If there is a way of getting more cash out of viewers, the hard-nosed bosses of the BBC will find it.
This hook-up with ITV should be called Scamflix, a way to make profits from the huge archive financed by millions of licence-payers over decades.
It’s an upside-down version of Hughie Green’s Double Your Money – pay twice for the same programme that was on the box years ago. Pensioners, especially those threatened with the confiscation of their over-75’s free TV licence, will be hit yet again as they appreciate old films the most.
BBC iPlayer will continue to be free to licence-holders but for how long?
BritBox is a step towards total commercialisation of the nation’s publicly funded broadcaster.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Talking Pictures – Channel 81 on Freeview – gives a first-rate service of archive film. I’m an addict. Gideon? Dick Barton? Family at War? It’s all there.
Like the old movies, this is a black-and-white argument. As with the NHS, you pay for it once, so you shouldn’t have to go private.