Why freezing the BBC is a really stupid idea
The Conservative manifesto pledged to freeze the BBC licence fee for another 5 years. On top of the freezes they’ve handed the BBC already it adds up to more than a decade of stealth cuts to our national broadcaster.
The BBC is being systematically starved, and keeping this up for another five years will bring the greatest independent global broadcaster to its knees. Entire services will be cut, well-loved series dumped and thousands of jobs will be lost.
Here are just a few of the reasons we think this is a staggeringly bad idea.
Why would you freeze value for money?
- The BBC licence fee costs £145.50 a year (less than 40p a day) for 9 TV channels, 10 national radio stations, a network of local radio stations and an internationally acclaimed website
- The top packages from Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk cost more than £1,000 a year
- The BBC receives £3.7bn a year. Sky has an annual income of nearly double that but produces a tiny proportion of original programming
Why would you freeze a good investment?
- £2.2billion was injected into the creative industries by the BBC in 2013/14. It keeps orchestras alive and invests in the film industry.
- 52% of the total BBC TV budget was spent in nations and regions.
- Every £1 of licence fee spent by the BBC, generates £2 of economic activity.
Why would you freeze a national asset?
- The BBC is free from shareholder pressure, advertiser influence and chasing ratings
- The BBC is watched and listened to by 96% of the UK the population watching an average of 19 hours per week
- BBC iPlayer receives over three billion programme catch-up requests a year
- Two thirds of all UK adults listen to BBC Radio each week. Half of all UK adults use BBC Online each week
- The licence fee is the single biggest investment in the arts and creative industries in this country
- According to the Children’s Media Foundation, the BBC is “the only player in town for commissioning content for kids”
Why would you freeze a global good?
- The BBC had a growing weekly global audience of 308m in 2014/15
- One in every 16 adults around the world uses BBC News
- Radio, TV and online are now available in 28 languages other than English
- In a recent international survey of 14 countries, BBC One was rated highest out of 66 major TV channels
- Russia and China are now investing far more in their global channels than the BBC
Nobody gains from a licence fee freeze!
Help us do something about it. Sign broadcasting union BECTU‘s petition to Media, Culture and Sport Minister John Whittingdale, and join the campaign to save our BBC.
Or you can see the full petition here: Love it or lose it: Save the BBC!
You don’t want to have to think about what life would be without it!