What is the licence fee for?

What is the licence fee for?

When the BBC manages to get rights to a top show they are either unable to hold on to it (How I Met Your Mother, 24), mess about with the format (Mythbusters), put it on at a stupid time so that nobody watches (The Wire), or they don’t show it at the same time as the original broadcast (Heroes). When they manage to create something good themselves they replace it with something half as good (Last Man Standing, Tough Guy Or Chicken), mess about with the format (Autumnwatch), or put it on at random times (MoTD). The problem seems to be catching. What have Channel 4 done to Scrapheap Challenge? Why did Channel 5 abandon House and Prison Break? Why are Channel 5 *so* far behind with NCIS?

I don’t know why I bother trying to watch anything on these channels, but I don’t have to worry about it anymore as the most recent round of changes to Freeview have left me without the majority of the main channels and they are unlikely to return until sometime in 2012 (not getting a discount on the Licence Fee though).

It would seem that I’ll just have to watch what I can on Sky and torrent the rest*.

*To switch to Freesat I would need to purchase a new TV and a new PVR.