The BBC is once again in the firing line and Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted yesterday that if he wins Thursday´s election the licence fee may be scrapped.
The Conservative Party has never been a big supporter of the BBC and Johnson is not the first Prime Minister to question the way the public broadcaster is funded. But perhaps Johnson may have a point. In the days when the so-called terrestrial channels ruled supreme the licence fee was probably justified; every home in Britain would watch BBC programmes or listen to the radio, but these days I am not so sure.
The growth of new channels, such as Netflix or even Sky does mean that households can live without the BBC. Now, obviously it is a great organisation and produces some first rate programmes but perhaps households in Britain should be offered a form of subscription rather than the licence fee being levied directly. Why not let the public decide whether or not they want a subscription to the BBC like the private channels? These days it does make sense.
I would also say that the BBC has failed to move with the times. There are many programmes which have been hugely successful on private channels, such as The Crown, which you would have thought would have been almost compulsory for the BBC, to buy or even co-produce. The viewing tastes of the British public are changing and more and more private channels are coming online. The BBC can´t struggle on, it will have to change.