UK government starts negotiations over TV licence fee future

BizAsia Correspondent



The UK government has today formally started the process to agree the level of the television licence fee from 2022.

The negotiations will determine how much a TV licence costs, and as a result how much public funding the BBC and S4C will get, for at least five years from April 2022.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has asked the BBC to set out its financial needs in line with its public purposes to inform his assessment of the appropriate level for the licence fee and to make sure it offers the best value for money for licence fee payers.

It comes on the day a panel of independent professionals from the worlds of broadcasting, production, journalism and technology are appointed to help shape the future of the UK’s public service broadcasting (PSB) system.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel includes former Channel 4 chief executive Michael Grade, Facebook’s Vice President for Europe Nicola Mendelsohn, and former senior executives of Sky, ITN and Endemol Shine.

The panel will provide independent expertise and advice as part of the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting (PSB), and look at the aims, purpose and overall governance of the UK’s current system.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “Public service broadcasting is woven into the cultural fabric of the UK, but to remain relevant and meet people’s needs in the digital age it must evolve.

We are today taking a step forward in our roadmap for reform of the BBC and beginning negotiations to agree the cost of a TV licence from 2022 so that it offers fee payers the best value for money.

We are also bringing together experts from the media and tech industries to help shape the future of the public broadcasting system and explore the reforms needed to make sure it is modern, sustainable and successful.”