Britons are split on how the BBC should be funded in the future, with four in ten Britons (40 per cent) opposing the existing licence fee model but an equal number supporting it (40 per cent), according to a new ComRes poll commissioned by political communications specialists the Whitehouse Consultancy.
While the poll showed equal levels of support for the BBC’s current funding model, half of Britons (51 per cent) questioned said they would support the idea of abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself, even if that required the introduction of advertisements during programming, reducing the number of original programmes the BBC can produce or scrapping the BBC’s public service broadcast duty.
A third of Britons (36 per cent) supported the idea of abolishing the licence fee for the introduction of a subscription fee paid only by those wanting to access the BBC. Less than two in ten (18 per cent) supported the idea of abolishing the licence fee and funding the BBC through an increase in taxes. Support for the licence fee model was highest amongst Britons aged 65 years or older (52 per cent).
Chris Whitehouse, Chairman of the Whitehouse Consultancy, said:
“There clearly isn’t solid support for the licence fee model and the public appears willing to consider alternatives means of funding the BBC, as long as abolishing the licence fee doesn’t mean higher taxes instead.
“While interesting that older respondents appear to be more supportive of the licence fee than younger Britons, these figures show the huge job of work still be done by the BBC if it is to have a strong hand in the future in renegotiating the licence fee and justifying why the public should continue to pay it.
”The BBC is a world renowned institution of which I am a keen supporter, and it is alarming that its support-base has been allowed to erode to this low level.”
ComRes interviewed 2,049 British adults online between 27th and 29th June 2014. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
Do you support or oppose the following ways in which the BBC should be funded?
|Abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself, even if that means adverts during programmes, reducing the number of original programmes they can produce or scrapping their public service broadcasting duty||51%||34%||15%|
|The current system of a compulsory licence fee paid by individuals who watch live television||40%||40%||20%|
|Abolishing the licence fee and introducing a subscription fee paid only by those who want to access the BBC||36%||44%||20%|
|Abolishing the licence fee and funding the BBC through increased taxes||18%||64%||18%|
Base: 2,049 GB adults
For further information or comment from Chris Whitehouse, please contact Chris Rogers (020 7793 2536 / 07720 054189 / Chris.Rogers@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk) or Mayar Raouf (020 7463 0698 / Mayar.Raouf@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk).