Via The Guardian, we learn the results of an ICM opinion poll conducted after James Murdoch lambasted the BBC at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Not surprisingly, support for the BBC remains strong, though people are more ambivalent about the licence fee.
Most people also question the continued need for the licence fee – although support for it has risen over the last five years. Asked to pick from a range of ways of funding the BBC, including the licence fee, a subscription service and selling advertising, more people back the licence fee than any alternative.
But supporters remain in the minority. The fee is backed by 43%, against 24% who think advertising should foot the bill and 30% who think people should pay to subscribe if they want to see BBC programmes. In 2004, only 31% backed the licence fee, 12 points lower than today.
The poll has been picked up elsewhere in the media, by the Telegraph here, and on BBC Radio Five Live this morning (though I can’t find the story on the BBC web site). Strangely, I can’t find a mention on the Times’ web site. Funny, that.