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CONSERVATIVE PARTY MULLS SCRAPPING TV LICENCE FEE IN FAVOUR OF BBC ADS

News, 11 August 2000


A sweeping revamp of Britain's archaic broadcasting structure is on the cards as the Conservative Party plans its forthcoming general election manifesto.

In the [currently] unlikely event that the Party gains office, its new strategy could see BBC television and radio funded by advertising rather than the ubiquitous licence fee currently levied on every British home with a television receiver – irrespective of whether or not its inhabitants actually view BBC programmes.

Comments Bob Wootton, director of media services at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers: “"This position is a little extreme. You would have to wonder what the broadcast ecology would look like. I have been arguing within ISBA for some time that a licence fee predicated on BBC1 and BBC2 doesn't have a very long lifetime. But the BBC's recent announcement of a series of new channels underpins the future need for a licence fee and broadens its base."

The Tory consultation paper described the existing broadcasting regulatory system as "fantastically complicated", comprising three different bodies – the Independent Television Commission, the BBC Board of Governors and the Broadcasting Standards Commission. "The dead hand of the State should be progressively lifted, starting with the privatisation of Channel 4," it concluded.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)