BBC fee: Ex-administrator reveals most likely model to help replace controversial license | United Kingdom | News
Journalism professor at Cardiff University, Professor Richard Tait, spoke to Express.co.uk about the future of the BBC and the funding models that could be adopted by the broadcaster. Professor Tait addressed the issue of the TV license and agreed that it needed to change, but was unsure if the time was right to get rid of it. The academic explained that a global paywall mixed with a subscription model like Netflix would be the future of the broadcaster, but explained a vital point the BBC needed to address before making the move.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Prof Tait shared his views on the TV license and, although he agreed it should be changed, he feared what could happen if it was done too quickly and without much thought.
He explained: “I think this is one of the most exciting areas for the BBC going forward.
“It’s not easy, because countries like to control their broadcast quite tightly.
“You can’t just pump content onto international iPlayer and say anyone can have it, you have to go through different regulatory stages.
“But there is no doubt that [online paywalls are] the long-term future of the BBC around the world, to make great content available to people through their broadband anywhere in the world and for them to pay for it the way they want.
“Much like the Netflix model, I’m sure that’s a very important area to develop further.
“But to do that, you have to do a lot of work to grow your network.
“Netflix don’t make money, they invest everything they make in building their network, it’s a very time consuming and quite expensive business and you can’t do that if you let go of the BBC budget. “
Prof Tait then went on to say that the problem with the television license reduction was that the BBC could no longer deliver what made it popular with less funding.
He added: “The current chairman of the BBC is a very successful banker and the current chief executive of the BBC is a very experienced business manager.
“I don’t think they’re not going to look at all the possible ways of exploiting BBC production.
“The problem is that you have to do it to sell it.
“So if you cut, you know, billions of pounds and over a period, we’re talking billions, we’re talking about £285m a year out of a budget of around three and a half billion.
“It adds up, if you make fewer programs, what are you going to sell? If you reduce the quality of programs, who is going to buy them?
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“So I absolutely agree that the BBC should become much more of a global player to tap into.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has announced a TV license fee freeze for the next two years as debates erupt over how to fund the public broadcaster.
Fees will be fixed until April 2024, then increase with inflation for the following four years.
Danish Journalists Association chairwoman Tine Johansen told Express.co.uk Denmark has now adopted a much fairer tax system than the media license they have to pay.
Ms Johansen said the taxation is based on income, as some concerns have been raised that pensioners are paying the same amount as business owners for their media license.
Some commentators have suggested that the BBC runs a reduced service and only provides education news and information,
Professor Tait was asked if the idea had any legs, but he felt it would be “the beginning of the end” for the broadcaster.
He argued that the reduced service would make people less dependent on the organization, which meant that eventually people would switch off completely and there would be no public broadcaster.