What if Scotland votes Yes in autumn 2014 – would we still pay the licence fee – and would we still have the BBC?
In August 2009, at a time when News International were strenuously denying everything, James Murdoch addressed the Edinburgh Television Festival, claiming:
“The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision.”
(Twenty years earlier Rupert Murdoch had also addressed the same festival, saying much the same thing.)
In the Scotsman, Jennifer Dempsie notes that Scotland would have a larger budget specifically for radio, TV, and iPlayer services than at present: Scotsman:
The licence fee revenue in Scotland is around £325m (sadly the BBC are not too keen to publish official figures in this area). If you assume total BBC Scotland overhead and distribution costs of about £50m (including the contribution to BBC Alba costs), we are left with a public service programme budget for radio, television and online services in an independent Scotland of approximately £275m. A report showed the BBC as providing figures for their total Scottish spend as just £102m plus £70-75m of network-related spending. So, a Scottish public service broadcaster retaining the entire licence fee would have a budget of about £325m, as against the measly £175m currently. Approaching double.
Plus, we could get rid of David Dimbleby on SBC Question Time, forever.
But set against that, while we’d still be able to pick up the BBC on our channels, we’d no longer have access to the full range of programmes on BBC iPlayer. Continue reading