Committee on Financing the BBC

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The Committee on Financing the BBC, better known as the Peacock Committee was set up by the Thatcher government. Alan Peacock was appointed to head it.

It was widely expected that the Committee would abolish the licence fee and recommend that the BBC take advertising. However, the final report in fact rejected this option stating:

The main defects of a system based on advertising finance is that channel owners do not sell programmes to audiences, but audiences to advertisers… So long as the present duopoly remains in being and competition is limited to a fringe of satellite and cable services, the introduction of advertising on television is likely to reduce consumer choice and welfare. [1]

Notes

  1. cited in Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, Centre for Policy Studies, 10 November 1991; p.27