The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Our mutual Auntie

12.06.06: THE BBC will be mutualised after its charter expires at the end of December. All licence fee payers will become shareholders with a vote. Greg Dyke, the millionaire television executive who made his reputation at TV-am and London Weekend Television, is named interim chief executive.

The BBC expects that up to 70% of viewers in the British Isles will pay a voluntary monthly subscription to watch its programmes, but it faces a tough battle without the licence fee.

BBC channels and web sites at present account for a 20% share of media consumed in Britain. Dyke has promised to expand the corporation's 20-channel public service broadcasting 'multiplex' and to co-operate with the new Scottish Broadcasting Corporation and Welsh Broadcasting Corporation, established to break London's media stranglehold.

Under the mutualisation plan, all BBC subscribers will automatically become shareholders and elect a new board of management. JM