5 reasons why you can cancel your TV licence tomorrow

5 May 2009

The BBC may be as British as shepherd's pie, queuing and Dick Van Dyke, but that doesn't mean you're happy parting with £142.50 for a television licence. The concept of paying for a paper television licence is not only antiquated, but increasingly unnecessary in this uber-shiny digital age.

What would you miss out on if you didn't one one? Aside from live events on television, very little. Whether you're an impoverished student, an infuriated pensioner, Noel Edmonds or just tight with the notes, here are five reasons why you can manage without a TV licence, or even a TV:

Radio is as free as a bird

Strictly speaking BBC radio isn't free - all BBC output is funded by the television licence - but the proliferation of radio tuners - both analogue and digital - plus its availability online and in mobile handsets means you won't be taken to court for listening to the Archers in the shower.

There's an abundance of news content available from other sources

Fifteen years ago, if there was a disaster occurring in the world, you'd usually hear about it first on the radio, and you'd keep listening up until the point you could find a television. Now, breaking news is available online before anywhere elsewhere - not only on established websites such as BBC and CNN, but also on Twitter from the likes of tourist Janis Krums, which is changing the game again. Online streaming mean news and weather reports are available on-demand, so there's not much reason to turn on the News At Ten.

You don't need a licence to watch the BBC iPlayer or other non-live services

A quirk of tv licence's outdated legislation is that it only covers live broadcasts. That means for on-demand services such as the BBC iPlayer that show content after it's appeared on live television, you don't need a licence - a point made by the BBC in both their guidelines for watching programmes on a mobile device and on the BBC blog of Ashley Highfield, former Director of BBC Future Media & Technology.

The BBC iPlayer has access to hundreds of hours of television are available to watch online, for free. Some shows aren't available because of rights issues, but these are the exception rather than the rule. Programmes from across all the BBC's analogue and digital stations are available for up to seven days on the iPlayer.

The rules mean not only are BBC programmes free to watch online after broadcast, but so are shows from other broadcasters; there's the ITV Player, Channel 4's 4 On Demand and 5's Demand 5. All three services offer programmes from across their schedules for free, for 28 days. You need to register with 5 before you can use their service, where you also have to option to rent and buy programmes.

Sky offers two services - a live TV service and TV on Demand. Although you don't need to be a Sky subscriber for the live TV option, there is no mention of requiring a television licence - in fact the blurb actively encourages you to watch the service "at work... or even a wi-fi hotspot". Strictly speaking however, watching a live television service requires a TV licence. Regardless, you're not missing out on much - neither one will let you watch Bauer kick terrorists in the face on Sky One. Meh.

What you can't find On-Demand, you'll find somewhere else

The DVD recently celebrated its tenth birthday in the UK, and now accounts for nearly 90 per cent of all film and television sales. Demand has driven pricing into the floor, meaning you can pick up plenty of titles and box sets for a few quid. Again, no need for a television since most computers have a DVD player, although you'll obviously have to sit out if you own a MacBook Air.

There's also the likes of iTunes for picking up brand new television shows and film releases; there are occasional sales on classic and older titles, so it's worth a snoop now and again.

There are alternatives to a widescreen television

So you've got all this digital content to watch - what do you watch it on? No TV doesn't mean you have to go without the big picture. 32" and 42" widescreen monitor are readily available, and while they still cost several hundred pounds, they're not so absurdly priced that they can't be considered as a replacement for a television.

