The deal announced yesterday was more than the BBC could have wished for. It appears that both the Government and the BBC have their heads in the sand. It is incredible that in 2016 the Government still thinks this is the best way to fund a national broadcaster. The Government still thinks it is appropriate to haul people in front of magistrates, handing out fines and criminal records to those who don’t pay for a licence.
Shackling the BBC to the outdated and increasingly irrelevant licence fee for another eleven years will mean the BBC will not be in a position to freely change and adapt as the multimedia, multichannel, multiplatform media world advances at an alarmingly fast rate.
Watching a television in the corner of a living room is not part of the everyday lives of the younger generation growing up today. Many students don’t own televisions, and that trend continues as they graduate and enter the world of work. They are not purchasing TV licences as they see it as irrelevant to their lives, and this trend is going to continue.
This will have an enormous impact on the BBC’s income stream with the corporation struggling to hold on to its domestic market share whilst its worldwide presence continues to diminish.
As a private company earning its income through subscription and worldwide sales, the future for the BBC would have been rosy. Instead, risk aversion is driving the BBC into a dead end as they hold on to an analogue funding system in a digital world.