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BBC licence fee is “anachronistic and in dire need of reform”, says IEA expert

IEA responds to NAO report on the BBC licence fee

Responding to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on the future of the BBC licence fee, Professor Philip Booth, Senior Academic Fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs and author of ‘New Vision: Transforming the BBC into a subscriber-owned mutual’ said: 

“The NAO’s findings come as no surprise. The BBC must be liberated from the licence fee and become independent of government. The licence fee model has been outdated for many years and no longer reflects the reality either of the public’s viewings habits or broadcasting technology.

“The BBC funding model is anachronistic and in dire need of reform. Requiring anyone owning a television set to fund the BBC – regardless of whether or not they watch BBC programming – while its audience becomes increasingly narrow, is difficult to justify.

“The BBC should be freed from the control of government and vested interests and move towards a subscriber-owned mutual. This would allow the broadcaster to be a commercial success, better leverage its brand internationally and produce programming its member-viewers value. A mutual model would also add diversity to the broadcasting world by creating a unique successor to the BBC as a government corporation”.

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver, Head of Media, on 07715942731 or ecarver@iea.org.uk.

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

To read IEA report, ‘New Vision: Transforming the BBC into a subscriber-owned mutual’, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Original article link: https://iea.org.uk/media/bbc-licence-fee-is-anachronistic-and-in-dire-need-of-reform-says-iea-expert/

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