A BBC funded solely through commercial means would fail to serve a universal British audience as it currently does, its boss has warned, after the government debated whether its public funding model should continue in the future.
Established in 1922 to educate, inform and entertain, the BBC creates global, national and local radio, online content and television for mass audiences while reaching out to users who fail to have their interests served. through commercial outlets.
It is financed by a license fee paid by all television-owning households, which is supposed to guarantee its editorial independence. In effect, this forces society to agree a funding cycle with ministers, which often leads to tension.
On Monday, Culture Minister Nadine Dorries, who has previously accused the BBC of metropolitan group thinking, said the cost of license fees would be frozen for the next two years and would rise in line with inflation for four years. after that.
She added that a debate was needed on future funding models, wondering whether people should pay STG159 (A$301) a year for the BBC when they can pay less for Netflix or Amazon Prime.
BBC Director General Tim Davie told BBC Radio the company would lose something valuable if it pursued a business model.
“It serves the British public and all British public,” he said. “The principle of universality is absolutely the debate here. People say ‘can this be a commercial operation?’ Sure, it can be a commercial operation, but it won’t do what it does today.”
The settlement, he said, would leave the BBC with an STG285 million (A$540 million) shortfall, requiring some services to be cut. He added that while BBC production was to properly reflect all of the communities it served, it was difficult to maintain an unbiased reputation in an increasingly polarized world.
Australian Associated Press