TV licence to rise by £4 a year to £154.50 from April 1, BBC confirms

From April 1 this year, bill payers will have to fork out £154.50 a year up from £150.50.

It's the third year in a row that the annual fee – which funds BBC programming – has gone up for households.

The Government is responsible for setting the licence fee and announced in 2016 that it would be increasing the amount Brits pay to watch the telly to reflect inflation.

Now, it will cost viewers £2.97 a week or £12.87 a month which pays for the BBC to bradcast programmes like Killing Eve, Strictly Come Dancing and Match of the Day, as well as publicly funded radio stations like Radio 1.

Telly viewers will have to pay the fee whether they watch live TV or on programmes on BBC iPlayer on any device.

How to watch TV legally without paying for a licence

In recent years, this has been extended to include BBC programmes on iPlayer, whether they are live, catch up or on demand. But does everyone really need a licence? Here’s the lowdown on how to avoid paying – legally.

On demand TV – like catch-up TV and on demand previews – which are available through services like ITV Player , All4 , My5 , BT Vision/BT TV , Virgin Media , Sky Go , Now TV, Apple TV, Chromecast , Roku and Amazon Fire TV

On demand movies – from services like Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

Recorded films and programmes – either via DVD or Blu-ray, or downloaded from the internet

YouTube – On demand video clips through services like YouTube

Licence fee payers will receive a reminder or a payment plan showing the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.

Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1 2019 will have to pay the new fee.

If you pay via monthly or weekly plan which has started before April then you will continue to pay the old fee until the licence is up for renewal.

Almost 3.5million Brits cancelled their TV licence fee between 2014 and 2018 — a rate of almost one million a year.

Many are snubbing the BBC in favour of streaming sites such as Netflix, statistics reveal.

Between 2010 and 2017, the licence fee stood at £147 a year meaning that it has shot up by almost £8 over the past three years.

More to follow…

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