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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

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Monday, 9 October 2017

TV Licence Fee Statistics


The House of Commons Library has just published a very interesting briefing paper on the subject of the TV licence fee.

The paper provides statistics on the TV licence fee and general viewing trends.

It includes the following key points:
  • Licence fee revenues reached £3.8 billion in 2017: TV licence fee revenues grew from £3.5 billion in 2010/11 to £3.8 billion in 2016/17 in cash terms, despite the TV licence fee having been frozen at £145.50 over that entire period. The share of the DWP grant as a proportion of total licence revenue - an indication of the number of over-75 licences in force - remained stable at about 16% over the same period of time.
  • Licence fee accounts for three-quarters of BBC funding in 2016/17: Total BBC income in 2016/17 was £4.95 billion. TV licence fee revenues accounted for about 76% of total income. Around 17% of licence fee income was reimbursed by the DWP to cover the cost of providing "free" TV licences to the over-75s.
  • 95% of households own a TV in 2017: In January 2017 around 27 million (95%) of all households owned a TV set. The number of households owning a TV set has seen a fivefold increase over the last 60 years. In 1956 only around 6 million households (36%) owned a TV set.
  • Estimated TV licence evasion rate was between 6.2% and 7.2% in 2015/16: The highest evasion rate (10%) was recorded in Scotland. The evasion rate in Northern Ireland stood at 9%. In England and Wales the evasion rate stood at 6%.
  • The number of over-75 licences increased, but the share was similar: Between 2010/11 and 2016/17 the cost of over-75 licences was about 16% of licence fee income. In 2016/17 there were 4.4 million over-75 licences in force.
  • TV licence fee in the UK was 7th highest compared to other countries: The UK had the 7th highest TV licence fee compared to other countries in 2012/13. It was lower than in other countries with a similar national broadcaster funding system, such as Norway (1st), Denmark (2nd) and Switzerland (4th).
The remainder of the report contains some statistics that almost defy belief.

TV Licensing has developed an index that monitors changing attitudes towards the TV licence fee. The data collected, shown in graph 1 below, indicates that the TV licence is more popular now with the general public than it was five years ago. The TV licence is less popular with late payers and evaders than it was five years ago, however, we would highlight a bizarre inconsistency that suggests this group thought more favourably of the TV licence fee between 2012 and 2015. That simply makes no sense at all, so we suggest TV Licensing's methodology is flawed. We would also highlight that according to TV Licensing's data, popularity for the TV licence was higher in 2012/13 - at the height of the Savile scandal - than it was in 2010/11. We consider that pretty unlikely.

Graph 1: Changing attitudes towards the TV licence fee.

Data provided by the BBC Trust, shown in graph 2 below, indicates that the proportion of TV Licensing complaints has fallen every year since 2010/11. In the most recent data, for 2015/16, only 0.05% of licence holders complained about TV Licensing, which is half the proportion of complaints in 2010/11.

Graph 2: Complaints as a percentage of TV licences in force.

BARB data, shown in graph 3 below, shows a big shift away from conventional "live" TV viewing towards "on-demand" viewing. In 2005/06 there were 98% live viewers and only 2% on-demand viewers. By 2016/17 the proportion of live viewers had steadily decreased to 86% and the proportion of on-demand viewers had steadily increased to 14%. Until 1st September 2016 no TV licence was required to watch any on-demand programming whatsoever. After that date a TV licence is now required to watch on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer.

Graph 3: The trend in "live" and "on-demand" TV viewers.

You can download and read the full briefing paper here.

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2 comments:

nonroadusr said...

Interesting that there is no dat showing the number of people who don't require a TV Licence (LLF).
I wonder if those figures are increasing.

Fred Bear said...

I doubt whether the fluctuations in Graph 1 are statistically significant. A more useful guide as to attitudes is the increase in the evasion rates in the areas where the BBC cannot carry out private prosecutions. In places such as the Channel Islands where the BBC finds it difficult to coerce people into buying licences, very large percentages of the population don't bother to buy one.