The BBC has published a report looking at what would happen if viewers and listeners were unable to access any of its content or services.
The “deprivation study”, conducted by MTM, involved 80 homes who had their BBC services withdrawn for nine days.
Just under 200 people, based in 16 different locations in the UK and with a mix of views about the BBC, took part.
The research focused primarily on licence-fee paying households who felt the BBC was of no or little value to them. Of the 80 households involved, 30 initially said they wanted to pay nothing and not receive the BBC and another 30 only wanted to pay less than the full licence fee. A control group of 20 who were willing to pay the full licence fee was also included.
They were unable to access any BBC services, across TV, radio, online and apps, for nine days, covering two full weekends. They were also not permitted to watch any BBC content available on other services such as Netflix or YouTube. In return they received the cost of the licence fee for those days, which worked out at about £3.90.
On completing the study 42 of the 60 households, or 70 per cent, who initially wanted to either pay nothing or less said they were willing to pay the full licence fee or more in return for the BBC.
Among the reasons for the change of view were a realisation that they had underestimated the amount of BBC content and services they consumed in their daily lives, including missing out on high-profile dramas, event TV and live sport; missing CBeebies and CBBC; missing BBC iPlayer; missing the BBC radio stations/Sounds; and missing BBC online services.
Other factors were an increased understanding of the variety of services the licence fee pays for; the high quality of content; missing content without advertising; and greater recognition of the cultural and societal role of the BBC in UK life.
The full report is available here.