Thursday , April 22 2021

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi warns over subscription fee – BBC News, BBC News


                                 BBC logo on building Image copyright                   Getty Images                                                    

A diminished BBC would weaken the country as a whole, the corporation’s chairman will warn in a speech later.

Sir David Clementi will say putting the broadcaster’s services behind a paywall would lessen its ability to “bring the country together”.

Not everybody would be able to access the “live important moments we enjoy as a nation”, like Royal weddings and Olympic successes, he will tell staff.

His comments come amid a debate about the future of the license fee.

In December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the license fee needs “looking at”, and Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan last week launched a public consultation on whether non-payment of the TV license fee should remain a criminal off.

Last month, the BBC’s highest-paid presenter Gary Lineker told The Guardian the license fee should be made voluntary.

Some have suggested a Netflix-style paid subscription service as an alternative.

Image caption                                      Sir David said the BBC would “engage fully” with the government license fee consultation                              

In his speech in Salford, Sir David will say: ” The BBC is a great national asset; a diminished BBC is a weakened United Kingdom.

“Sitting behind a paywall, it would no longer be the place that brings the country together for the Strictly final, or Gavin & Stacey on Christmas Day, or the Armistice Anniversary or Holocaust Memorial.

“Nor would it be the place that all could turn to celebrate live important moments we enjoy as a nation: Royal weddings or jubilees, or Olympic successes.”

Sir David will warn “it would be very unlikely to continue the level of properly curated programs for children, or indeed the brilliant Bitesize education services”.


And the BBC “would not have the same commitment to investing in home-grown ideas and talent.”

‘Based on the evidence’

Media analyst Claire Enders told BBC Radio 4 the BBC and the US-based streaming giants were “incomparable”. BBC newsreader Huw Edwards agreed that the comparison was “nonsense”.

Sir David’s speech will note how that if there was a voluntary subscription, the government would have to take over the £ m investment that the license fee contributes to the World Service.

“The BBC will engage fully with the government [licence fee] consultation, but it must be based on the evidence, “advance comments from his speech said.

” A decision of this scale, taking hundreds of millions out of the BBC and the creative economy, must not be taken in isolation. “

It was revealed last month that 823 jobs will be cut from BBC News under plans to complete its £ 250 m savings target by 01575879.

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