> Why should we be the only country in the world to pay a tax to watch TV
You're kidding, right? The US is about the only country without a TV licence, most if not all EU countries pay a licence (higher than the UK) *and* pay for advertising as well.
If the BBC isn't funded by a specific licence fee, there are two choices:
1) It can go commercial. Since the amount of advertising money available won't double overnight the obvious result will be a drop in available money for all channels, and a drop in programme quality. Bear in mind that in the days before Sky etc. the average household paid *twice as much* in their shopping bills to fund the ITV channels as it did in licence fee to support the BBC.
2) Second option is to fund the BBC from general taxation rather than a separate licence. The big problem there is that it becomes a line item in the budget. Parliament can't vote on budget items separately, only yes/no on the whole budget. It is unlikely that a whole budget will be rejected just because parliament thinks that the BBC funding is wrong, and the budget is set by *Government*, not *Parliament*, so the effect of funding the BBC from general taxation is that BBC funding is then set by the government of the day. The dangers in that are obvious, I hope.
Funding of a state broadcaster should be determined by Parliament not Government. Of course, there is a question of whether there should be a state broadcaster. Personally I think that there should be, and that it should produce higher-quality output than much of the cr@p the BBC currently produces.