The Beeb lost 270,000 license fee payers last year

The Beeb lost 270,000 license fee payers last year

Almost two million Britons have canceled their TV license fees that fund the country’s public broadcaster, the BBC, after more than a million tuned out last year.

The Television License Fee Trust’s annual statement revealed that a total of 1.96 million people said they no longer needed the BBC’s service, with an additional 270,000 refusing to pay the £159 annual license fee last year.

Payment of the fee is a compulsory tax, punishable by fines backed by possible jail time for anyone who watches color television, live programming or uses the BBC’s player service in Britain for failure to pay.

Viewers who use black and white television sets, of which there are still hundreds of thousands, pay a fee as low as £53.30 — but those who do not watch live or on-demand BBC programming can opt out of the license altogether.

“The BBC expects its license fee income to decline at least in the short to medium term due to continued declines in license sales from the start of 2022 due to rising living costs and changes in how audiences watch television. content,” the report said.

A BBC spokesman said: “Most households are licensed, sales are up this year and 90 per cent of people use the BBC every week.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s outgoing government has committed to ending the license fee by 2027, which would force the broadcaster to find a new way of financing by 2028, however, it remains to be seen whether such a move will come to fruition.

The broadcaster blamed the drop in TV license subscribers on a lack of enforcement during the Chinese coronavirus lockdown, when home visits to check whether people were watching television without a license were suspended.

Now that such restrictions have been lifted, home visits will resume, although the BBC claims it will try to “strike the right balance between enforcement and encouragement” by sending letters to non-paying homes to show how much they supposedly earn. BBC

As well as evasion, the BBC has seen large numbers of people move to online platforms such as Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Netflix, which do not require a TV license in Britain.

However, others have pointed to the sobering direction that the supposedly impartial public broadcaster has gone under.

After the BBC sports presenter criticized the English women’s football team for having too many white players on the pitch for Monday’s defeat to Norway, GB News presenter Dan Wootton writes Daily message: “No wonder we’re shutting down the BBC for waking up to our team when they’re using our great football lioness to stir up racial divides.”

He added, “Perhaps the BBC should, just for a moment, stop looking for racism in every organisation, business, sports team, TV show, historical artefact, film and politician in the country to put its own house in order.” , citing information that the top-paid presenter at the broadcaster may be white.

Follow Kurt Jindulka on Twitter here @Kurtzindulka

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