Television: Licensing

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 27th February 2020.

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Photo of Tracy Brabin Tracy Brabin Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has held with representatives of the BBC on the future of the licence fee; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Secretary of State for DCMS recently met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC to discuss a range of matters relating to the BBC.

The government has committed to maintain the licence fee funding model for the duration of this 11 year Charter period, until 2027.

The current licence fee settlement is agreed until April 2022. This includes the licence fee rising by inflation each year. Negotiations for the next licence fee settlement period, from April 2022, will take place in due course.

The government is committed to ensuring that the BBC and all public service broadcasters adapt to a fast changing market, and keeping them at the heart of our world class TV sector.

Ahead of the next Charter Review process, the Government will undertake a detailed look at the future of the TV licence model itself.

And we have recently launched a consultation on whether TV licence evasion should be decriminalised. We believe that it is right to look again at whether the criminal sanction remains appropriate for TV licence fee evasion given ongoing concerns about whether the criminal sanction is unfair and disproportionate.

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