Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

BBC funding: much ado about the cost of a coffee a week

Journal

The Political Quarterly

Subject

Marketing

Authors / Editors

Barwise P

Biographies

Publication Year

2024

Abstract

BBC funding (the licence fee model and the funding level) has been turned into a big issue out of all proportion to the low financial stakes—equivalent to the cost of one takeaway coffee a week for the whole household, excluding those with free TV licences. This article first proposes and explores three possible reasons for all the fuss: that licence payers take the BBC for granted, underestimating the value they get from it; that the attacks on BBC funding are part of a wider ‘war’ against it, driven by commercial or political vested interests; and that at least some of the criticisms of the licence fee reflect genuine, although much exaggerated, disadvantages. The article then evaluates four alternative funding models: advertising, subscriptions, general taxation and a universal household levy. It argues that the best long-term model would be a flat, universal household levy, with exemptions for those least able to pay, as in Germany, with the funding level set by an independent body organised by Ofcom; and that, because the licence fee is becoming harder to sustain, this new funding model should be introduced at the start of the next BBC Charter in January 2028.

Keywords

BBC funding; TV licence fee; Subscriptions; Advertising; Taxation; Household levy

Available on ECCH

No


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
×
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox

×

Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: https://london.edu/my-profile-preferences or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.