New Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said the BBC faces a review of "everything" when its charter comes up for renewal, including all aspects of how the corporation is run and funded.
Mr Javid said plans for the process of renewing the charter, which expires in December 2016, were being worked on.
He told Total Politics: "We will announce plans in due course. That will be a time to look at all aspects of the BBC: governance arrangements, licence fees and so forth. That's where we plan to look at everything."
Senior Tories, including the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee John Whittingdale, are understood to be keen to see the licence fee axed.
But BBC executives insist a subscription system could end up costing viewers more money than the current £145.50 annual charge.
More top news
Donald Trump has indicated he does not intend to block the release of thousands of secret files about the assassination of John F Kennedy.
Storm Brian will track off into the north sea later tonight. Blustery tomorrow.
The Evening Standard airbrushed the singer's braids from its front cover.