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UK Lords to consider BBC funding

February 11, 2022

By Colin Mann

The Communications and Digital Committee of the House of Lords, the UK’s upper legislative chamber, has launched a new inquiry into the future funding of the BBC.

The BBC gets roughly £3.6 billion of its current £5 billion annual income from the television licence fee. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said recently that it was time to “look further into the future” and confirmed a government review of the licence fee model.

“The broadcasting landscape is shifting rapidly, with intense competition, rising production costs and changing viewing habits,” noted Baroness Stowell of Beeston, chair of the committee. “Developments in technology have led to increasing choice for people about what they watch, how and when. Our inquiry will look at this changing media landscape and examine how the BBC should be funded in the future to deliver what is needed from a national public service broadcaster,” she added.

Questions on which the Committee is seeking views include:

  • How will new technologies and consumer habits change the future broadcasting landscape?
  • What is the purpose of a national broadcaster?
  • What principles and priorities should inform the choice of the BBC’s funding model? And how would any alternative funding models affect what the BBC can provide?
  • How should the BBC change over the next five years to adapt to evolving consumer habits and needs – and what does the Corporation need to do to prepare for the future in the longer term?
  • What actions and consultations are needed from the government to inform its future BBC funding plans?

The Committee invites written contributions to its inquiry by Friday March 11th 2022.

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