I actually find myself applauding Simon Cowell’s diplomatic approach to this silly battle between ITV and the BBC.
The BBC is funded by the general viewing public, with the TV license fees. Therefore, it does not rely on commercial advertising. It has a distinct advantage over its competitors and it knows it. Despite being taxpayer funded, though, it does not seem that the BBC is serving the people.
First, the BBC prevented Barbara Windsor from appearing on Piers Morgan’s show on ITV (afraid of competition). So, in revenge, ITV banned Ant & Dec from appearing on Jonathan Ross’ BBC show. Now, the BBC are putting Strictly Come Dancing in direct competition with The X Factor, the two most popular TV shows. For the record, I couldn’t really care less about any of these celebs or shows, but the actions of these rival networks are childish. And, in the BBC’s case, it is almost a monopoly.
The BBC does not need TV ratings. It will survive regardless. ITV is in trouble due to the recession. It’s almost like the BBC is out for blood and trying to destroy its closest competitor. They’re even trying to woo celebs like Dec & Ant to join them after their ITV contract expires.
It surprises me to find that Cowell wants to avoid a clash and suggests that ITV (his network) back down. That’s one way to avoid being torn to pieces by a bully. But, it also makes you more vulnerable the next time. The BBC should be accountable to their viewers and behave in a more dignified way.