BBC: People Can’t Live Without the BBC

Via Guido

A “deprivation study” in which  people agreed not to use BBC services for nine days has found that people can’t live without the BBC. The study was commissioned by and funded by the BBC…

(I’m still laughing)

Of the seventy households, 48 had initially said that they would prefer either to pay no licence fee and have no BBC access, or pay a reduced licence fee. After nine days without any access to the corporation, however, 33 of the 48 families, or 69 per cent, declared that they were now happy to pay.

The BBC commissioned the study to dig deeper into existing research that suggests that around 30 per cent of people are opposed to paying the licence fee. It would appear to confirm suspicions held at a high level in the corporation that many viewers do not realise how much they depend on the broadcaster’s output.


So 48 families = 68.5% of the households surveyed (who originally DIDN’T want to pay)

22 households/families = 31.5% – DID want to pay

Which (from the latest sample) means that ‘existing research’ underreported those opposed to paying a fee by 38.5%? (68.5%-30%)

33 of 48 families changed their mind, so (33+22) = 55 households eventually happy to pay.

55 out of 70 = 78.5%.

So 21.5% still DON’T want to pay?

Which (from the latest sample) means that ‘existing research’ over-reported those opposed to paying a fee by 8.5%? (21.5%-30%)

So can we deduce that both surveys have a potential margin of error in their results? (i.e 38.5% – 8.5%= 30%)?

If we apply the possible 30% margin of error to the 21.5% that DON’T want to pay –

then that could mean that 28% (or 19.6 families from survey 2, v 21 families from survey 1) DON’T want to pay?

Which only goes to prove if you torture the data enough  – it’ll confess to anything.

with apologies to statisticians