Express readers call for BBC licence fee to be replaced with advertising

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David Dimbleby says that TV licence system is ‘very unfair’

The BBC licence fee should be replaced by advertising, a new poll of readers has found.

The public broadcaster is currently funded by an annual TV licence fee but a new funding model needs to be agreed upon before the end of 2027 when the corporation’s royal charter expires.

Government ministers are set to launch a formal review into the funding of the BBC in the autumn.

In response, ran a poll from 2.30pm on Wednesday, July 19, to 5pm on Monday, July 24, asking readers: “What should replace the BBC licence fee?”

A total of 3,366 readers responded with more than half of readers, 55 percent (1,847 people) answering that it should be funded with “advertising”.

READ MORE: BBC licence fee could be replaced with ‘alternative sources of funding’

In the comments left below the accompanying article, many readers argued that adverts should be the way forward for the public broadcaster. Username feshka said: “Do as the other channels do – show adverts and get sponsors!”

And username The gardener pointed out: “Advertisement. The BBC already advertise their own programmes between programmes.”

Some 30 percent of readers (1,020 people) thought that the BBC should become a “voluntary subscription” service.

Username michaeltaylor remarked: “Turn it into a subscription channel. Let those who want it, pay for it.”

Another, username TezerMac agreed, writing: “If you want to watch it, subscribe like all the other ones that you pay for.”

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Some five percent (156 people) responded “tax media giants” and a further three percent (85 people) were in favour of keeping the “licence fee”.

Just two percent (64 people) thought a hybrid model should be adopted, with username JamesU writing: “Voluntary subscription or advertising. Either way would be 100 percent better than the current tax.”

Username Rob Reason suggested: “Sell ads on BBC1 and BBC2, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 to keep them free, and make everything else on subscription.”

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While two percent (60 people) supported the introduction of a “Government grant”, while 24 people supported a “broadband levy” and 11 people were in favour of a new “TV tax”.

A further two percent (70 people) answered “other” and 29 people said they did not know.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We remain committed to reviewing the licence fee model ahead of the next charter period to explore the potential for alternative ways to ensure the BBC remains appropriately funded over the long term.”

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