Public opposes BBC licence fee in DCMS consultation survey

By Jeremy Lee,, Friday, 23 July 2004 12:00AM

Two-thirds of the public believe the BBC should not be funded by the licence fee alone, according to a report into the future funding of the corporation.

However, the survey, called What You Said About the BBC, also concluded that the licence fee was considered the "least worst" option for future funding, although the public was divided over whether it represented good value for money. Forty-six per cent of viewers did, while 43 per cent took the opposite view.

Overall, the BBC achieved a "satisfaction rating" of 75 per cent but a "small but significant minority" stated that they valued the BBC very little if at all and, in general, the public had noticed a marked decline in the quality of its programmes.

There were calls for the BBC's governance and regulation to be changed, with particular concerns regarding the precise remit and regulation of its commercial services.

The public consultation was launched by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in December last year and received 5,500 responses. Its publication marks the start of the Government's review of the BBC's Charter, headed by Lord Burns.

Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, said: "The findings in this report provide the baseline for us now to go forward and shape the BBC of the future."

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