Survey: British Tiring of BBC’s Current License Fee

One of three people think current system of license fee should continue
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LONDON—Americans aren’t the only ones getting fed up with their pay-TV options, as a recent survey from Cable.co.uk revealed that a majority of the public in Britain are open to changing the current method of funding of the BBC through license fees. Nearly 50 percent of respondents—47.4 percent to be exact—believe that the license fees need to change, while only one-third think it is fine in its current incarnation.

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“I believe that the changing attitudes of the general public are down to the rise of alternatives,” said Dan Howdle, Cable.co.uk’s consumer TV and broadband expert. “We can pay a few pounds a month for Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Now TV and a host of other more specialist streaming services such as WWE.”

“There is a growing feeling that where Netflix and ilk charges us for what we choose to watch, the BBC forces us to pay whether we watch or not,” continued Howdle.

Respondents also claim that the current price is a cutting off point, as more than 95 percent would be unwilling to pay more than the current ₤145.50/year and only one in five would pay more even if offered more content.

However, there is no strong consensus on an alternative to license fees. The most popular alternative is to keep license fees, but to scale it based on household income; just a little more than 24 percent of respondents agree with that strategy. The second most popular choice at 15.95 percent is to fund the BBC through advertising.

Cable.co.uk conducted this quiz as the BBC charter review is currently underway. The survey consisted of 2,000 individuals who pay the license fee and regularly watched the content offered. For the full results, visit www.cable.co.uk