TOPICS:   Social Media   TV


  • Schexy S.
    I haven't had a TV for 2 years now. I told TV Licensing this 2 years ago, yet every 4 weeks I get a letter reminding me to get one. Pricks.
  • Mike H.
    Be careful, they might catch you with their high-tech detection equipment, They can tell if you're watching TV by looking at your windows to see if there are any flickering lights, and listen at your door for Edmonds saying, "Deal, or no deal?" Aparrently, it costs more to run the detection team than they recoup in catching people, surely, that's a waste of license fees?
  • evilnoodle
    Unfortunately in order to legally own a TV (or anything with a TV tuner e.g. video, DVD recorders etc) you legally have to have a TV licence. Even if you never watch ANY BBC programs. So if you want to watch ANY television that isn’t streamed across the internet you must pay…good old BBC £142+ for 2 channels of mainly C*ap.
  • Gus
    Your forgot to mention that BBC shows lots of rubbish programs and pre-historic films! FUCK THE BBC!!!!and their TV TAX! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJuEmZLJTDk
  • paul s.
    evilnoodle you're talking shit, there's no requirement to have a license simply for owning equipment that is capable of receiving a signal. if it is tuned in and plugged in, that's another matter, but if a television set is detuned and not being used to receive live broadcasts, and only used for DVDs/games consoles etc, there is no need for a license.
  • Chris
    I mainly watch BBC2 and BBC4 and am happy to pay for quality broadcasting. If you don't appreciate the quality of the BBCs sports coverage or Attenborough's documentaries or the science programmes on BBC2 or the music documentaries from BBC4 or Newsnight and their News coverage (although Channel 4 news is pretty good) ..... then you probably think that "Entertainment News" is all the news you need and I guess you would resent paying the license fee and happily hand over £40 a month to watch live cosmetic surgery, Fox News and the Adam Sandler season on Sky.
  • James R.
    Agreed, evilnoodle is talking from his dirt pipe - you DON'T need a license to own any TV equipment. You will need a license to receive & watch a broadcast signal via an antenna. If you're watching DVD, recorded material via PC, games consoles, VCR or any broadcast via any watch again service you DON’T need a license – if the Gestapo come knocking then you can tell them to sling their hook once they’ve checked you’re breaking the law…
  • Nathan
    If you're looking for a way to watch TV on your PC/Mac/Linux computer of the Internet (without a traditional TV tuner), check out tvcatchup.com. You can stream pretty much all the Freeview channels, and it's free of chrage. It works through a web player on the website, but they have also just launched a desktop app (based on Adobe AIR so it works on all 3 OS's) which is looking very promising.
  • Zleet
    No one WANTS to have to pay £143 a year to fund the BBC but what is the alternative? Sanitised advertiser controlled content and chasing viewers with shows aimed at the lowest common denominator. Not to mention most of our successful TV exports are from the BBC. For Sky (main channels, movies plus two multirooms) I pay almost £70 a month (£27 + £17 + £10 (x2)) and mainly watch BBC channels and the Ch4 channels anyway.
  • Matt B.
    When I first moved into my flat I genuinely didn't tune or use my TV to receive broadcasts for 2 months. Despite this I was eventually bullied into buying one thanks to increasingly threatening letters. Should have stood my ground.
  • James B.
    Radio is as free as a bird You don’t need a licence to watch the BBC iPlayer or other non-live services That's just a little bit selfish, no? If everyone did then we'd have no iPlayer nor BBC Radio. We'd be left with commercial radios (which do *not* compare to the BBC) and ITV/Channel 4/Channel 5 as the "main" stations, who are seriously struggling for money even though their quality also doesn't match the BBC! I guess you could watch ITVPlayer or 4OD free online if the BBC went- good luck finding the consistently good programmes on there that the BBC provides, especially when there isn't even the competition of the Beeb forcing them to produce half decent stuff! Also, only the BBC is forced by the government to provide certain things, such as "Promoting education and learning", "Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities". We wouldn't have BBC Alba for example (which is an excellent idea), and there'd be next to no kids' TV!
  • angry
    I only have freeview and I can't get the BBC on freeview or terrestrial because the reception is so bad on each of them...I never watch it as a result and pay the £142...does anyone else have this problem?
  • Anna
    I have a TV and DVD player, and I only watch DVDs... they keep pesteting me to get a license too, but I do NOT and never have received a TV signal here.
  • Mr H.
    Your all talking out your pie holes - the license fee is cheap - I would happily pay £140 (even more) to have Jonathan Ross on my screen
  • Phil
    I'm happy to pay the license fee. I wouldn't necessarily mind if some of it went to other broadcasters to support 'quality' programming but we'd certainly be in a sorry situation without it. Take away all the BBC channels, all the UKTV channels (whose schedules rely on programmes initially funded by the licence fee) and the choice of decent home produced TV suddenly looks pretty slim. And the suggestion that you shouldn't pay the licence fee because "you don’t need a licence to watch the BBC iPlayer" is absurd. If no one paid a licence fee there would be no iPlayer to watch in the first place!
