The licence fee is increasing. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has today issued a Statutory Instrument raising the annual fee from £150.50 to £154.50 from April 1st 2019.
The BBC was keen to stress that the new fee, which equates to £2.97 a week or £12.87 a month, was value for money. For said fee the BBC provides nine national TV channels, regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations, dedicated Nations radio services, one of the UK’s most popular websites, BBC Sounds, and the BBC iPlayer.
In the last financial year 94% of the BBC’s controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 6% spent on running the organisation. Programmes funded by the fee in 2018 included Strictly Come Dancing, Killing Eve, Bodyguard, Dr Who, Peter Kay’s Car Share, David Attenborough’s Dynasties, EastEnders, Match of the Day, and coverage of Wimbledon and the World Cup.
The marginal fee increase is to adjust for inflation and was calculated by DCMS using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation, which is 2.68%. A TV licence is required for households watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer, This applies whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.
Any renewals made prior to April 1st will be made at the current rate of £150.50. Those already paying for a licence on instalments, starting before 1 April 2019, will continue to make payments totalling £150.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.