ITV rejects BBC digital licence levy

ITV has rejected proposals for a digital licence fee contained in the Gavyn Davies report into BBC funding in its formal submission to culture secretary Chris Smith.

The funding review panel recommended a &£24 levy for people who take up digital services, greater scrutiny of the corporation’s spending and partial privatisation of some parts of the organisation.

Richard Eyre, ITV’s outgoing chief executive, says: “We reject the panel’s proposal to introduce a digital licence fee because we believe there is scope for more investment on programmes and services for the benefit of the public from within the BBC’s existing budget.”

He says ITV welcomes Smith’s announcement that he will appoint independent consultants to examine the BBC’s financial projections before coming to a decision on whether the BBC needs more funding. The BBC, which has an annual income of &£2.2bn, says it needs an extra &£650m.

Eyre says: “A strong BBC is vital not only for viewers but for British broadcasting as a whole. The benefits of the licence fee as a universal funding mechanism paid by everybody remain undiminished.”

But he stressed that the licence fee depends on public concensus, and that a case had not been made for extra digital funding.

The ITV shareholders have already attacked the proposed digital supplement as a “digital poll tax” that will discourage take-up of new services. Two of the ITV companies, Carlton and Granada, are joint owners of digital broadcaster ONdigital.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here