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Licence Fee
Licence fee

This is the annual fee paid by everyone who owns a television set to finance the provision of BBC radio, television and web-based programmes and services: the government sets the level of the fee.

The significance of the licence fee is that it constitutes a central element of public service broadcasting, intended to guarantee the independence of broadcasters from economic (corporate/commercial) and political (especially government) interests and influences (The Sykes Committee 1923 and The Crawford Committee 1925, cited in Franklin, 2001: 218). But, in truth, the licence fee has been used as a lever by governments of all political hues, to try to influence programming and policy at the BBC: famously by Prime Minister Harold Wilson who, dissatisfied with coverage of the Labour Government, ...

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