  • Me
    personaly, i think the licence fee should be increased, and be mandatory too all households with a 18k+ income, unless they can prove that they cannot recieve the signal, or afford to pay it. if the licence were say, 200, more could be invested into better channels. like it or not, T.V. is an expansive and growing market, and it needs secure foundations.
  • Jill
    Several comments on here are misinformed. And why link to tvcatchup.com? Yes, it offers freeview, but it is no more legal than watching it on a tv without a license.
  • AJ
    What a load of toss. Scrap the license fee, get rid of your TV, only watch iPlayer on your monitor, and watch the quality of programming plummet to sub-ITV standards. Worse still, watch the UK's standing in the world become a shadow of its former self. Without the BBC the rest of the world woudn't know who we are.
  • andy y.
    SO much bullshit from people who watch BBC content (you know you do pikeys ) but want to dodge the fee.Show some semblance of community cohesion and support creative content not driven by pure;y commercial constrsints. This comment sponsored by Pepsi - the taste for a new soulless generation.
  • Gus
    Bunch of twats with more money than sense! keep paying the BBC and getting crap in return. Put all bbc programs on pay per view and don't send those facists to knock on our doors calling us liars and threatning us with fake motives!
  • Random P.
    And stop paying road tax while your at it 'pshh' roads what have they ever done for me. And might as well drive without insurance cos it costs me a bloody fortune and i've never had an accident. Taxes, for suckers. Never been seriously ill and I drive an uninsured car so I don't see why I should have to put money into the pot for the NHS and public transport. I just work cash in hand while claiming benefits for my nineteen fictional children. When I drive my dangerously unsafe car I tend to do it one handed as the other is used to text on my new Iphone that although I begrudge paying £145 for TV i'll happily lock myself into an 18 month contract and piss away £800.
  • Sao P.
    Nice blog however the BBC is pushing for a change in the law for the BBC TV Licence to replace the TV one. The lefties will be kicking and screaming before their funding is stopped
  • Ducky
    Whilst I agree that the TV Licencing company go about collecting the fee the wrong way ("we know where you live") - it's pretty good value for money.
  • Ducky
    Whilst I agree that the TV Licencing company go about collecting the fee the wrong way (”we know where you live”) - it’s pretty good value for money. A trip to the cinema costs what? £6/7? So if you have 20 nights in watching the Beeb then it's probably already been worth it. ;-) I just think that the quality of programming is SOOO much higher than the likes of ITV, Channel 4, etc. Comedy like Have I Got News For You, QI and Little Britain. Drama like Ashes to Ashes, Life On Mars, the various soaps (that I don't watch, mind). Entertainment like Top Gear. Some amazing chat shows. And if you think about what the Beeb has given us in the past!! Blackadder, Monty Python, Only Fools and Horses, One Foot in the Grave, DOCTOR WHO. It's all good stuff. Most certainly knocks the socks off the commercial channels. Do we really want everything to be as shockingly bad as the last three episodes of Red Dwarf produced by Dave? I think not.
  • nigelg
    @Random Pikey Spot on except I managed to unlock my iPhone without singing up to a n 02 contract so didn't waster the £800 ;) In all seriousness I am considering not getting a license next time. I only occasionally watch football. I think this decision will be vetoed be the misuses though as she likes her soaps.
  • Bin T.
    TV, it's all shit. ITV/Sky is atrocious - absolute junk. But to believe that the BBC is any better is just LOL. The BBC generally just see what ITV are doing and copy it anyway - essentially lowest common denominator viewing.
  • Ducky
    "The BBC generally just see what ITV are doing and copy it anyway - essentially lowest common denominator viewing." It depends what shows you're talking about. Although, the only examples that I can actually think of are the other way around... Earlier Show --> Later Show How Can You Solve a Problem Like Maria (BBC) --> You're The One I Want (ITV) Life On Mars/Ashes to Ashes (BBC) --> Boy Meets Girl (ITV) Strictly Come Dancing (BBC) --> Dancing On Ice (ITV) Doctor Who (BBC) --> Primevil (ITV) In fact, I'm not the only one who disagrees with your above statement... http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=525291 In fact, even Mr Grade (ITV Controller) agreed that the BBC was the content-generator... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1544879/Grade-blasts-creatively-bankrupt-ITV-shows.html "We have been very quick to copy other people's formats," he said. "We've stuck the word celebrity on the front of a copied format and pretended that's good enough. It is creatively bankrupt to be honest and we have got to wean ourselves off the habit." TV would actually die if it weren't for the BBC. Whether it should find a way of becoming self-funding or not is another matter - as are the methods of getting people to pay the fee - but I do know that it'd be terrible for it to ever have to continue with less funding than it has now...
  • THX1138
