MPs committee casts doubt on BBC funding

- A cross party group of MPs has called into question the future funding of the BBC, amid concerns that licence fee money is being used to fund commercial activity.

- A cross party group of MPs has called into question the future funding of the BBC, amid concerns that licence fee money is being used to fund commercial activity.

This follows a number of recent attacks on the BBC, particularly from Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch attacked the corporation's news channel, News 24, which is given away free to cable stations and competes directly with Murdoch's own station Sky News.

The culture, media and sport committee has said in a report called the Multi Media Revolution that, as the BBC feels a compulsion to increase its commercial activity, its 'purity' as a publicly funded corporation may be compromised. Consequently, its claim to be funded by the licence fee may be called into question.

The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has a turnover of £350 million. It has recently entered into a number of commercial programming supply ventures with the likes of Flextech and the Discovery Channel in the US.