For the second time in a month comes proof of the ability of traditional television to bring people together. The ratings for the BBC’s coverage of Platinum Jubilee events have been impressive.
Around 7 million people were watching BBC One just before 1pm on Thursday to see the flypast which followed Trooping the Colour. The special programme on Thursday evening to cover the lighting of beacons managed to gain more viewers than Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.
There is a certain symmetry to the fact that the Jubilee is serving as a reminder of the continuing importance of traditional television itself. The Coronation was the event which helped turn television in Britain from a novelty or scientific wonder into an important part of everyday life.
Those who seek to imagine that we are only individuals – and not a society where what we share is as important as what makes each of us special – perhaps need reminding that there is more to life than simply indulging in a jacuzzi of the things you like online oblivious to everyone else.
For some the Jubilee is a special event. But even for those who wish no part in it, the coverage is still a reminder of what it means to others.
A mature society requires people to respect the views of those they disagree with and try to empathise with where they may be coming from.
Meanwhile the holiday weekend is providing a ray of sunshine amid the cost of living crisis – whether you are celebrating the Jubilee or not. With many households feeling the squeeze, is it time to remind people of just what extraordinary value the TV Licence represents?
No doubt some households are wondering whether subscriptions to certain channels and on-demand services are value for money. For some they will be – for others cutting them out will be far less painless than forgetting about holidays or meals out.
Meanwhile some on low incomes might face a choice between on demand entertainment and sacrificing real necessities.
While the licence fee squeeze is unwelcome for the BBC and means unpleasant decisions, it does inevitably add to its value for money to the general public.
There is also the risk that advertising revenues for commercial channels will suffer in tough economic times. Could this mean more minor channels closing?
Every so often it needs to be explicitly said that for all its faults – or the things that irritate us personally – the BBC is a very special organisation and good value for money.
PICTURED: BBC Platinum Jubilee sting. COPYRIGHT: BBC.