Falling audience figures for BBC means licence fee is “difficult to justify”


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A National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed that an entire generation of viewers are turning away from the Beeb and using subscription based media like Netflix in a major blow to the public broadcaster. The NAO suggests that plummeting audience figures mean people are less likely to pay the licence fee because they do not view licensable content.

Professor Philip Booth, Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the findings “come as no surprise”. He argued: “The BBC must be liberated from the licence fee and become independent of government”.

Philip also commented that “Requiring anyone owning a television set to fund the BBC – regardless of whether or not they watch BBC programming – while its audience becomes increasingly narrow, is difficult to justify”.

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