[Ṁ200 subsidy] Will the BBC licence fee be axed by the end of 2028?

The BBC licence fee is the annual payment required in the UK to legally watch live broadcast television and access BBC iPlayer services. It currently costs £159 per year for a color TV licence. The licence fee system has been in place since 1923, originally as a radio licence, as a way to fund the broadcaster.

In January 2022, the culture secretary of the UK, Nadine Dorries, announced plans to freeze the licence fee for the next two years. She also said she wants to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current licence fee funding deal ends following the expiration of the current Royal Charter on 31 December 2027, as she aims to eventually scrap the license fee altogether. Dorries has been a vocal critic of the BBC, but had since resigned from the government following the end of the Johnson ministry.

The UK's next general election is currently scheduled to take place sometime in 2024 to early 2025. The results of this election could have a significant impact on whether the plan to scrap the license fee ultimately comes to fruition. If the Conservative party retains power, it's more likely they will follow through with finding a new BBC funding model to replace the licence fee. However, if Labour wins the election, they may reverse course on licence fee reform.

Market Resolution Criteria:

YES - The BBC licence fee is formally abolished at any point before the end of 2028. This means at any point before the closing time of the market, the annual, quarterly or monthly licence fee is abolished.

This includes the scenario in which the licence fee is only abolished for the last month of 2028. It also includes the scenario in which the licence fee is briefly fully abolished (so that there is at least a month of non-payment) but later reinstated (e.g. following a change in government), as long as it happens before the closing of the market.

Any temporary freezing or deferment of payment (defined by the government as such) does not count as abolishment for the purpose of market resolution.

Replacement of funding by an alternative payment model (e.g. premium or subscription models) counts as abolishment, as long as the licence fee is completely abolished (no fee is tied automatically to legally watch live on any channel, TV service or streaming service, or use BBC iPlayer).

NO - The BBC licence fee is not abolished by the end of 2028. This includes the scenario in which the abolishment is announced but will only be formally implemented after 2028, i.e. the British public still need to pay the licence fee through 2028.

N/A - Edge cases, such as the complete abolishment of BBC as a media organisation and the closure of the public broadcaster. A comparable scenario would be the closure of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and its replacement by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) .





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