A new report by the Adam Smith Institute calls for the TV licence fee to be scrapped in order for the BBC to become a global player rather than a ‘subsidy junkie’.
The report says that the growing use of the Internet to watch TV means that the licence fee is outdated and it should be replaced with voluntary subscriptions for drama and entertainment programmes.
The Institute, which promotes the free market, points to Sky’s successful subscription model as the way forward for the BBC, although it recommends that news and children’s programmes should remain free to view.
The report, “Global Player or Subsidy Junkie? Decision Time for the BBC”, was written by David Graham, a former BBC producer.
However Geraint Talfan Davies, chairman of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, has spoken out against the report’s recommendations, claiming that the amount of new programming would fall in the absence of a licence fee.
With more and more television being watched on the Internet, the coalition government is currently reviewing the licence fee model for the BBC.
While it seems unlikely that a licence fee will be introduced for PCs, the government is looking at ways to stop people watching content paid for by licence payers for free.