One in 25 adults would sacrifice the right to vote in an election in order to keep television free of charge, according to a survey.
Free TV is valued higher than the National Trust, House of Commons and Church of England, the poll found.
Researchers found nine out of 10 Brits believe in universal access to the main television channels.
When asked what they would hypothetically give up to keep continued free access to the main UK broadcasters, 4 per cent selected “the right to vote in an election”.
The research, for Freeview, found that 90 per cent say the main channels should be free for everyone to view, a percentage that is similar among those who currently subscribe to pay TV.
Among the British public surveyed online, the importance of access to the main TV channels (90 per cent) ranked almost as highly as free radio (94 per cent) when people were asked whether everyone should be entitled to access this free at the point of use.
Free TV also scored higher than unrestricted motorway travel (86 per cent), non-emergency healthcare (81 per cent), access to museums (77 per cent) and university education for 18 to 21-year-olds (61 per cent).