BBC licence fee RIP?

BBC_iPlayer_Radio_logo The Conservative MPs are supporting an appeal to get rid of the BBC TV Licence. No surprise there as this is the latest in a long history of the Tories versus the BBC, wherein the political party finds it slightly unfair that they're unable to sell it off and make money out of it.

The appeal, which has been led by - always the way - backbencher Andrew Bridgen, urges Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to spearhead a government review of BBC funding.

According to a letter that Mr Bridgen has sent to Mr Javid, he accuses the current funding of the BBC as "becoming unsustainable and out of keeping with the modern media environment".

"The corporation should be planning for a future without the licence fee and investigating subscription-based payment options, as well as the wealth of further opportunities that exist for its worldwide operation".

Seemingly unaware that for £145 a year you get a total bargain and somewhere relatively free of Simon Cowell, advertising and Keith Lemon, the licence fee is what separates one from the animals.

But Mr Bridgen is a backbencher Tory and so claims that the fee is "the most regressive taxes in the UK today".

Bridgen has been previously involved with the Government to review whether non-payment of the licence fee should be classed as a civil offence, after people had been given jail terms.

Bridgen reckons: "The BBC should move to a subscription model as soon as it is practicable. The sheer pace of technological change will render the licence fee redundant. It is a matter of when the fee goes, not if."

So. Turning the BBC into Netflix essentially. A BBC spokesman said that the subscription, which costs £2.80 a week, had risen in support by 22% since 2004, and said that "It's vital that programmes like EastEnders, Strictly, Sherlock, Doctor Who and Match Of The Day can been watched by everyone, not a select few."

BBC haters - you know where the comments are.


  • Jack S.
    When was the last time Lucy wrote an article?
  • Dan
    I hear Dapper Laughs is looking for a new channel... that's the sort of quality programming we can expect from a more commercial BBC.
  • Han S.
    "It’s vital that programmes like EastEnders....." Why is it Vital? Surely Coronoation Street can be watched by everyone and ITV don't get licence fee money
  • Confused
    Can't remember the last time I actually watched a BBC programme at the time it was broadcast. They do make the odd good telly programme, but most of it is utter gash.
  • Howdareyoublockmycomments
    What a misguided article. Forcing people to pay for the BBC via simple ownership of audio/video is antiquated. If a TV owner uses it for Xbox, Amazon Prime and blu-rays only, the BBC has no expectation of a fee from them.
  • tiderium
    I am not a fan of the BBC and the "unique" way it's funded as they claim, also the way they have attack dogs (licence fee inspectors) who presume your guilty and demand entry and lie to gain entry. ITV, ch4 and sky survive very well with advertising, sponsorship and subscriptions so why not BBC?
  • themonkeyman
    Honestly considering Rupert Murdoch and the big clowns at ITV set the political agenda do you really expect them to investigate stuff like the Phone Hacking Scandal? Did Rupert Murdoch produce a program that investigates himself? Rupert for example wanted scotland to be independent and did his best via his media empire to enforce that opinion on others. At least with the BBC there is no boss so its driven by the people. Advertising Ultimately calls the shots for sky / itv so I highly doubt stuff like watchdog exists. Imagine all the faulty renault cars or the Audi that can have its keys hacked, A commerical BBC could kiss good bye to advertising money if they attack the people who fund them. Seriously I would rather not pay £1000 of my Taxes to a welfare bill personally.
  • The S.
    All those people with attention spans of 10 minutes would welcome this suggestion - strange it should come from the Tory party. If they put any more hard sell adverts on yet another channel there won't be anything worth watching.
  • Jose E.
    The BBC is probably the major thing that keeps this country on a slightly even-keel. Without the BBC we would be just like the US(more than we are) - the things that go on over there, politically, are eye-watering. I hardly watch the BBC having Netflix etc, but I'm thankful they are there. They are managed to an extent I'm sure, but they aren't out-and-out agenda driven which is the only logical conclusion to a commercial network. Not only that, they are pure class - look at iplayer. How much better is that than any other streaming service? Even the ones that only exist AS a streaming service aren't as good. Don't ever get rid of the NHS and don't ever get rid of the BBC - it's a small price to pay.
  • Mark W.
    If the BBC would do some public service broadcasting, it might have a case towards keeping the licence fee. But I object to its expensive knock-offs of nearly everything that commercial TV comes up with; its deciding that the public needs several more DAB radio stations, a Scottish gaelic station, two new TV channels that it struggles to fill with content and therefore fills with expensively made cheap rubbish. And it sells everything it can via BBC Worldwide. And the taxpayer already funds part of the TV licence fee anyway (over 75s 'free' licences come out of taxation).
  • Arthur
    I'm all for keeping the license fee, let everyone else pay it so I can enjoy the very occasional decent programme on it without adverts.
  • JonB
    @Jose Elan : "they aren’t out-and-out agenda driven" Which BBC are you talking about? They most definitely have an agenda. They just try to hide it from the public.
  • No c.
    Some people are confusing scrapping the licence with scrapping the bbc. The licence fee is a SCAM and must be abolished. Those who support the BBC will subscribe to it and keep it going.
  • Gas M.
    I'm told the Beeb coverage of Palestine was extremely biased, not that impartial then.
  • Big M.
    I have a TV Licence, however....... If you state that you do not watch / listen to BBC output people always choose to disbelieve you for some reason. The only thing I seem to consume produced by the BBC is Radio 4, and a very small amount of live sport. I don't watch ANY of the programming stated, 'East Enders, Strictly......' no thanks. So how dare people tell me that £145 is a bargain? The people who love / use something can pay for it, those that don't shouldn't... like every other thing else on the planet. The BBC need to offer a free service (news / Radio perhaps?) along with a core of 'premium' channels / programming available via subscription. Everyone who owns a TV licence now would surely subscribe keeping the BBC's income roughly the same. A pay-wall would also prevent TV licencing goons from knocking on people's doors threatening them with court action, poking cameras in children's bedrooms, misleading people about the law, trying to trick people into letting them into their homes and lying to obtain search warrants. Oh and the odd assault too, all on Youtube. I hope the likes of the article's author Ian Wade have never obtained or watched any content illegally, through streaming sites or torrents etc.
  • Fagin
    Ditto, We only listen to radio 4 , & use the xbox to stream amazon prime. Turgid strictly has been on for a decade apparantly, a whole decades worth of dog shyte that has thankfully passed me by, great loss giving it up I promise you.
  • dvdj10
    Exactly, subscription based is the way forward. Why am I paying for everyone else's benefit, I watch next to nothing on the bbc. If they're so sure of the bargain that it will be then they have nothing to worry about as ALL these people will pay for it. Whereas everyone else will be £145 better off. And should this happen and there just so happens to be something that I want to watch, I'll just download it from the torrents that have been "blocked" like most of the country haha
  • Alex
    I like the BBC. You get a vast amount of good quality content (just come up north and watch Sheffield live TV for bad quality content) with no adverts and less influence from big business and media moguls. Yes I think that the cost is too high. £10 pm should be the maximum, preferably even £100 per year. But saying that, I would pay the license fee just for the radio and online content as I hate listening to adverts on the radio. CBBC and Cbeebies are great for letting kids watch telly without getting pestered to buy the next must have bit or junk, or Disney rubbish. Like most big organisations they have too many high paid executives. A couple of the channels have fairly high costs eg radio 4, and BBC 3. The spending on the BBC has enabled the UK to have a world class TV program industry which brings £billions into the economy every year.

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