entire week and that the new shows that it does air are low-budget, low-brow offerings, including I Love Being HIV, Dancing on Wheels, Hotter Than My Daughter and My Penis and Everyone Else’s. Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch U.K., told the newspaper: “What license-fee payers want to see for their cash is quality programing. I can’t say that the titles of the BBC3 programs fill me with joy.” Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers Alliance, added, “There is nothing wrong with repeating good-quality programs per se but that should be cheap to do, which makes it hard to understand why these channels still cost so much.”