Almost two thirds of British people think that the BBC television licence, which is currently priced at £145.50 a year, is not good value, our poll has discovered.
The licence cost does not equal high quality programming, according to more than half of those asked, who believe that the standard of television programmes on the BBC channels has got worse over the past ten years.
More than three quarters of people think BBC executives are paid too much and a similar amount believe the BBC’s stars and presenters are overpaid, while the same percentage say that the BBC should publish the details of the salaries it pays to its stars and presenters.
- 65% of Brits believe that the BBC television licence, which is currently priced at £145.50, is not good value for money
- While just 29% say the licence fee is good value
- 54% of people think that the standard of television programmes on BBC channels has got worse over the last ten years
- Just 19% of people think programming on the BBC has improved in the same time
- 78% of people believe that BBC executives are paid too much
- 77% think the BBC’s stars and presenters are overpaid
- And the same amount, 77%, think that the BBC should publish the details of the salaries it pays to its stars and presenters
BBC director general Mark Thompson has refused to reveal of the salaries of the corporation’s stars and presenters, saying that publishing the figures would lead to inflation: ‘You release all this information …[and] actually the danger is the price goes up’, he alleged last year.
In our poll, 82% of Brits said there was ‘no legitimate reason’ why Thompson receives his high salary of £668,300 per year, while just 10% felt that it was ‘right’ that the head of an organisation of the BBC’s stature should receive a high salary.
Six month freeze
Last autumn the television licence fee was frozen for six years at the current price. The BBC’s latest annual report shows that up until March this year, overall spending on talent is down £9million –that’s 4%- from last year, to £212million expenditure. The report reveals that 19 stars were paid more than £500,000 in the year ending in March, down by two in the previous year.
In a report last year, former BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons asked for the salaries of presenters and other top talent to be published in narrower bands, and for the top three pay brackets ̶ £1m to £5m, £750,000 to £999,999 and £500,000 to £749,000 ‒ to be broken up. However, this year’s report is not so detailed, and the top pay bands have been grouped together, rendering information limited to those earning over £500,000 only.