While the United Kingdom (UK) government has renewed the BBC Royal Charter until 2027 and confirmed that the television licence fee will last for this period, a medium-term shift from the television licence fee to a household levy is still a policy option. Drawing on the German experience, we discuss the probable difficulties, possible benefits and the overall implications of such a shift in the UK. The article employs a comparative media policy analysis. After a brief history of public service broadcasting funding in the UK, we provide an outline of the recent German public service media funding reform. We point out the difficulties from the German model to predict the future total revenues and elaborate on the suitability of it in the UK context, contrasting the possibilities of policy transfer and policy failure.

BBC, licence fee, policy transfer, public service broadcasting, public service media funding
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0267323118775300, hdl.handle.net/1765/107202
European Journal of Communication
An earlier version of this article was presented at the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Communication Law and Policy Section Conference: Policy Challenges in the Austerity & Surveillance Environment, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 6–7 November 2015.
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Ramsey, P, & Herzog, C. (2018). The end of the television licence fee?. European Journal of Communication. doi:10.1177/0267323118775300