The problem with what you say is that NBCs coverage was profit driven. They tape-delayed shows to ensure prime-time audiences, cut large elements out of the opening/closing ceremonies and most events were not free to watch online without a cable subscription.
Whilst the BBC and the Television License is a subject of debate in the UK, it's very narrow-minded to say the $230 USD (not $300) brings only dramas. Comedy, news, current affairs, radio, light entertainment, online streaming, education and a whole load of other content ad-free.
I haven't looked up the figures, but my bet is that the BBC channels are amongst the most popular TV and Radio offerings in the UK - people clearly seem to like what they produce (myself included, I would pay the license fee just to have Radio 4).