The UK government’s culture secretary has frozen the annual BBC licence fee for two years effectively cutting the BBC’s revenue.
And Nadine Dorries said on 17 January it was time to discuss new ways of funding the BBC – part of a long-running political debate over the licence fee model which requires anyone watching live tv in the UK to pay the fee even as significant numbers of viewers move to online and subscription services for much of their television.
The move was immediately interpreted as part of an attempt to deflect attention away from Prime MInister Boris Johnson’s credibility problems due to apparent rule-breaking during covid lockdowns.
And it got immediate reaction from people in the production industry, arts professionals, actors and tv personalities supporting of the BBC.
Freezing the BBC’s revenue also fits the Conservative government’s continuing attempts to control the BBC and follows multiple criticisms of its news coverage and programming from various Johnson government cabinet ministers.
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