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Four in ten (40 per cent) British adults support the current system of funding the BBC, however, just as many oppose it (40 per cent), according to research from ComRes on behalf of public affairs agency Whitehouse Consultants.
Of the four potential funding models tested, the one which gained most popular support is abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself, even if that means adverts during programmes, reducing the number of original programmes they can produce or scrapping their public service broadcasting duty (51 per cent support, 34 per cent oppose).
The highest level of support for the current way of funding the BBC comes from Britons aged 65+ (52 per cent).
There is also a clear pattern of difference by social grade, with those in social grades AB (50 per cent), C1 (44 per cent) being more likely to support the licence fee than those in social grades C2 (30 per cent) and DE (33 per cent).
Conversely, abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself is particularly popular among C2s (59 per cent) and DEs (58 per cent) compared to ABs (41 per cent) and C1s (47 per cent).
A third (36 per cent) of Britons support abolishing the licence fee and introducing a subscription fee paid only by those who want to access the BBC while 44 per cent oppose this proposed model of funding.
The least popular option for funding the BBC is to abolish the licence fee and increase taxes, just one in five (18 per cent) support this proposal while two-thirds (64 per cent) oppose it.