Britons think BBC budget is just £164m per year

A new TrendingCentral survey has revealed that Britons believe that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) costs taxpayers just £164 million per year, rather than the £4.8 billion that the public is forced to provide through the licence fee.

A Google Consumer Survey of 1008 Britons asked respondents to, “estimate what you believe to be the entire budget for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the UK per year”. The average response after factoring out answers which were deemed to be intentionally incorrect, was just £164m, while the upper most guess was still only £900m.

The BBC is funded by a mandatory tax of £145.50 per year on the television-owning public in the United Kingdom. The results of the survey will raise the lack of public perception about the true cost of the BBC, and indeed should cause concern within the organisation that the public does not believe that the organisation should consume such vast amounts of money per year.

The figure of £164m would not even cover the cost of BBC property, nor its online presence, nor its technology department respectively. The BBC currently spends over £2bn a year on television programming, over £600m on radio, and £111m enforcing its own tax.

Those of the youngest age group (18-24) were most likely to think that the BBC cost less than £199m a year, while those in the age group of 65 and above estimated higher than any other group.

Londoners and Scottish respondents were also more likely to assume a higher cost, while those across most other regions of the United Kingdom estimated below £399m.


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  • Penfold

    £145.50. A statutory propaganda tax on the population, to support an organisation that only recognises the existence of socialism and its more extreme arms.

  • McRobbie

    I had thought the BBC cost £3.7 billion every year, and that was bad enough ! £4.8 billion a year is beyond unacceptable…that good money is being dragged out of the buying publics pockets and being given to jobsworths on pay offs and inflated salaries. It MUST be stopped.

  • Alister_Troup

    you forgot the money they rake in through bbc worldwide bbc video bbc magazines bbc books etc

  • aanpakkuh

    Only 8,000 journalists, one of whom used to date both nr 1 and nr 2 Eds of the Labour party, although not simultaneously. She happens to be economics reporter, so no wonder BBC thinks overspending governments and public sector final salary pension schemes are good.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362450/Miliband-Balls-BOTH-romanced-Beebs-brainy-beauty-Labour-leaders-gallant-confession-love-life.html
    Then there are also a few ex-Guardian journos on the team of Newsnight. Guardian has been bought by Labour through countless public sector job ads in the paper and on the website when Labour relentlessly grew public sector.
    Covert Guardian sponsoring and generous license fee settlement for Beeb must count as Campbell’s cleverest tricks to get Labour party positive media coverage. Essential study material for students in politics and media.

  • The Meissen Bison

    The results of the survey will raise the lack of public perception about the true cost of the BBC
    You’d hope it might do the opposite.

  • HJ777

    I think the discrepancy must be accounted for by the difference between the cost to the taxpayer and the BBC’s total revenue. It has revenue from various commercial activities (e.g. magazine sales) including overseas earnings when it sells programmes or programme formats.

  • HJ777

    The odd thing is that it’s effectively a regressive poll tax – yet the left vehemently support it.

  • aron lipshitz

    If the Beeb was funded from direct taxation, the government of the day would have serious and immediate power over it. If it was funded by advertising or subscription its editorial and artistic content would have to match the tastes of its audience and spending practices and it would be subject to close scrutiny and oversight. So neither could it peddle its Trotskyite tripe, manipulate the News or have so many piggies slurping at the trough. As the Corporation has strongly favoured the “Left” since the early 1960s, the last thing they want is an “independent” broadcaster.

  • http://my.telegraph.co.uk/members/jp99 jp99

    We are not forced to pay. Choose not to have a TV, as we did years ago, and you don’t have to pay.

  • richjohnston

    What do Britons think Sky’s budget is?

  • First L

    You’re not forced to pay Sky any money under threat of court. Therefore who cares?

  • richjohnston

    I would be if I watched Sky without paying. I was just wondering if the general public really had any idea of the cost of television production.

  • Adaadat

    That therefore means you are denied access to every non-BBC channel. In effect, if the BBC cannot have your money, you shall be denied all television.

    It is a government licence, compulsorily renewed yearly, for permission to own a television.

  • PaulClieu

    Imagine of £5B was invested each year in World class films, TV or even car manufacturing. The exports would be enormous. Whereas in the hands of the BBC the £200B spent over the last 40 years generates about £1B in gross export revenue and less than about £200M per year in profits. A return of under 0.1% or 100 times less than would be produced by most private sector businesses.