BBC could charge to watch iPlayer to cover free TV licences for elderly - Daily Mail
BBC could start charging to watch iPlayer in a bid cover £650m cost of providing free TV licences for the elderly
- George Osborne this morning confirmed the BBC facing cuts in its budget
- Chancellor planning to force the Corporation to cover cost of free licences
- The £650m cost of free licences amounts to a fifth of the BBC's budget
- Comes ahead of the first Tory budget since 1996 on Wednesday this week
By Daily Mail Reporter
The BBC will be allowed to charge for its iPlayer service to make up for a huge loss of funding set to be unveiled in Wednesday’s Budget.
George Osborne plans to make the Corporation meet the cost of providing free TV licences for over-75s at a cost of around £650million a year.
If the deal goes ahead, the BBC will take on the expense of the 4.5million licences, worth £145.50 each, from the Department for Work and Pensions.
But the broadcaster will be allowed to make up some of the lost revenue by charging people to use iPlayer – which could return at least £150million to its coffers.
The licence fee is only chargeable for people who watch TV as it is broadcast. At present, those who want to watch live BBC channels on iPlayer only have to tick a box to say they have a licence.
The iPlayer charging plan is aimed at ensuring those who do not have a TV set still have to pay the licence fee if they watch BBC services on their computer or smartphone. Last night, there was a suggestion that a digital licence could be introduced for those who only want to watch catch-up TV. There was no implication that current licence fee holders would be forced to pay twice – it is thought they would simply be given a code letting them access the...Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
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