Should the BBC licence fee be axed?

Could it be replaced by a subscription service?

by Phil Hinton Jun 4, 2014 at 12:44 PM

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    Should the BBC licence fee be axed?
    The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci voiced his opinion this week on the BBC license fee, by stating he thinks it should be replaced with a subscription model.
    Iannucci said on Twitter, “The BBC would make a fortune if it ran as a subscription service abroad. It's revered across the world, and rightly so. Money made from subscriptions abroad would fund even better programmes at home and take the pressure off falling licence fee collections.

    "If the international model works, the BBC could replace the licence fee at home with a subscription fee, set lower than the current licence fee.

    He continued: "Current exemptions would still apply. So no one would pay more for a subscription than they do now for a TV licence. The subscription would give you access to the BBC archive too. We'd get a quality service at home, by ruthlessly selling ourselves abroad. Having lived abroad, I know many people (expats and locals) who would pay to access the BBC abroad (iPlayer PPV access)."

    The BBC license fee is up for renewal in 2016 and with this still being decided a few other personalities and politicians have voiced their opinions on the matter. Most recently MPs proposed to decriminalise the £145.50 charge which the BBC argued could cost them up to £200m a year in lost funding.

    However with viewing habits changing due to on-demand, catch-up and streaming services available through set top boxes and Smart TVs the old BBC license fee model is perhaps showing its age.

    It could be argued that if you own a TV or receiving device, this doesn’t mean you view BBC programming because of the other services now available, so why should you pay the whole or even part of a license fee. If the BBC is making money out of it’s programming in other markets through subscriptions and selling to other broadcasters, why can’t that model or something similar be used here?

    Would the BBC suffer? What do you think? Tell us below…

    Source: The Guardian Online

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