The percentage of those who would rather the BBC shut it's doors than pay it £120 a year for permission to watch TV, has increased from 10% to 19% since 1990 according to research commissioned by the state media giant. Only 40% said they would willingly pay £240 to keep the corporation going. Those surveyed seem not to have been asked about alternatives to the licence system other than subscription-only services.
The licence fee currently brings in £2.8bn p.a. Former director general Grey Dyke has called it an "incredibly unfair poll tax".
Mark Thompson, the new BBC director general, recently told the Financial Times that he hoped that the tax on free speech would still be in force in 2040. His corporation spends the first £146m of licence fees on monitoring households and businesses for compliance with the licence requirement and on harassing those who do not have one.
The current licence fee guarantees the corporation an additional £230m each year as the number of households increases, regardless of falling demand for its broadcasts.