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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Freezing the price of the licence fee for two years (which will then rise in line with inflation for the following four years) will leave the BBC with a hole to fill: the broadcaster has said that by fiscal 2027 the annual deficit will be c.£285 million

Despite an increased borrowing limit of £750 million, commercial returns will be insufficient to plug the gaps

With 148 regulatory quotas and targets to meet as part of its operating licence, it is likely that the BBC will topslice content and services expenditure, rather than axing content and services wholesale

Claire said "The licence fee actually does act like a subscription. It's just a universal subscription and it's for a different kind of service all together to Netflix. It is public service broadcasting."

"I think it's very unlikely that that system will have run to the end of its road with the public. The BBC is right to offer its services free of charge universally."


Arrived discreetly in Europe by targeting small sports and "saying that it is content to be number two", DAZN "surprised" observers in March 2021 by taking "an important position" in Italian football with Telecom Italia , believes François Godard , analyst at Enders. 

“Since then, DAZN has established itself in the main markets, in particular by seizing the opportunity of partnerships with distributors such as incumbent telecom operators, who want to invest less [DAZN is allied with Telefónica in Spain, Ed], explains the analyst. In France, it would be logical for DAZN to buy BeIN, which has returned to profit since its distribution partnership with Canal+. 

Claire pointed to the technical complexities of a subscription system, and repeated an old adage that whilst the licence fee wasn’t perfect, it was “the least worst option” for the BBC. Looking at the institution itself, she said the BBC “has an authority and ethos that the world knows and understands”, and believes it is paradoxical that the Conservatives are looking to “undermine” it.

She added “Taking away the licence fee is tantamount to destroying the BBC.”