UK commercial television companies have welcomed a government decision today not to introduce a supplementary BBC licence fee for digital TV.
Instead the television licence fee will be increased by £3 from April to £104. The move will bring the BBC an average of £200 million in extra funding a year.
This is nothing like the figure the BBC was hoping to receive from an extra digital TV tax, which could have added something like £24 to the cost of a television licence. The digital fee was proposed by the economist, Gavyn Davies in his report on the future funding of the BBC.
The BBC digital TV fee came under sustained attack from an alliance of commercial broadcasters, including BSkyB and ITV. They argued that digital licence fee would give the BBC an unfair advantage in the race to develop digital television services.