    "TV would actually die if it weren’t for the BBC. Whether it should find a way of becoming self-funding or not is another matter - as are the methods of getting people to pay the fee - but I do know that it’d be terrible for it to ever have to continue with less funding than it has now…" What utter BS Ducky ! The country as a whole (not just tv) would would be much better off without the bbc ,they are a vile anti democratic & anti libertarian group who rely on thuggery to keep themselves in existence .Contrary to what the bbc believe they will one day be brought to book for their actions & the monies they've extorted from their victims will be paid back .
  • AnthonyS
    The sad fact is the BBC is totally screwed. More and more people have realised that the BBC is now the most biased/socialist organisation in the world... and that is saying something. If the BBC went subscription tommorrow then even the lefties 'happily paying double' wouldn't be able to fund this evil behemoth. The BBC are morally bankrupt (just like the Labour party)... and that's why they use violence and intimidation in order to get their money. The mafia organisation the BBC use is called "TV Licencing". Another sad fact is that the BBC have vast numbers of people being payed to suppress the truth on the internet. There's already a swine flu of them on here. BBC lefties are like a cancerous virus... they spread rapidly and need to be illiminated.
  • AnthonyS
    Dear lefties on here: how much does the average BBC COINPRO lefty idiot earn per year for spending all day on forums spreading lefty BS? 'Mossy' and 'Ian' on the DigitalSpy forum are PRIME examples of how the BBC screws the public over to spread it's lies and propaganda. Do you lefty trolls realise that you are just [Lenin] communist 'useful idiots' ? Probably not. How sad.
  • fsck t.
    The BBC socialist? lol Look at the coverage of the G20 (and any other protest). The BBC is as neo-liberal as they come, they simply follow the government line. Oh and Anthony, lenin never actually used the phrase "useful idiots" - that was a western invention. You need to get out of your house for a few hours a day, drop the right-wing conspiracies. Are you a 9-11 troofer [sic] too?
  • Free w.
    I now live in France due to the way the UK is soooo fucked up, financial and morally bankrupt. I pay a €120 french TV license which is compusarily included in my tax habitation. None of the 'we know where you live or on the database' shit. I watch ALL UK TV via a £60 free to air satelite kit and pay the BBC fuck all :)The channels are effectively highjacked off skys Astra 2a . Do I feel guilty................NO. The beeb should become pay per view and will very quickly crash and burn due to the lack of subscribers to the endless shit they churn out. Nazi style money grabbing 'we know where you live' bastards :(
  • The p.
    I understand that in the Netherlands public broadcasting is funded by a tax supplement. This would save the cost of collection and cut the cost of 11.5million pa the BBC (ie us) pay for litigation and insurance annually. It is obviously not right that an internationally available BBC (particularly web content and iplayer) is funded solely through a TV licence (ie tax) and people who earn less pay a greater percentage of their income to fund the BBC.
  • When B.
    [...] another attempt by the entertainment industry to turn your computer into a television,  it was announced yesterday that the Creative Alliance, made up of representatives from the [...]
  • Jill
    AnthonyS - quite ironic you call people "trolls" when you make claims like "the BBC is the most biased organisation in the world" - which is obviously a load of rubbish (or your view of the world is seriously warped).
  • BBC B.
    [...] Here at BW headquarters, erudite reporter Paul Smith told us last week, how the BBC’s so-far brilliant iPlayer can be used to watch telly without a TV License. [...]
  • George
    So finally - am I supposed to buy a license for watching live streams online or TV channels broadcasted from other countries ? This whole tv license issue sounds like a total crap to me as I just moved in UK and never had to pay for TV before - nor in my country ,nor in the USA ...
  • Seth
    That's right, you ONLY need a TV license to watch LIVE TV! Including online!
  • Seth
    I rang them up and told them I only watch DVDs, 4 Catch Up and BBC iPlayer using my macbook to 27" TV/Monitor. Yet, I still get their stupid letters through the post giving me warnings. Ha **** them!
  • Kirsty
    I live in an area where there is no TV unless you have Sky as the terrestrial signal doesn't get through here and we don't get cable either. Do I actually need to have a TV licence? I don't watch any live feed channels, and to me it seems like a total con!
  • What B.
    [...] talked about BBC funding in passing before, as a side issue to that of technology, and how consumers might fund the TV license in the digital age. Ultimately though, it’s a another tax that most of us have to pay, regardless of your views [...]
  • P M.
    I think why fund a service that helps to idolize something like M Jackson and makes dross like J Ross a Multi Millionare a foul mouth low life. I was not allowed to post the word Sc*m on one of their sites yet Mr Ross can f and blind freely and be paid stupid money for it.
  • Corrupt B.
    Why pay money to a corrupt and bias corporation, Media is controlled by a few to express the views of the corporations, government and of ignorant journalist. Would love to see the downfall of TV, that might encourage people to do a bit more with their lives than take on biased views of the few. And to save a bit of hard earned money that would stop lining the pockets of the greedy few!
  • Tink
