You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Conservative Party attacks BBC fee

'Top slicing' gets opposition support

LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals.

The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday.

“One option is to consider whether other organizations should be allowed to bid for small parts of the license fee,” states the document. “This would ensure a plurality of provision in key genres, such as daytime children’s TV and current affairs.”

Under the proposals, the BBC would still receive the bulk of the license fee, which generates some £3.2 billion ($6.38 billion) a year in revenue, but other broadcasters would be able bid for a small proportion of the funds.

In addition, the current BBC Trust would be replaced with a Public Service Broadcasting Commission, which would be charged with distributing the license fee.

The Conservatives have also called for a relaxation of current regulations governing the commercial exploitation of programming by Channel 4.

In particular, they are keen to see Channel 4 generating more revenue from the international sale of its programs. Currently these rights are controlled by independent producers, with Channel 4 getting a 15% share of international revenue.

“These regulations were introduced to protect a fledgling independent production sector, but given the size of many production companies this may no longer be necessary,” suggests the paper.

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation will publish its own response to the government’s current review of public service broadcasting in the next few months, which is likely to argue against any form of top-slicing.

Both BBC director general Mark Thompson and Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, have already warned that sharing the license fee would weaken the corporation.

More TV

  • Paradigm's Liz Morentin portrait session in

    Liz Morentin Named Head of Communications for Paradigm Talent Agency

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • Allison Mack Sex Cult

    Allison Mack: Inside Her Journey From 'Smallville' to Alleged Sex Cult Leader

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • 'Patrick Melrose' TV show premiere

    'Patrick Melrose': Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Making 'Passion Project' at Premiere

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin Receives Posthumous Walk of Fame Honor (Watch)

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod

    'Billions' Renewed for Season 4 at Showtime

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • Westworld Season 2 HBO

    'Westworld' Doubles Down on VFX for Season 2 and Bulks Up Crew

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: WEEKEND UPDATE --

    Michael Che, Colin Jost to Host 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON — The U.K.’s right-of-center opposition Conservative Party has thrown its support behind controversial plans for the BBC’s license fee to be shared by its commercial rivals. The idea, known as “top slicing,” is one of several suggestions outlined in a policy paper on public service broadcasting published Monday. “One option is to consider whether […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content