I have made this argument lots of times, but I must keep on repeating it until the majority of my acquaintances have heard it at least once.
If you look at the main terrestrial TV networks in Britain, there are two basic models of operation. There is the BBC, which is fundamentally a subscription service; ie the license fee. Most of the license fee goes to the Beeb for their TV and radio programming. The other model is of course independent commercial content, funded by advertising.
However, satellite TV such as Sky exploit both income streams, and stretch the revenue so that the mugs who watch the content have a higher price on their heads.
It currently costs £145.50 for a TV license, which is about £12 per month. A basic subscription to Sky costs £20 per month, or £240 per year. Add sports and movies and you’re looking north of £672 per year.
My next argument is not easily quantifiable so I rely on others to back me up on this. The traditional 2-minute ad break has recently become more like 3 minutes, and on a terrestrial station you are likely to get 5 or 6 ads in the middle of a typical 30 minute programme slot. On satellite stations, however, you can expect about twice as many. Why should they get away with watering down the programming by extending the amount of ads?
So if you have a basic Sky TV package you are paying a premium AND having to sit through more adverts. £12 per month for award-winning British programming on a multimedia platform without adverts vs up to 5 times that for sports, imports and epic ad breaks. I know which one i prefer.
So next time you hear someone complaining about the license fee, give them a stern look.