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BBC licence fee shakeup causes controversy

A report by Lord Carter, the technology Minister, is set to cause significant unrest within the halls of power at the BBC with a suggestion that part of the company's £3.6 billion licence fee should be directed to third party companies. In a move to introduce more independent TV to the UK Lord Carter is suggesting up to £100 million of licence fee income should be redirected towards independent companies to make regional news programmes for competitor ITV.

This is the first time that any such move has been suggested and has obviously caused significant concern within the BBC which has been under pressure for some time. An additional £30 million could also be put aside for the production of TV programmes ultimately viewable on the Internet as new technology is to be embraced even more in the future. Despite the success of the BBC iPlayer it seems as though the government and the regulators are adamant that the U.K.'s leading terrestrial TV company needs to expand into new areas.

It was also revealed this week that many of the top stars signed up to the BBC will be asked to take pay cuts of up to 40% as a reflection of funding difficulties and the recession. So far there has been little response from the likes of Jonathan Ross, Jeremy Clarkson and Graham Norton although this could open up an opportunity for rival stations to poach current BBC stars.

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