    Well, I'm shocked!! So many people have nothing better to do than watch TV!!! I am also shocked that some people are so short sighted that they think £143 is cheap! It is when you have money, granted! The only really sensible comment was the suggestion that below a certain income you don't pay, or get a discount. Before any of you jump in with, "oh yes, that's right punish the worker!!" Think before you react. I used to be a person that wouldn't think about the TV license, having worked and earned a good salary, after illness, and a period of not working for several years ( I am getting better now), all savings are gone! Fortunate to have savings, but I don't now. I lost my home, my lovely car and have had to change everything in my life! I have recently been prosecuted twice for not having a license, because they would not allow me to pay a reduced payment by direct debit, they would only allow me to do this by their payment card. As I couldn't leave the house and then was in hospital for 6 months, I couldn't pay using this option, which I explained over and over again. Tax payers have just paid for me to go to court twice to explain this, and only to reduce the fine and allow me to pay in installments at an affordable rate. I still need a license but can't afford the license and the fines! So I have had no choice but to remove my TV from normal use. I don't miss it that much as I don't watch TV often anyway. It seems ridiculous however, that there are a lot of us that simply can't afford it in the 21st Century!! The Government are eager to get everyone online because communication is, according to them, so vitally important! They have failed with the TV license system so badly, We should at least have the choice despite our circumstances. So while a few of you rant on about which channel is better that another, slagging each other off at having differing taste (which is immensley childish) perhaps you could actually think of productive ways to work together to instigate change instead!
  • enrico
    I dont watch bbc (jonatan ross,eastender,never mind the b....wath a lot of rubbish)+a lot repeat.but I watch ch 4 itv or Italy with a dish .I dont anderstand way I had to pay a licence so all those bbc managers the pay multymilion wages to them self for that crap they produce should be to us to decide
  • john b.
    I won't give you a song and dance but the tv tax is so wrong in every way least of all that the bbc has so many commercial ventures including world and america but closer to homd dave,dave ja vue,yesterday,uktv gold,and many more,I stopped paying mine long ago and have had no problems as they need you to admit to watching live tv and sign the statement well if you just close the door and say nothing then they can't do a thing as they have no power whatever see the tpuc website on tv licence.for all those pro licence fee on here Don't expect me to pay for what you like,if I shop in tesco I don't pay asda just because they exist.
  • Sensible m.
    We all have different opinions...and they're all valid in our own little worlds...There's no need to be nasty to anybody...especially strangers...It must be hard for certain people to come to terms with the fact that their opinion is just that...Their opinion...probably the only people affected by it are their long suffering partners and their pets...
  • Gaz
    I was about to pay for a licence but don't think it's fair I should pay the full fee. I have just moved into my own flat. Before this I lived in a house share where the TV licence was paid for by the landlord. When I entered my details on the licensing website I noticed that the monthly payments were a little high (around £28). I realised that they want me to pay for a full fee up until June and then I would start to pay what I expected to pay (around £11) for the next year. Why should I pay a full fee for only half a years use? I haven't paid yet and intend on ringing them next week to hear what they have to say for themselves! Will report back next week.
  • Claire
    TV licensing operate using fear. They intimidate people into paying with their constant warning letters and threats of the shame of court appearance etc. A lot of people don't pay because they are poor. If I had more money I would probably get a nice telly and a licence,as it is I stick to i player. I only watch BBC programmes and hate adverts. If the licence was a sliding scale according to income then a lot more folk would pay up. By the way on my old estate in inner city Manchester they came round with the cops and tricked their way into the blocks to intimidate the poor,single mothers etc. Pathetic. And I really don't want to contribute to Jonathan Ross's massive salary in any way or the salary of the anti Palestinian civilan director general dickhead whatever his name is. If you've got a computer you don't really need a telly as well-I don't miss it and am soon bored after a little futile channel hopping at friends houses!
  • Steve
    Get real people . . . The vast majority of the TV license is a hidden Tax going straight into the treasury coffers. Only a very small proportion goes to the Beeb. (which is why they are so hard up) TV licensing IS a TAX on owing a TV ! If they don't get their money through the TV license something else will have to go up. Why are the worlds governments so afraid of running a car on H20 - it is feasible - Because they can't put a tax on water ! I am amazed that they are encouraging Solar Power - somewhere down the line they WILL figure out how to put a tax on it ! If they could they WOULD put a tax on computers !
  • Kate
