Britain Outlines Future of the BBC

After the government published its report on the BBC’s charter, the network was guaranteed 10 more years of license fee funding, although they may be required to share the money with Channel 4, their smaller rival network.

Structural changes to the network’s 77-year old governing system, now consisting of a board of governors, will be made in response to criticisms of the BBC’s coverage of run-up to the Iraq war. An executive board and an external BBC Trust, splitting the jobs of management on overseeing, will replace them, helping to ensure the BBC’s continued independence.

The BBC has proposed that the license fee, paid by all television households, increase over the next 10 years by 2.3 percent above the rate of inflation. The proposal is aimed at helping ease the transition to digital and increasing the quality of programming. The government is not expected to make a decision on that issue until the summer.

The government may ask the BBC to share the proceeds from the fee with the publicly-owned Channel 4 network.

The BBC’s current governing charter expires at the end of 2006, and midway through the next 10-year charter period, after the country has gone digital, an evaluation of their funding will be performed.