LONDON, England: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) faces a major financial setback following a recent announcement by the government to freeze the present mandatory subscription fee for the next 24-months, which could cause serious difficulties to the state broadcaster.
UK's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Nadine Dorries, confirmed enacting the subscription freeze in the House of Commons and House of Lords, noting that her ministry will begin an evaluation of the BBC financing scheme, which could impact the BBC's future.
In the wake of the ongoing inflationary spikes, coupled with increased programming expenses, the 159.90 pound television usage levy will be frozen for 24 months, while future fee hikes might be set lower than the inflation levels.
The broadcaster's Chairman, Richard Sharp, and current director-general Tim Davie, expressed their dissatisfaction following the announcement, deeming it a let-down for the news giant, while affirming that the BBC might need to impose budgetary reductions reaching several hundred million pounds.
Meanwhile, Dorries said fairness was achieved in the settlement for the broadcaster, which takes in some 3.5 billion pounds annually through the TV usage levy.
Dorries added that the freeze was put in place to protect citizens facing steep living expenses and the current inflationary cost of living spiral, including steep increases in energy prices.
"The BBC wanted the fee to rise to £180 per year," Dorries noted.