    I agree with Tink esp, along with others that believe the licence should be a sliding scale according to income. I live with my partner who earns under 15k and I'm a student. Its so difficult for us to pay our other bills never mind £140 on top. Which may be cheap for some but is especially expensive for us.
  • Hmm
    Why should people who earn a bit more have to pay more for the same service? The whole point in having more money is that you can have more. It may be expensive for you, but maybe you shouldn't pay for it if you can't afford it? Why punish those who earn a bit more because they do have a bit more money? Next you'll be suggesting changing food prices according to income. Everyone should pay the same for the same service. That's the fairest system. If someone is richer then they should be able to afford a TV license and then maybe an Iphone on top of it. TV licensing should be more clear on the rulings. Because am I right that if it's not an item plugged in to the wall then it doesn't require a license? (hence why pocket TVs never need licenses). And I've heard a rumour that you don't need licensing for live stream on the internet because it's been published onto a public domain. Don't slate me for this, I'm just saying what i've heard, I honestly don't know. Most of us whinge when advert breaks come up every 15minutes and so a TV License stops that! and also allows for BBC to create some good programs etc. Yer a lot aren't great but then they have produced some classics. Also, BBC have a much higher quality sports coverage than say ITV and ESPN (though they show sports more rarely). Tax is a good thing, people should stop whinging about that too. Tax is what funds teaching, the police, NHS and all over government based services. Besides money isn't technically ours anyways! I'm pretty sure in England it all technically belongs to the Queen? Anyways, we should be more appreciative of what we have. At least we can watch TV y'know, some people in the world couldn't even afford a cheap TV set.
  • mrmolecatcher
    check out the site www.tpuc.org, there's a lot of good info on there about how corrupt the bbc is, they've been receiving millions of pounds from the people behind the EU and that is a breach of the royal charters rules, also have a look at a talk by john harris called its an illusion, gold dust info, peace.
  • wotan
    Why is there no opera or classical music on any BBC channel? Is the BBC a cultural desert?
  • angus c.
    I can buy TVL online but I cant quit my TVL online, what's up with that?
  • nick
    Television sucks,the media are brain washing you all,buy a woodburner and some candles and read a book
  • write r.
    Great text and nice blog.
  • ripmeoff
    THAT MONEY I RATHER SPEND ON MY CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM /GAS OR REPAIR MY BOILER ONCE EVERY YEAR OR EVEN SERVICE IT- ITS MORE PRIORITY THEN A CRAP TV LICENSE- WHAT BBC HAVE DONE TO EARN THAT MONEY WE DONT WANT TO WATCH BBC. I find this whole tv license thing to be quite bizarre and an infringement on basic rights. The government is making you pay for the right to access the free flow of information. Then they send enforcement squads around to scare you into compliance. Is this Russia or the UK? What business do they have to tell you what devices you use on your own property? It's also regressive because a poor person has to pay as much as a millionaire. I would suggest that someone start a mass campaign in which millions refuse to pay the fee. It would so overwhelm the legal system that enforcement could never be accomplished. I watch BBC on demand video over here and I don't pay any fee. Now is that fair? I dont watch bbc (jonatan ross,eastender,never mind the b….wath a lot of rubbish)+a lot repeat.but I watch ch 4 itv or Italy with a dish .I dont anderstand way I had to pay a licence so all those bbc managers the pay multymilion wages to them self for that crap they produce should be to us to decide
  • Stupid S.
    Well its an age old argument this, and my opinion is it is wrong. As someone mentioned earlier you dont shop at tescos and pay asda as well. It is essentially immoral. Far as im concerned technology could easily be intergrated that could monitor whether the bbc is being watched or not. Even go as far to not let you recieve that signal unless you have paid for a license. It is a completely corrupt system that we have allowed to happen. If the BBC/government started putting information rolls of toilet paper and they said that you have to pay toilet paper license to wipe your arse with the information, would you do it. Answer is no, we have been very much tricked, we are essentially paying the fee to wipe our minds with shit.
  • gus85
    i think they should just make it like a the sky packages if u dont want it u dont get it
  • Richard
    lol at all these comments, it's a conspiracy! thank you mrmolecatcher for this awsome crackpot consiperacy site: http://www.tpuc.org Stupid Stu points out that "we have been very much tricked, we are essentially paying the fee to wipe our minds with shit" I personally already got bored of my tv when broadband finally made it to my exchange all them years ago, now I just trawl the internet and post comments in message boxes. However IF I had a tv i don't think £140 is expensive, it's just the lack of choice that people really don't like. If there's one thing the British public don't like, it's being told what to do :)
  • Gemma L.
    £145 is nothing in the grand scheme of things. £15 a month!! Most people spend that like nothing and those poor students complaining! I am a student and it means that one night a month I'll stay in with my tv instead of getting leathered!! And if people actually paid for their licence it wouldn't be as expensive!!
