POLL: Should BBC licence fee be reduced to reflect programming cuts?

David Dimbleby says that TV licence system is ‘very unfair’

The BBC is to broadcast 1,000 fewer hours of new TV shows this year in an effort to save money. Around half of the hours will be cut from sport, with fewer major events taking place in 2023, while BBC Four is showing more archive programmes. So, do you think the annual £159 TV licence fee should be cut to reflect this? Vote in our poll.

The corporation’s annual plan, published on Thursday, March 30, revealed that the BBC must find £400m in annual savings by 2027/28.

The public broadcaster made around 12,500 “originated hours” of content in 2022. An initiative to save money includes “an annual reduction of 1,000 hours in content commissions across our portfolio” – not including news.

Some 50 percent of this will come from “fluctuations” in the sporting calendar, with no Commonwealth Games or men’s football World Cup this year. The remaining 500 hours will be made up from other areas of the BBC, with BBC Four showing more archive content. The corporation said last year that the channel would become “the home of both the BBC’s rich archive and arts & music performances”.

The BBC said their content strategy would focus on “more unique, high-impact content” originating in the UK. The broadcaster is also hoping to save money by moving a number of World Service TV and radio broadcast services online.


All households in the UK that watch or stream live programming are required to have a TV licence. The fee has been frozen at £159 for two years but is expected to rise to £172 from next year, in line with inflation.

Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who signed off the freeze, said earlier this month that there should be no further increases in the licence fee until changes to the BBC’s funding are considered. She said: “I am in favour of freezing it until a full review of how the BBC is funded is completed and alternatives explored.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The Government agreed a six-year licence fee settlement in January 2022 which froze the licence fee for two years, with increases in line with inflation from 2024. It is not for the BBC to speculate on what inflation might be and how that might impact the licence fee in future years.

“Ultimately it is for Government to set and confirm the cost of a licence each year. The BBC will continue to focus on what it does best: working to deliver world-class content and value for all its audiences.”

So what do YOU think? Should BBC licence fee be reduced to reflect programming cuts? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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