Department for Culture Media and Sport

the licence fee

We set the licence fee which funds the BBC. The television licence fee is currently £145.50 for a colour licence, or £49.00 for a black and white licence.

TV licences are free for people aged 75 or over. People who are blind or who have severe sight impairments pay a reduced fee. More information on licence fee reductions.

Why the licence fee exists

The most recent review of the BBC Charter concluded that commercial broadcasters alone cannot provide the public with everything they expect from broadcasting.

There are some things that we value about television, for example its ability to interest us in new ideas, and the way it can reflect the lives of other communities. The review concluded that we need the BBC to make sure these things are provided.

It also concluded that the licence fee is still the best way to fund the BBC.

Consequently, the BBC will continue to be funded by the licence fee for at least the duration of its current charter, which expires at the end of 2016. Before the charter runs out, we will review options for post-2016 funding.

Increases frozen

As part of the Spending Review 2010, the Government agreed with the BBC that the cost of the TV licence fee will be frozen until 2016-17 and that the BBC will take on additional funding responsibilities.

Paying for your TV licence on a low income

We appreciate the difficulty people on low incomes may have in paying the licence fee. But there are many groups with a reasonable claim for special treatment and it is not possible to reduce the fee for all these groups if we want the BBC to continue to provide its full range of services.