Defund the BBC: Beeb Lost 270,000 Licence Fee Payers Last Year

A BBC logo is pictured on a television screen inside the BBC's New Broadcasting House office in central London, on November 12, 2012. The BBC announced that two of its executives were standing aside on Monday and warned more heads may roll as it battles with a major crisis over …
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Nearly two million Britons have ditched their TV licence fee which funds the nation’s public broadcaster, the BBC, after over a quarter of a million tuned out last year.

The annual statement from the Television Licence Fee Trust revealed that a total of 1.96 million people have said that they no longer need the BBC’s services, with an additional 270,000 people declining to pay the annual £159 licence fee last year.

Paying the fee is a mandatory tax, punishable by a fine backed by possible jail time for failure to pay, for anyone who watches colour television, live programming, or uses the BBC’s Player service in Britain.

Viewers who use black and white television sets, of which there are still several thousand, pay a lower fee of £53.30 — however, those who do not watch live or on-demand BBC programming can opt out of a licence altogether.

“The BBC expects its licence fee income will fall, at least in the short-to-medium-term, because of cost of living increases since the start of 2022, and the continuing decline in licence sales arising from changes in how audiences view television content,” the report stated.

A BBC spokesman said: “The overwhelming majority of households are licensed, sales increased this year and 90 per cent of people use the BBC each week.”

The outgoing government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to ending the licence fee by 2027, which would force the broadcaster to find a new means of funding by 2028, however, it remains to be seen if such action will come into effect.

The broadcaster blamed the slumping TV licence subscribers on the lack of enforcement during Chinese coronavirus lockdowns, when home visits to check if people were watching television without a licence were suspended.

Now that such restrictions have been lifted, home visits will resume, yet the BBC has claimed that it will try to “strike the right balance between enforcement and encouragement” by sending letters to non-paying homes with pitches on how much they supposedly gain from the BBC.

In addition to evasion, the BBC has seen large numbers of people shift away 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 woke direction that the supposedly neutral public broadcaster has gone down.

Following a BBC sports presenter criticising the English women’s soccer team for having too many white players on the pitch in Monday’s defeat of Norway, GB News presenter Dan Wootton wrote in the Daily Mail: “No wonder we’re turning off the woke BBC in our droves when they’re using our brilliant football Lionesses to stoke racial divisions.”

“Perhaps the BBC should, for just one moment, stop looking for racism in every other organisation, business, sporting team, TV show, historic artwork, movie and politician in the country to focus on getting its own house in order,” he added, in reference to the fact that the top paid presenters at the broadcaster happen to be white.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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