A Pirate's Treasure Chest
Of monopoly and morality
The story of pirate radio (unlicensed broadcasting) and it’s connection with the BBC is one that resonates and comes full circle.
Until the early 1960’s, the BBC held a virtual monopoly in radio broadcasting; it’s content was stale and somewhat autocratic. However, by exploiting a loophole in the law, offshore commercial radio broadcasters came along and set the nation alight with music and content that the BBC had deemed of low morality. For years the government and the pirate radio stations played a game of cat and mouse. Eventually, the government closed the loopholes with the Marine, Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967. But it was too late, a social revolution was underway and the BBC finally conceded defeat with the launch of Radio One.
Turning pirate - going on the account
In a modern, net connected, rich media world, it seems the BBC yet again finds itself under attack. No longer are we exclusively dependent on the BBC for quality content and information. A world of diversity, education and innovation is literally at our fingertips. And thus, no longer can the BBC claim to be a pacesetter among it’s peers.
The irony is, the BBC is now the pirate; it’s treasure chest full of pieces of eight, plundered from every UK household that wishes to watch television.
Avast ye scurvy dogs! Ye can watch any channel ye like, so long as ye pay us first.