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
The self-imposed deadline has passed and it's true that there has not as yet been any breakthroughs, but there are no breakdowns either.
Police investigating the murder of a student found in a burnt out car have released CCTV in a bid to piece together what led to her death
Cynthia Lennon's family announced today that she has died of cancer at the age of 75 - she was married to John Lennon from 1962 to 1968.