Your TV license can value as much as £ 35 monthly on a brand new Netflix-style subscription

The license fee for BBC TV is “doomed,” says O’Sullivan

Switching from the annual TV license to a monthly Netflix-style subscription service might sound like a good idea, but it could dramatically increase prices for those who wish to continue watching BBC channels or streaming movies on iPlayer, it says a new report.

Switching to a monthly subscription, as preferred by US streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, and Apple TV +, would quintuple prices. That was found in a BBC report titled Value for Audiences, which found that programming currently costs households 9p an hour, while an hour of streaming would be worth around 15p an hour. MPs warned the UK’s poor broadband speeds nationwide would prevent a Netflix-style model by the end of this decade.

The BBC report was released in February 2021 and was intended to explain the value to viewers. He comes to the conclusion: “Compared to the market, the BBC continues to offer a very good price-performance ratio. Every hour of BBC television that a household watches costs an average of 9 pence. For an equivalent video-on-demand subscription service, which costs around 15p, and for an equivalent pay-TV service, it starts at well over 50p per hour. “

Currently, the TV license costs £ 157.50 a year, although it is set to rise to £ 159 next month. The cost of an annual black and white TV license will also rise from £ 53 to £ 53.50 per year.

Under the current rules, anyone who watches live broadcasts – including those broadcast via streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, ITV Hub and NOW TV – must have a TV license. However, you don’t need a TV license to watch on-demand or catch-up shows like the one on Netflix. The only exception to this rule is the BBC iPlayer, which requires a TV license whether you’re watching on-demand box sets, movies, or live channels.

Those caught watching or recording shows without a TV license can currently pay a maximum of £ 1,000 plus legal fees.

The report, which calculated the five-fold price increase, also asked people how the BBC compares to Netflix (Image: BBC)

The Value for Audiences report calculated: “Taken together, a bundle of subscriptions offering ad-free, high quality services comparable to the BBC’s for video, audio and news would be over £ 400 a year compared to a current license cost fee of £ 157.50. “

For comparison, Netflix charges £ 5.99 per month (£ 71.88 per year) for its entry-level subscription. However, this subscription does not include access to high definition streams (unlike BBC iPlayer) and is limited to viewing on just one screen at a time, which the BBC does not require. License payers can log into dozens of devices at home while watching shows, movies, live news, and more on smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and game consoles.

On Netflix, the maximum number of screens subscribers can see at the same time is four. For this you have to pay £ 13.99 per month or £ 167.88 per year.

That’s £ 8.88 more than the TV license after the incoming price hike.

TV license price increases Netflix Style membership subscription price increase UK

Switching to a Netflix-style subscription would result in a five-fold increase in prices, according to BBC reports (Image: UNSPLASH)

Of course, Netflix only offers on-demand TV shows and movies. The service does not provide access to sporting events, reporting, or educational content. Amazon Prime is getting closer in this regard, offering ad-free streaming of box sets, original shows and films, and Premier League football and tennis, to name a few. Prime Video costs £ 5.99 per month as a standalone subscription but is also part of the £ 79 per year Amazon Prime membership which also includes unlimited next day delivery, Spotify style music streaming, Kindle books and photos allows backup.

Prime Video also offers High Definition and Ultra HD streaming at no additional cost. As you would expect, however, there are some limitations. Prime Video can be streamed on up to three devices signed in to the same account – as long as you’re watching three different titles. You cannot watch the same title on more than two devices at the same time or you will be cut off by Amazon.

TV license price increases Netflix Style membership subscription price increase UK

The current government has expressed an interest in a review of the funding model later this decade (Image: GETTY)

On Netflix, the maximum number of screens subscribers can see at the same time is four. For this you have to pay £ 13.99 per month or £ 167.88. That’s £ 8.88 more than the TV license

To highlight how the BBC compares to US imports like Netflix and Prime Video, Value for Audiences suggests removing drama produced by the BBC from competing streaming services. That’s because popular shows with high production values ​​or dedicated followers like Line of Duty, Killing Eve, Fleabag, Peaky Blinders, and Normal People are mistaken for Netflix originals.

After the current contracts have expired, these shows will be made available exclusively on BBC iPlayer or BritBox (the joint streaming service BBC-ITV-Channel 4 for Netflix).

Former Conservative MP Tim Davie, who succeeded Lord Hall as BBC general manager last September, said: “The person waiting for this show to come to Netflix will be increasingly disappointed.”

Earlier this month, John Whittingdale MP suggested that plans to switch to a Netflix subscription model for the TV license would have to wait until superfast broadband became common across the UK. According to Ofcom, there are around 600,000 households and businesses in the UK without access to broadband speeds above 10 Mbit / s.For the context, Netflix alone needs 5 Mbit / s for its high definition streams, with at least 25 Mbit / s for Ultra HD quality required are. In busy households with multiple people making calls, surfing the web, sending WhatsApp messages, and streaming, you need a lot more than 10 Mbps.

TV license price increases Netflix Style membership subscription price increase UK

The UK is by no means the only country with a publicly funded broadcaster, as this international comparison shows (Image: BBC)

Speak with The timesWhittingdale said, “Young people are turning more and more to video-on-demand services. That begs the question of whether or not the royalty model based on the fact that everyone has used the BBC can continue. The roll-out of broadband is very fast, we will have universal coverage, and there will come a time when we would be able to switch to a full subscription service for everyone, but that time has not yet come. “

For its part, the BBC has proposed alternative funding models. Last year, plans were outlined to drop the TV license in favor of a new levy or tax on broadband bills – as this is increasingly the delivery method for viewers to watch shows, live sporting events, Hollywood blockbusters, and more.

In any event, it is regrettable that Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to tacitly withdraw his promise during the general election to “improve” broadband infrastructure across the country with future-proof gigabit-capable cabling to every house by 2025.

It’s a promise Boris Johnson also reiterated during several daily coronavirus briefings last year when journalists and members of the public stuttered and buffered as they used Zoom to ask questions of the Prime Minister. When the national infrastructure strategy was then submitted, the government withdrew its commitment and stated that faster internet speeds will only be available to 85 percent of the premises within the next five years.

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