  • Ian
    Problem I have with the tv licence is like with all licences, there is no choice. What I mean is, if you find a cheaper electricity or gas supplier you can switch, if you find petrol cheaper at asda then esso you get it as asda, there are less expensive clothes in primark, all the supermarkets have price checkers, products can be bought cheaper through on line retailers blah blah blah etc etc. if everyone in the uk who wanted to opt out of a tv licence by having the bbc services removed from their tv sets did so, the bbc would cease to exist. As a consumer, I want a choice, I want options. And now to top it all off, the bbc are the feeling the financial pressure like the rest of the population and are cutting services but not price, in fact, it won't be long before, just like chocolate bars, the price will go up and you'll get less product for more money. They should also offer different packages such as, if you need bbc between .8am and 11pm you pay one price but if you want the bit between 11pm and 8 am you pay extra, or even, pay per program so eastenders will cost you a pound per episode, if you want to watch dr who that could be £1.10 or something like that, it's all possible in the digital age
  • D C.
    Someone should organise a rebellion, people who dont want to pay the TV licence, and agree, that they do not want to watch BBC at all on their television should have the right not to watch and the right not to pay. They should have a method where if you dont subscribe to the BBC just as on SKY, Freeview, Virgin, you cant gain access to the channels you dont pay for. The other option is to introduce advertisements Wonder what the Courts of Human Rights would thing about this situation, has anyone tested this in the Court of Human Rights. This is a rrrip off Britain in more ways than one, its seems also the are trying to get rid of the middle class, maybe it will be the ELITE, and Just the Surves in the future. WAKE UP BRITAIN YOUR RIGHTS ARE BEING ERRODED AWAY.
  • Noel E.
    The license is necessary as it contributes towards the poor wages the bbc struggle with, for example the BBC last year were noted to have a mere 382 staff earning more than £100,000, with as many as 58 earning more than the Prime Minister's £194,250-a-year wage. Thats very sad indeed! A "100k list" obtained by The Sunday Telegraph in 2010 showed that the total cost of the high earners' salaries was the equivalent of the television licence fees paid by 400,000 tv owning households. However, the BBC refused to disclose the names of the majority of those on the list, or say what they do to justify their salaries. Its not as if they have to, as THE BBC WORK HARDER THAN ANY OTHER COMPANY IN THE WORLD. Some may argue that in our age of virtually infinite choice of media and tv channels other than just the BBC, that their licence fee is unfair and cruel. Yes, thats around £8 million a day from the public - approximately £3 billion a year, but it goes towards AMAZING SHOWS on the BBC, despite our ever expanding world of choice in our digital FREEview age. Ok, £3 billion is a LITTLE excessive, but with our.. sorry.. THEIR poor wages and programmes that you just KNOW need a little more money each year in order to get better, when you watch the bbc you'll still consider their channels in being the best!!! LOL ;) x x x
  • David S.
    Its dosent take an iota of common sense to work out that the BBC is now a politically motivated broadcaster. Most of the BBC's broadcasts are comprised of total B*******. and trash, brainwashing c***.
  • James
    I agree with wotan and mrmolecatcher and hmm needs to read more, especially on the matter of 'money' as few people really understand what it is. Check out my own blog for a complete understanding of the deception and look at the other links people have suggested to you here. Then you will be informed. “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” – Justice of the Supreme Court, William O. Douglas
  • Gvido
    I want to see news regarding flooding in UK. But because of my struggle with income I am forbidden by law to watch it. Thanks BBC I can just wait until floods come and sink my head.
  • Bitter T.
    After all BBC is a network which got footage from Libya / Syria from the insurgents and called them freedom fighters which till date they never boradcasted or published news from the official ruling government... Now you can assume what this network is all about.
  • Topcat
    Can't be botherd with explaning why we shouldn't have to pay , what I do want to say is I don't pay a licence fee and haven't for quite some time, if everyone got online and didn't feel the need for instant grat, the latest news is at your finger Tips, buy yourself a computer/monitor , get a package...the sooner the better, the BBC is going to fizzle out one day, just give it a few years, people are getting sick of extortion, and when that happens the 100 k gang may have to get a sweat on when their SLKs n JAGs are being repossessed, then they can star in their own sky documentorys of how the demise of a system that well out lived its use, could of gotten away with its criminality for such a long time, long live lord savile hey !!!!!
  • shaun w.
    the BBC is government controlled and used for propaganda! it is using OUR money to squander as it feels which is completely wrong! it unethical and illegal so why should we be forced into something we dont want ! it should be a choice whether we want to have a licence, The crap they broadcast is awful and its all repeats
