The way audiences consume content has shifted dramatically in recent years. As we move into an increasingly digital age, with more and more channels to watch and platforms to choose from, I believe the time has come to think carefully about how the BBC and public service broadcasting can stay relevant in the years ahead. A key part of this is considering how to ensure the TV licence fee remains relevant in this changing media landscape.
I know that many people consider it an anachronism that you can be imprisoned effectively for not paying for your TV licence. I welcome that a consultation has been held on this issue and I understand that the Government's response stressed that the issue of decriminalisation will remain under active consideration while more work is undertaken to understand the impact of alternative enforcement schemes.
The consultation did not ask for views on any other changes to the TV licence and is clear that decriminalisation of licence fee evasion would have an impact on BBC funding.
Looking into the future and, in light of these huge changes in the broadcasting landscape over the past decade, I understand the Government will consider whether the licence fee will remain a viable funding model for the BBC. No decision on the future of the licence fee has been made.