Saturday, 30 May 2009



The licence fee

How much does it cost?

A colour TV licence costs £142.50 and a black and white licence costs £48.00. Licences have to be renewed each year.

Who sets the licence fee?

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport sets the amount of the licence fee and decides who needs one and for what equipment.

What does the licence fee cover?

The licence fee pays for the BBC's UK public services. These include 8 interactive TV channels, 10 radio networks, more than 50 local TV and radio services, and

In 2006/2007 each household's colour TV licence cost £10.96 every month.

On average this was how the BBC used your money:

  • Television (eight network channels plus regional programming) (£7.54)
  • Forty local radio stations (75p)
  • BBC Radio 1,2,3,4 and Five Live (ten analogue and digital stations) (£1.17)
  • Transmission and collection costs (£1.01)
  • Over 240 websites (49p)

How is the BBC World Service funded?

BBC World Service is funded by government grant in aid, not from your TV licence.

Where do the profits from the BBC's commercial operations go?

Profits from separate BBC commercial services, such as magazine publishing, are returned to licence fee payers in the form of additional investment in the BBC's UK public services.

Does digital switchover affect the licence fee?

No, if you need a TV licence today, you will still need one after digital switchover.

Is TV Licensing run by the BBC?

As a result of The Broadcast Act 1990, the BBC was made responsible for licence administration. TV Licensing is a trading name used by entities contracted by the Licensing Authority (the BBC) to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd, with the administration of cash easy-payment schemes contracted to Revenue Management Services Ltd, and marketing and public relations activities contracted to the AMV Consortium.

What happens if people don't pay?

Using a TV or any other device to receive or record TV programmes (for example, using a VCR, set-top box, DVD recorder or computer with a broadcast card) without a valid TV licence is against the law and could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

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