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Surely this is an incredible opportunity for the BBC. The licence fee restricts its paying base to the UK, but if it had a subscription model, it could export to the entire world. As the Minister said, the BBC’s own prediction is that it will have a global audience of a billion people a week by the end of the decade. If just 5% of those people were to take out a subscription to the iPlayer at £6 a month, the BBC would recoup the entire £3.7 billion that it gets from the licence fee, but as export income instead of a tax on the British people.