  • john
    i have gotten rid of my tv over a year ago because i was 3 days late buying my tv license and brought to court and fined 300 euro i told the judge it was not my fault because i was on benefits 4 guards grabbed and told me if i new what was good for me i,d be quite i kept talking and i was walked out by the 4 guards i called them all scammers of the irish people robbing them blind they laugh at me and through me out. as of now in Ireland 68% of the people that are in jail, are people who could,ent pay there tv licence, this is absolutely crazy it,s time for every one to get rid of there tv because every thing you see is lie,s, it took me awhile to spot what was going on, but i tell you this take a step back and just see it for you self just get a lap top they hav,ent taxed it yet for the sake of your children wake up and lets get together and stop this madness
  • Dan
    i dont have a tv but keep getting letters threatening to bring me to court form the bbc licensing authority. I do have a computer but dont even watch iplayer or that, just some live sports streaming from time to time. I take it i dont need a license then ? even if it says you need a licence if you own a computer or certain mobile phones !!!
  • Tom K.
    Who do I contact at the BBC to inform them that I will not be paying my TV licence ever again and will not be using there television or radio service ever again,I am no longer prepared to pay for a service I simply do not use.
  • Guermide
    I have decided after my sky subscription finishes to stop paying the TVL, 145£ a year is a bit too much for some crap on TV, as long as we are not watching live feed to programmes on TV we don't need a licence and there is no such a think called high detection machines to get a signal from the TV it's an urban myth and it's one of their scary tactics to get people to pay the fees so they can have their bonuses. They say if you have got a mobile, laptop, mobile phone in the address you need to pay but they don't mention if you don't receive a live feed in those devices you don't pay, they are disgusting people and nasty.
  • mommabear
    Have just received a call from t.v licensing as i haven't paid it since November. I pointed out that im currently paying off my gas and electric which i deem more important. I also informed them that although i have sky, I don't actually watch live t. AS me and my 4 year old rent the movies... or watch catch-up thru my sky box. I still have to pay ot or face prosecution. I opt for prosecution as i refuse to pa for something that i do not want or need.
  • Tony B.
    I am totally confused !!! If I watch commercial tv only ie ITV chan 4 etc.. I dont need a license is this correct? thats why we have commercials. So why does the BBC in 2015 not have decoder boxes? and it should be called the BBC license So I can own a TV and watch commercial or sponsored TV ie Corrie funded TV free of charge without a license is this correct if not why not?
  • Jane L.
    The BBC are paedo protectors. I am getting rid of my TV's and not paying a licence fee any more. I don't watch the mind control rubbish. The news they dish out is all lies and fabrication. Mad Rupert Murdoch the Mossad Multi Agent and his Zionist friends are controlling the media and causing wars and killing people and stirring up trouble and causing racism and anti Muslim feeling, when the only terrorists are the Bush family and the 13 inbred satanic bloodline families. Why make these degenerates even richer than they are already.
  • mjohn
    The television licence debate of how many people they have caught and been fined i don't have a tv licence i used to but just have a standard freeview box which i don't even use as i was told i need a licence i listen to a radio all day and watch Dvds they should scrap it why should we pay for the BBC when they hid certain celebrities' goings on
  • R W.
    We shouldn't pay for tv. We owe nothing. We are threatened and fined imprisoned or fleeced by who? For what? To watch what by who? How much to who, what do they do with it? Soaps & "news"? Anyone remember window tax, would you pay this government for having Windows still. Wake up. Speak up or let them add it to our poll... Council tax.
    I've tried all the things that get suggested to stop paying my license not because of money but because I'm deaf (Tinnitus ) and as far as subtitles go they are very very poor amount of times times I've actually been able to get the whole story or follow drama's etc is non existent in fact thinking back i would say last time I was able to was before my hearing deteriorated to it's present state but these people who don't pay how do they get away with it ?
  • Na
    I think the bbc are afraid of going out of business and are trying to save their ass by scaring people. Will stuff them they are nothing but a bunch of corrupted assholes just another way of making money
  • Doug
    They say its a service but only if you choose to watch it. They assume if you are watching live TV in the UK that you are going to be watching the BBC and should support it. They say it is value for money. Though it costs more monthly than I pay for Netflix or Amazon Prime. I pay VAT on my Television and should be able to watch any live commercial shows I want without having to fund the BBC. If they are as good as they think they are let the government spin them off and make them commercial. Then if they make enough they can provide one or two of those commercial free channels to broadcast the tripe they usually produce.

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