The BBC licence fee will increase by less than the rate of inflation out until 2026 because ministers are concerned about hitting households with higher bills, the Times has reported
The dominant public service broadcaster is in the middle of a funding squeeze that has forced it to restructure major parts of its news production.
Although it generates revenue from its international operations, a large chunk of the Beeb’s income comes from the licence fee paid by UK households, totalling around £3.2bn per year.
The government is due to conclude talks with the BBC over the licence fee, which is currently £159 a year, shortly. The negotiations will determine its cost over the next five years.
The Times this morning reports that ministers rejected calls by the BBC for it to increase the licence fee in line with inflation. This could mean that the licence fee actually falls in real terms, as average household earnings and other costs carry on rising.
A Government source told the newspaper the BBC must be “subject to the same efficiency savings as everyone else”.