BBC faces fresh call to scrap licence fee for subscription service ‘Outdated and unwanted’ | UK | News (Reports)

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The survey, commissioned by the Defund The BBC pressure group, found 40 percent backed the idea of a subscription service while 37 percent favoured the current system and the £157.50 annual charge. It also found 15 per cent of viewers will not watch any BBC programmes over the Christmas holidays while a third plan to watch a maximum of five hours.

Defund the BBC campaign director Rebecca Ryan said: “The British public want the licence fee to move to a subscription model that would mean people have the right to decide if they want to access BBC content or not.

“It is clear from this poll that there is a huge swathe of the population who do not feel the BBC’s Christmas schedule is on a par with what it should be and many will be watching far less BBC content than they did last year.

“A major factor of this is undoubtedly the subscription choices in the form of Sky, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video which have a raft of on-demand content.

“The BBC licence fee is outdated and unwanted.”

BBC bosses are coming under growing pressure to justify the fee amid rows over scrapping free licences for over-75s, presenter salaries, political bias and accusations of “woke culture” within the corporation.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, has vowed to make changes at the heart of the BBC in a bid to cool the backlash against the corporation.

A growing number of Tory ministers and MPs are voicing concerns about the value for money provided by the licence.

READ MORE: BBC crisis: Licence should replaced with subscription, say Brexiteer

Culture Minister John Whittingdale said justification for the licence fee will “diminish over time” and the corporation will eventually have to seek “alternative means of funding”.

Mr Whittingdale told the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “The justification that everybody benefited from paying it because everybody benefited from the BBC is still largely the case, but will diminish over time.

“I suspect that eventually we will need to look at alternative means of funding the BBC.

“There is an attraction in subscription, at least in part.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The licence fee continues to ensure the BBC is an independent, universal broadcaster, committed to serving all audiences and investing in British creativity.

“It is the agreed method of funding until at least 2027 and any further debate on this will be for the next Charter discussions.”

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