Britain’s Tory government has announced the smashing of the BBC’s funding model and is threatening to cripple or destroy the broadcasting behemoth.
It bodes very badly for an ABC that is still waiting to hear its funding fate, as outlined in an article by Crikey that spells out the uncertainty of the broadcaster’s future.
Arguably the world’s most important and trusted radio and television broadcaster, the BBC’s global reach across radio, television and online is unparalleled.
It has traditionally been funded by a yearly license fee (currently around A$300 per year) imposed on anyone who owns a television.
That independent income has also guaranteed the BBC complete independence from government.
But Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have announced the license fee will soon go, and that future funding of the BBC will be opened up for debate.
The change in the BBC funding model is a concern to anyone who supports our own ABC.
The Morrison Liberal government is refusing to reveal what it plans for the ABC after this year’s election.
The ABC’s triennial funding agreement is due to expire this year, but nobody — not least the managers and content creators who need to plan the year ahead — can be sure what, if any, new cuts the government might impose.
Or worse: it could decide to follow the policy of the Liberals national conference to privatise the public broadcaster.
With the BBC fighting for its life, the ABC and its friends should also brace for battle.