The commercial radio industry is to demand the government cut the BBC's licence fee to stop it expanding.
The Commercial Radio Companies Association will deliver its request to the government's inquiry into the size of the fee, which is running as it decides about renewing the corporation's royal charter.
Supported by commercial television stations, the CRCA will ask next week that the BBC's request for a 2.3 per cent-above-inflation increase be refused. It also wants any savings that are made to go into reducing the fee.
Commercial broadcasters are increasingly irritated at the BBC's continual expansion and launching of new services. "Enough is enough," commented a CRCA spokeswoman. "We cannot continue to heap increasing amounts of public money on the BBC to spend on distorting the market."
She added that the corporation should focus on providing what commercial channels do not, not aim to "provide everything to everyone".
Meanwhile, a government study into the cost of the BBC's proposals has said it could make greater savings and would not need so much. The report, by accountants PKF, said: "We suggest renewal of the Charter offers an opportunity to consider the scope for more fundamental change across BBC divisions so as to deliver transformational change."
An ITV spokesman agreed with the findings, commenting: "The PKF work supports ITV's firm view that the BBC's licence fee pitch systematically overstates the corporation's funding needs over the coming years."
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