The BBC could be made to scrap the TV licence and charge a Netflix-style fee, the culture secretary has suggested.
Nicky Morgan has opened the door to the BBC becoming a subscription service, saying she was “open-minded” about a change if it would raise enough revenue for the corporation. Giving evidence to the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee, Ms Morgan was asked by the Tory MP Julian Knight: “The BBC moving to a subscription service is being floated as a potential policy for the next Conservative manifesto. What is your view?” She replied: “I would need to understand what that would do to their income. I think that the BBC is a very important institution, it’s an enormous part of our soft power around the world, but undoubtedly the sector is changing. We all know from streaming services and the way the younger generation consume services, it is going to change.
”She added: “I am open-minded and I will listen to evidence on all sides.”
Hmm. She actually sounds rather non-committal, doesn't she?
Meanwhile, also as per The Times, the BBC has scrapped its virtual reality project (and, no, that doesn't mean Reality Check!):
The national broadcaster confirmed the closure this week of its VR hub team, responsible for the production and commissioning of films.
The unit was founded in 2017 after Facebook launched the Oculus Rift headset, when companies were convinced of the technology’s potential.
It released well-reviewed experiences including 1943 Berlin Blitz, a recreation of a Second World War bombing raid. The films are believed to have attracted tiny audiences, however, compared with other BBC content.
The BBC declined to disclose how much was spent on VR projects. Members of the team will be moved to other work. A spokeswoman said: “It has been an important part of our charter commitment to promote technological innovation and maintain a leading role in research and development which benefits the whole industry.”