A new ComRes survey suggests that a majority of viewers would prefer the BBC to show adverts as an alternative to the TV licence fee.
The survey, commissioned by communications company The Whitehouse Consultancy, asked 2,035 British adults about their preferences for the future funding of the BBC. The online survey took place on 12th-13th August 2015.
Those taking part were asked whether they supported or opposed the following options:
- Abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself, even if that means adverts during programmes, reducing the number of original programmes they can produce or scrapping their public service broadcasting duty:
- Support = 52%; Oppose = 34%; Don't Know = 15%
- The current system of a compulsory licence fee paid by individuals who watch live television:
- Support = 41%; Oppose = 41%; Don't Know = 18%
- Abolishing the licence fee and introducing a subscription fee paid only by those who want to access the BBC:
- Support = 36%; Oppose = 46%; Don't Know = 18%
- Abolishing the licence fee and funding the BBC through increased taxes:
- Support = 15%; Oppose = 69%; Don't Know = 17%
The results show a slight majority in favour of abolishing the TV licence fee and making the BBC fund itself, even if that meant fewer programmes and the introduction of adverts.
A convincing majority of those polled were opposed to idea of ditching the TV licence fee and funding the BBC through increased general taxation.
The latest poll results stand in stark contrast to those previously commissioned by the BBC, which always (spookily) suggest a majority in favour of retaining the TV licence fee.
The BBC makes no secret of the fact that it wishes to retain the TV licence fee, which brings in £3.6bn per year, as its primary source of funding.
A BBC spokesman said: "Independent research from Ipsos Mori shows the licence fee is by far the most popular way to fund the BBC.
"And the percentage of people who think it’s the best way to pay for programmes like Strictly, Dr Who, Sherlock and Wolf Hall has risen significantly from 31 per cent in 2004 to 48 per cent today."
Under current legislation a TV licence is required for every property where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programmes at the same time as they are broadcast.
A TV licence is needed irrespective of the channel a person decides to watch, even though all revenue generated goes towards funding the BBC.
The BBC is legally responsible for the administration, collection and enforcement of the TV licence fee, which it does under the guise of TV Licensing.