BBC should have 'commercialised 20 years ago' claims activist
Defund the BBC's Liam Deacon has accused the broadcaster of "leeching" off of the British public with the TV licence fee instead of working to get better. He has claimed that the broadcaster could have made millions if it had commercialised 20 years ago. Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Deacon said: "The BBC should have commercialised 20 years ago and gone global.
"They should have really thrust British talent and British broadcasting expertise.
"They would have made millions.
"We could have had that but we didn't because the BBC thought it would leech off this tele tax which levied on everyone.
"It meant the BBC didn't have to get better or improve."
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The BBC would have made millions if it commercialised 20 years ago, a campaigner has claimed
Falling audience shares poses a risk to the BBC's licence fee income, a report has said.
The National Audit Office highlighted "some uncertainty over the BBC's financial future" amid a dramatic change in viewing habits.
It said the BBC had been "slow to change" on issues such as the fall in viewing by younger audiences, with "still no central strategy for tackling" the problem.
And "while the BBC remains the most used media brand in the UK, its share of younger audiences has been under pressure", it said.
Mr Deacon claimed the BBC did not need to improve because it had the licence fee
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"Falling audience share poses a financial risk as people are less likely to pay the licence fee if they do not view licensable content," the NAO said.
The BBC's licence fee income fell by £310 million between 2017-18 and 2019-20, to £3.52 billion.
There was a 450,000 fall in the number of non-over-75 households buying TV licences - due to changes in audience viewing habits and more of these households qualifying for a free over-75 licence.
The broadcaster began negotiations with the Government in November last year about the future funding it will receive from the licence fee.
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Defund the BBC's Liam Deacon has accused the BBC of "leeching" off of the British public
The NAO said the BBC should produce a long-term financial plan to set out the next stage of its savings programme, and how it will fund its new priorities.
Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: "The BBC faces significant financial challenges as it embarks upon licence fee negotiations and its mid-term charter review.
"It has made significant cost savings and has identified the need for more with licence fee income under pressure.
"As decisions about the licence fee are made, the BBC needs to develop a clear financial plan for the future, setting out where it will invest and how it will continue to make savings.
"Without such a plan, it will be difficult for the BBC to effectively implement its new strategic priorities."