Could Britain adopt a user pays model for the BBC?

The BBC is about to have its entire funding model reviewed with the possibility that it could move to a user-pays Netflix type arrangement.

The British Government has told the BBC that the current licence fee of £159 will remain static for the next two years, after which it will rise with inflation for a further four years.

The licence fee pays for services including TV, radio, the BBC website, podcasts, iPlayer and apps.

During the next six years the Government will review future funding models that could scrap the current licence fee and move to a user-pays model.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed the BBC licence fee changes saying, “We need a BBC that is ready to meet the challenges of modern broadcasting.

 “We have five or six years, that is plenty of time to decide what a future funding model will look like,” she added. “In 2027/2028, when it starts, many [MPs] many not even be here.

 “We’re talking six years away.

 “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

 BBC director general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharp issued a joint statement saying that the BBC “will now have to absorb inflation”.

“That is disappointing not just for licence fee payers, but also for the cultural industries who rely on the BBC for the important work they do across the UK.

 “The BBC’s income for UK services is already 30 percent lower in real terms than it was ten years ago.”



 TV and Radio Licence fees were abolished in Australia in the early 70’s.

As recently as 2020 Britain’s over 75’s began paying for a licence with the PM, Boris Johnson saying that the BBC should “cough up” and pay for them, but the BBC replied, saying that to do so would force “unprecedented closures” of services.

Now, only over-75s on pension credit are eligible for a free licence.

The current BBC income from licences is £3.2 billion and they are already preparing for the end of the licence fee, with proposals including funding the broadcaster with a grant from general taxation, a universal levy on broadband subscriptions or making the BBC a paid-for subscription service similar to Netflix.