THE head of GB News has said he is “alarmed” by the prospect of the BBC airing adverts.

Angelos Frangopoulos said the BBC’s plans to introduce adverts on podcasts and radio shows through streaming services were “very concerning”.

Speaking at the Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee on Tuesday afternoon, the GB News chief executive said it could make it harder for his company to compete in the advertising market.

“I think it’s really important that ways be found to make the BBC sustainable and that journalism which they do produce,” said Frangopoulos.

“I am somewhat alarmed though at the idea of the BBC entering the advertising market.

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"That is a worrying and very concerning development, particularly when it would make it even more difficult for new entrants such as ourselves to operate in the marketplace.”

His comments echo those of the News Media Association, which represents local and national publishers, which previously said such a move would “profoundly distort competition, wreaking havoc on commercial players right across the media and advertising sector”.

Owen Meredith, the head of the organisation, added: “The BBC must not be allowed to use the might of its licence fee-powered services in the advertising marketplace otherwise the consequences for our media could be catastrophic.

“This would set an extremely dangerous precedent and these plans must be stopped immediately.”

It comes after BBC director general Tim Davie gave a speech on Tuesday morning in which he said he was open to a “more progressive” licence fee.

The licence fee has been frozen for two years at £159 but in 2023 the Government announced it would use a lower rate of inflation to increase the household charge from April to £169.50 a year.

The freeze and rising inflation have driven the broadcaster to reassess its priorities as it seeks to make £500 million of savings, with Davie announcing on Tuesday that there were plans to further cut £200m from the BBC's budget.