Have your say: Do you think the BBC TV licence fee is worth £159?

Ross McGuinness
·2 min read
Undated file photo of the logo for TV Licensing. The cost of the annual TV Licence fee will increase from �157.50 to �159 from April 1 2021, it has been announced. Issue date: Monday February 8, 2021.
The cost of the annual TV licence is to increase to £159 from April. (PA)

The BBC’s TV licence fee will rise to £159 from April, it has been announced.

The cost of the annual licence will increase by £1.50 from £157.50 from 1 April.

The fee is set by the Government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.

The new cost equates to 43p per day, according to the BBC. The cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £53.00 to £53.50.

As well as BBC TV and radio, licence payers can stream content on BBC iPlayer, as well as accessing BBC Sounds, BBC World Service and apps and online services such as Bitesize, CBeebies, BBC Three, Food, News, Sport and Weather, according to TV Licensing.

The licence fee model has come under fire recently amidst criticism of the broadcaster over equal pay, diversity and competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as well as the abolition of free TV licences for all over-75s. Thousands of people cancelled their licences in the first half of last year.

Last year, the BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie said the licence fee model was the best way of funding the BBC.

“I haven’t seen a model that beats the current one at the moment, a universally funded licence fee,” he said. “The vast majority of households think it offers very good value.”

Last month, the government said it is not going ahead with plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee but will keep the issue under “active consideration”.

Read more: TV licence fee evasion could be decriminalised, says government

Watch: Report says free over-75s TV licences should continue