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House of Lords committee to launch inquiry into funding of BBC

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries had previously announced that the licence fee would be frozen for the next two years.

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BBC Broadcasting House in London (Ian West/PA)

BBC Broadcasting House in London (Ian West/PA)

BBC Broadcasting House in London (Ian West/PA)

Questions on how the BBC should be funded and how the corporation should adapt to evolving consumer habits and needs will be explored in a new inquiry by the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries had previously announced that the BBC licence fee would be frozen for the next two years and said she wanted to find a new funding model for the broadcaster after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.

BBC bosses have warned that the licence fee freeze will leave them with an annual £285 million shortfall by 2027-28.

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The TV licence will be frozen for two years (Philip Toscano/PA)

The TV licence will be frozen for two years (Philip Toscano/PA)

PA

The TV licence will be frozen for two years (Philip Toscano/PA)

The committee’s inquiry will address issues including how new technologies and consumer habits will change the broadcasting landscape and what is the purpose of a national broadcaster.

It will explore what principles and priorities should inform the choice of the funding model, and how any alternative models would affect what the BBC can provide.

The inquiry will also look at how the BBC should change to prepare for the longer term future, as well as what is needed from the Government to inform its BBC funding plans.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston, chair of the committee, said: “The broadcasting landscape is shifting rapidly, with intense competition, rising production costs and changing viewing habits.

“Developments in technology have led to increasing choice for people about what they watch, how and when.

“Our inquiry will look at this changing media landscape and examine how the BBC should be funded in the future to deliver what is needed from a national public service broadcaster.”

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