BBC will argue for keeping fee

Negotiations with gov't begins next year

LONDON — Roly Keating, controller of digital channel BBC4, and policy adviser Charles Constable will put together the pubcaster’s case for keeping the annual £112 ($184) license fee charged per TV-viewing household when the BBC’s charter comes up for renewal in 2006. Negotiations with the U.K. government will begin next year.

Barry Cox, a director at rival broadcaster Channel 4 with close links to Prime Minister Tony Blair, called for the fee to be abolished last week.

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