Gazette readers call for other ways of paying for BBC programmes than TV License fee

The majority of Gazette readers who voted in a recent poll think there should be another way of paying for BBC programmes other than the license fee.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:33 am
Readers think there should be another way of paying for BBC programmes other than the license fee.

Former political correspondent John Sergeant, who was the BBC’s chief political correspondent from 1992 to 2000, said the BBC licence fee has become “increasingly out of date.”

The ex-journalist said other ways of paying for BBC programmes should be considered.

So, on Tuesday, January 28, in our Facebook poll we asked: “Do you think there should other means of paying for BBC programmes - such as subscription, programme sponsorship advertising?”

At the time of writing, just under 600 people had voted with 85% saying yes and 15% saying no.

Here are some of the comments we received.

Richard Abbott-Brailey said: “Outdated and outmoded! How much of the licence fee goes towards paying for pointless outside broadcasting? Where a correspondent stands outside the likes of Buckingham Palace, or other buildings, for no particular reason?”

Bill Dodd commented: “The BBC licence fee is a regressive tax that impacts most on those who can least afford it. It is a 1940’s anachronism that has no place in 21st century multi-channel broadcasting.”

Stewart Oliphant said: “I very rarely watch a programme on the BBC, but I have to pay a licence fee, simply because it exists.”

Alan Knighting added: “TV should be an open playing field and the BBC should be in open competition with all other providers.”

John Laws argued: “Don't forget it's not just TV you also get a variety of Radio stations including Radio Newcastle with commentary and updates on our local football teams and other sporting events.”

Jackie Burton said: “We need adverts or how am I meant to make a cuppa or go to the toilet?”

David Humes added: “TV licence is great value for money compared to Sky.”

Carol Whitfield commented: “I voted to replace the licence. Only thing I think is if there are adverts programmes will be on much longer and we wont get as many in one night so which programmes will they cut.”