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Tim Davie dismisses idea of BBC subscription model

Tim Davie dismisses idea of BBC subscription model
New BBC director-general Tim Davie rejects suggestions that the corporation should transition to a Netflix-style subscription fee rather than take funding from the licence fee.

New BBC director-general Tim Davie has rejected the notion that the BBC should move to a Netflix-style subscription model in the future.

Once again the future of the licence fee is back on the agenda as the corporation gears up for negotiations with the government about its funding model beyond 2027, when the current arrangement expires.

Rather than remaining publicly funded through the licence fee - a mandatory tax for any UK household wishing to watch live TV broadcasts - there have been suggestions that the BBC could move to become a subscription service or introduce some degree of advertising.

"For the avoidance of doubt, I do not want a subscription BBC that serves the few," Davie said in his first major speech in post. "We could make a decent business out of it, and I suspect it could do quite well in certain postcodes, but it would make us just another media company serving a specific group.

"The UK's creative industries have been a global economic success because of a rather enlightened blend of the free market and smart universal interventions like the BBC, and our landmark museums... open to all. It is a brilliant national success that future generations deserve to benefit from.

"So we must act now to secure our future and ensure that more people feel the BBC is for them. We all recognise when someone says: 'I would pay my licence fee for Radio 4, for Strictly, or for the website'. But this kind of connection is under pressure and cannot be taken for granted.

"Across the UK, across all political views, across all of society, and across all age groups, people must feel their BBC is here for them, not for us."

The current annual cost of a standard licence fee is £157.50.


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