UK TV Licence set to rise £3 to £157.50 | Major Businesses | Business
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Light the blue touch paper for the UK’s right wing media: the Government has confirmed that from 1 April 2020 the cost of the annual television Licence Fee will increase from £154.50 to £157.50.
BBCannualplan 25Oct2019
The rise reflects the pricing level set by the UK government in 2016, namely that the Licence Fee would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017. The increase has been calculated by Government using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation, measured as the average rate of CPI over the last 12 months to September 2019, which works out at 2.00%.

For the new amount, payers will receive from the BBC nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations plus dedicated Nations radio services; one of the UK’s most popular websites; the BBC Sounds radio app; and live, on-demand and catch-up service the iPlayer.

The move comes after the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) introduced a Statutory Instrument to Parliament, bringing on the licence fee increase. Anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer, needs to be covered by a licence and this applies whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.

Aiming to avoid the inevitable media onslaught against the rise, the BBC was quick to note that the new fee equates to just £3.02 a week and that in the last financial year 95% of the BBC’s controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 5% spent on running the organisation.

The corporation added that hit programmes it provided last year included 18.5 million tuning in for the Christmas return of Gavin & Stacey, whilst an audience of 28.1 million watched the BBC’s coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. It added there were a record 4.4 billion programme requests on BBC iPlayer, and the BBC’s election coverage on 12 December 2019 culminated in 23 million people watching the results programme, 39 million visits to the BBC news website the following day, and 100 million for BBC online overall that week. Other popular shows included Line of Duty, Fleabag, Luther, Strictly Come Dancing, Dr Who, EastEnders, Seven Worlds One Planet, Match of the Day and coverage of Wimbledon.

Funding and the justification for the new fee will among the top items to be dealt by the new BBC Director General replacing Tony Hall who will stand down in the summer of 2020. There will be no impact on the free over-75s licence as it currently stands. From 1 June 2020 anyone aged 75 or over receiving Pension Credit in the UK will be eligible to apply for a free TV Licence. Controversially, Hall had suggested that free TV Licences for all UK over-75s should be scrapped.