The BBC is considering a charge for web users viewing archive content on their iPlayer service.
Under the controversial plan viewers would "pay-per-view" to watch thousands of hours worth of online programmes after they have expired past the usual 7-day window.
Given the BBC repeats almost half of its archive content on mainstream channels anyway, the move is likely to anger licence fee payers who already subsidise the Corporation to the tune of £145.50 annually. Furthermore, fellow public service broadcaster Channel 4, who are not subsidised by the licence fee at all, already allow much wider free access to their online archive and have no plans to implement a fee.
A BBC spokesman told the Guardian: "We never stop future-gazing at the BBC and there are always a number of new ideas under discussion.
"Any such ideas would need to be developed in conjunction with the industry and with rights-holders and they would certainly not lead to a two-tier licence fee."
The BBC would not be able to implement the plan until the licence fee is unfrozen in 2016.