The BBC licence fee may be set to change, with culture secretary Nicky Morgan saying she is open to considering alternative options for the broadcaster.
The cabinet minister made the comments following a select committee hearing, in which the Conservative MP for Solihull Julian Knight asked her to consider ditching the licence fee, with a Netflix-style subscription service as a policy for an upcoming election manifesto.
“I’m open-minded and I will have decisions and listen to evidence on all sides,” she said.
“What I haven’t seen is any evidence, either way, what a subscription-based system would do in terms of the revenue.
“The licence fee last year raised £3.7bn for the BBC. They obviously have other sources of income as well. So I would need to understand what, if you were going to change, that would do to their income.”
However, sources have since told The Guardian that altering the licence fee is not a priority for Morgan, with the model to stay in place until at least 2027.
The news comes after there was widespread furore when the BBC announced earlier this year that it would scrap free licences for over-75s from 2020.
Under the new rules, only low-income households where one person receives the pension credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence.
Morgan has since said she would not intervene in the BBC’s decision to abolish free TV licences for over-75s.
The decision means around 3.7 million elderly people will have to pay £154.50 a year.