BBC chiefs want a radical overhaul of the TV licence fee so that the corporation's popular iPlayer online catch-up service is no longer free.
The BBC's technology chief said viewers were getting 'a free ride' by watching its shows on the internet-based iPlayer rather than on television.
More and more viewers - particularly students - are thought to be watching BBC programmes on demand via iPlayer without having to pay for a TV licence.
The BBC is drawing up plans that could include:
* Viewers having to buy an extra licence just for the iPlayer
* Increasing the cost of the current TV licence to include the iPlayer
* Forcing viewers to pay a subscription to use the iPlayer service
BBC technology chief Erik Huggers said: 'My view is that if you are using the iPlayer you have to be a television licence fee payer.
'I don't believe in a free ride. If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder.'