TV Licences - A big turn off?

Recent data shows that TV licence payments have fallen, but as we come out of several months of lockdown, surely more people than ever have been watching a whole lot of TV?

The numbers don’t seem to add up.

So, what’s going on?

Changing trends in how we consume entertainment is one reason for this apparent dip in payments, with platforms like Netflix and NOW TV becoming more popular with every new release.

The fact that UK households could have been struggling financially recently could also be a contributor.

COVID-19 has a lot to answer for, and maybe the TV licence fee isn’t the most important thing right now, but it can serve as a barometer of public attitude, and has even been used as a political football at times.

Emily Maitlis, of the BBC’s Newsnight, sparked controversy the other night by opening the programme with the following statement...

“Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that and it's shocked the government cannot."

Whether or not you agree with Maitlis, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t potentially biased and/or influential. The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, is supposed to be impartial.

Many people supported Maitlis in her actions, whilst others were clearly upset and unhappy with the situation.

Perhaps it could be public attitude that is the biggest reason as to why people are turning off to the TV licence.

The next time the data is analysed we are sure to see another drop in payments, but until then, here’s a helpful reminder of the ins and outs of the licence fee...

You must have a TV Licence if you:

· watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast

· download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand

A TV Licence costs £157.50 (£53 for black and white TV sets) for both homes and businesses.

What’s covered

A single TV Licence covers all of the following in a single property:

· TV sets

· Computers

· Laptops

· Tablets

· mobile phones

· any other device that can receive a TV signal

You do not need a TV Licence to watch:

· non-BBC programmes on online catch-up services

· videos or DVDs

· clips on websites like YouTube

· closed circuit television (CCTV) you pay yours?

If not, why not?


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