A total of 11,583 people responded to the Tomorrow's BBC consultation from the BBC Trust. Responses came via Twitter, the official online form, by telephone and 'snail mail'.
Closing the iPlayer loophole will be worth an estimated £100 million a year by 2021/2022, helping reduce the amount of cuts that the BBC will announce this spring. Already sporting coverage including F1 have fallen victim to the first round of cuts, caused by the BBC receiving less income than originally expected thanks to the loophole.
“If you are going down the mobile route (i.e. away from TV sets) then you need to charge people for internet delivery (at least as part of the licence fee) rather than allowing people who don't access your content through a TV set to get it for free.” - One response received by the BBC Trust on the iPlayer loophole
According to the BBC Trust, respondents to the consultation wanted the BBC to remain a 'something for everyone' broadcaster and continue to appeal to the entire UK population with services and content that are accessible, interesting and relevant to all people regardless of age, location or internet access. But respondents were concerned that the creation of new dedicated services for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would come at the expense of existing UK-wide services.
Overall, the majority of respondents said they were supportive of the BBC’s future plans with strong support for the curated digital educational platform, the Ideas Service, and for the dedicated online children’s platform iPlay, all announced last year by BBC Director General Lord Hall. However, in line with the BBC Trust's previous consultation, respondents said they "greatly valued" existing BBC services and they" expressed concern that the financial impact of introducing new initiatives might mean losing BBC services and programming they love," according to the Trust.
This was the second and final phase of the Charter Review consultation conducted by the Trust as part of its commitment to ensure licence fee payer’s views are at the forefront of the Government’s mind when it comes to determine the BBC’s future later this year. The BBC Trust says it has shared the consultation outcome with the BBC Executive and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which was running a separate consultation on the BBC's future last year.
Rona Fairhead BBC Trust Chairman said:
"Over 50,000 people have responded to our two consultations and they have been clear that their future BBC must deliver the services and programmes they value, while continuing to innovate and do more to reflect the whole UK population. These findings will inform our discussions with Government and ensure the views of Licence Fee payers are heard in the Charter debate."
Read the full report here...