Isle of Man advised to maintain TV licences

  • Published

The Isle of Man is to keep the TV licence - but the government wants more services from the BBC.

A report to Tynwald says the corporation is short changing the island by £1m a year.

And while it recommends keeping the TV licence, it says there should be more coverage of the island - including a daily online news service.

Money from the licence, which costs £145.50 a year, could also be ploughed back into support for local radio.

The recommendations came from a committee set up by Tynwald in 2009 to decide whether the island receives value for money from the BBC.

The report, which took 18 months to complete, recommends Tynwald keeps the licence fee issue under review.

Committee chairman Graham Cregeen said there was an overall shortfall of about £1m per year in the BBC's investment in the Isle of Man.

Independent nation

In this context, says the report, the Manx authorities should push for more island coverage and more recognition of the Isle of Man as an independent nation.

It also recommends the BBC provides a daily online audio-visual Isle of Man news service and further practical assistance to Manx Radio and other locally licensed broadcasters.

Island residents pay the same licence fee as those in the UK but there is no island-based BBC local radio station.

North West Tonight, based in Manchester, provides the island's regional television news and the BBC Isle of Man website carries Manx news, video and features.

The select committee would also like to see a greater degree of Manx-based editorial control over the Isle of Man pages of the BBC website.

The Council of Ministers will now consider the findings and report back to Tynwald in January 2012.