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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Can the TV Licence Survive in the Digital Age?

Please note that in line with public health guidance, this event has now been postponed. We are looking to reschedule at an appropriate time in the future and will update this page as soon as possible.

The Conservatives' election victory has re-sparked a debate about how the BBC is funded and whether the licence fee remains the fairest and most appropriate model. The government has now begun a public consultation on decriminalising non-payment of the fee, and the Prime Minister himself has remarked that he is 'looking at' scrapping it altogether.This is within the context of an increasingly challenging media landscape for public service broadcasters as they strive to compete with digital streaming giants and respond to declining youth audiences.

With the upcoming appointment of a new director general and the next licence fee review due in 2022, the future of BBC looks set to stay at the top of the political agenda. At this event, our speakers will discuss the current licence fee arrangement and what a progressive and democratic approach to funding public service media, fit for the digital age, would look like. We’ll explore alternative funding models, how these can fit with the aims and responsibilities of public service broadcasting along with ensuring that the BBC remains accountable to the general public.

This event will take place on Wednesday 1st April, 17.30-19.00 at IPPR 14 Buckingham Street, London, WC2N 6DF. Please arrive promptly at 17.15 for a 17.30 start. 


  • representative, BBC (invited)

  • Julian Knight MP, Chair, DCMS Select Committee (invited)

  • Claire Enders, Founder, Enders Analysis 

  • Justin Schlosberg, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media, Birkbeck, University of London 

  • Chair: Mark di Stefano, Media & Tech Reporter, Financial Times 

IPPR is hosting this event ahead of the IPPR Oxford Media Convention 2020 which will take place this summer. The Oxford Media Convention, now it in it’s 19th consecutive year, is the leading gathering of the media industry. To hear more about the Convention when it is launched, sign-up to IPPR's Newsletter here and select 'IPPR Oxford Media Convention' when prompted.