How could they?!

OK, this news came as a bit of a shock. So I wrote them a letter. And got a (pointless) reply.

I don’t get this – you’re removing the Cult website as it’s “too similar to the commercial sector” i.e. there are other websites with similar content. Perhaps… but none of them are as good, nor as comprehensive as the BBC’s. On top of that I’m *paying* for the BBC site out of my license fee.

If we’re going to get rid of things for being “too similar” to commercial offerings, can we also please scrap Eastenders as it’s just Coronation Street set in London? And Holby as it’s only a cheap version of E.R.? Getting rid of that dross would allow plenty of funding for excellent resources such as this.

How on earth you can scrap a site that gets almost 700,000 hits a month and comes second only to your news pages is beyond me. I thought the idea was to provide a public service? The two statistics there show that this site is doing this above and beyond all expectations, and your decision is one of utter stupidity.

Cult TV is going through a massive boom right now. I mean, come on – you’ve just sold Playschool in Maori! There are DVD releases coming out left/right/centre and this site is by far and away the most detailed and comprehensive *anywhere*. Killing it off is like scuppering the Ark Royal just because the US has a couple of aircraft carriers that can kind of do the same job.

If you do send me a reply, I’d appreciate a personal one – not the usual formulaic garbage such as the official statement which, frankly, contradicts everything I’ve ever believed the BBC to stand for.

Thanks (not),

(etc)

The reply:

Dear Mosh

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the closure of the Cult website.

I appreciate you have further concerns about the closure of the website. Rest assured that your complaint has been registered on the daily log. This will be made available throughout the BBC, including the senior management. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC services and your comment will play a part in this process.

Thank you again for taking time to contact the BBC.

Regards

Katherine Tsang
BBC Information

I think the basic gist of this is “your feedback will be ignored at the highest level”. Fuck them and fuck their license fee. OK, OK, so the only decent stuff on TV these days is either on BBC or Channel 5, but I wonder if I could withhold 2p/month of my direct debit in protest?

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