Game over

Passionate as their arguments are, David Puttnam and Paul Watson ("Nation of fools", 4 December) seem to retain a quaint set of ideals in a world that has moved on. The multi-channel environment, coupled with internet competition, has caused audiences, advertising and attention spans to shrink beyond the point where expensive, challenging programme-making can survive. The BBC is - annual token costume drama and David Attenborough gawpathon aside - just as wedded to formulaic, ratings-grabbing material as the commercial stations. ITV has filled the early hours with exploitative guessing games for insomniac drunks and reduced current affairs to the odd news bulletin and consumer report.

The battle for these dinosaur institutions has been fought and lost; perhaps Puttnam and Watson weren't watching.

Adrian Fry

Swindon, Wiltshire

This article first appeared in the 11 December 2006 issue of the New Statesman, Trident: not too late