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House of Lords opens inquiry into the future of the BBC’s funding

Among the questions the inquiry will ask is 'how will new technologies and consumer habits change the future broadcasting landscape?'

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee has published a call for evidence as it opens an inquiry into how the BBC will be funded in the future.

The BBC receives around £3.6billion of its current £5billion annual income from the television licence fee. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said recently that it was time to “look further into the future” and confirmed a government review of the licence fee model.

As part of its inquiry, the House of Lords Committee wants to address issues such as:

  • How will new technologies and consumer habits change the future broadcasting landscape?
  • What is the purpose of a national broadcaster?
  • What principles and priorities should inform the choice of the BBC’s funding model – and how would any alternative funding models affect what the BBC can provide?
  • How should the BBC change over the next five years to adapt to evolving consumer habits and needs – and what does the Corporation need to do to prepare for the future in the longer term?
  • What actions and consultations are needed from the government to inform its future BBC funding plans?

Baroness Stowell of Beeston, chair of the committee, said: “The broadcasting landscape is shifting rapidly, with intense competition, rising production costs and changing viewing habits.

“Developments in technology have led to increasing choice for people about what they watch, how and when. Our inquiry will look at this changing media landscape and examine how the BBC should be funded in the future to deliver what is needed from a national public service broadcaster.”

The committee said it is keen to hear from interested stakeholders and individuals, including the general public, academics, government, media organisations and industry analysts.

Further details about the inquiry can be found here.