Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

BBC Ditches Plan to Axe FM Radio Broadcasts

The BBC has scrapped its plan to turn off analogue FM radio broadcasts, thereby forcing millions of listeners to go digital.

Speaking to an industry conference in Vienna, Bob Shennan, the BBC Director of Radio and Music, will announce that the BBC is to retain FM radio broadcasts as part of a hybrid model. He will also urge broadcasters to work together to ensure the survival of radio, saying Government plans to turn off analogue signals could restrict listeners' choice.

A copy of Shennan's speech, seen by The Sunday Telegraph (subscription required), says: "We all once thought that DAB was the only digital future of radio, but audiences want choice.

"We now know DAB is important, but only part of the story, along with FM and the internet. We need to do more before we consider a switchover in the UK, and for that to be genuinely audience-led."

The Government initially wanted to reduce analogue radio services from 2015, but plans were curtailed due to the slow take up of digital radio.

Shennan will also argue that broadcasters should keep transmitting analogue signals to protect traditional strongholds of radio listening, such as in cars.

It might sound obvious, but we still get readers asking about whether a TV licence is needed to listen to BBC radio programmes. The answer is no.

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

BBC Radio Star Investigated Over Child Sex Allegations

Yet another BBC personality is being investigated by police over historic allegations of child sex abuse.

The (thus far) unnamed BBC radio presenter is accused of child sex offences in the late 1990s. The complainant, who has been interviewed by officers working on Operation Winter Key, came forward towards the end of last year. It is not known if the alleged perpetrator has been interviewed, or if he is even aware the police are taking an interest in him. Similarly, it is not known if the BBC is aware of the allegations (although it probably is now).

It probably won't be too long until his name comes to the fore, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open!

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Saturday, 10 March 2018

BBC Trials New TV Licence Payment Terms

The Government has allowed the BBC to trial a new system of monthly TV licence fee payments.

Under current arrangements anyone buying their first TV licence by monthly Direct Debit has to make double payments for the first six months. After these six monthly payments the customer is effectively six months in credit and paying towards their next TV licence. The customer cannot claim a refund of that six months credit until they cancel their TV licence. As the number of cancellations is very low, it is estimated that the BBC has benefited to the tune of £1bn as a result of the flawed system. Furthermore, as most well off customers can afford to pay the £150.50 TV licence fee in full, the system penalises those less well off customers choosing to split the cost monthly.

Monthly Direct Debit customers selected for the trial system, which begins on 1st April 2018, will pay one twelfth of the £150.50 fee each month. As a result they will not be paying six months in advance and their account will not end up six months in credit. Initially the trial will only be open to certain groups of customers, including those nominated by debt advice charities.

The trial payment plan will help manage the cost of living for those who might struggle to pay the licence fee, and was one of the key recommendations from the 2015 independent review on TV licence fee enforcement carried out by David Perry QC. He recommended that the Government should make available simple and flexible payment plans for those facing difficulty in paying the TV licence fee.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The licence fee enables the BBC to produce fantastic programmes that we want everyone to enjoy and be entertained and informed by. But we know that sometimes households may struggle to pay the licence fee, which is why we’ve worked with the BBC to develop a simpler and more flexible payment plan to help those on low incomes."

It is expected that simplifying the payment plans will have the added benefit of reducing the amount of prosecutions for TV licence evasion. There were 159,637 convictions for evasion in 2016 and the BBC estimates that 6-7% households currently evade the fee.

Pipa Doubtfire, the BBC's Head of Revenue Management, said: "The BBC has worked with DCMS on the best way to implement David Perry QC's recommendation and we welcome Government legislation enabling us to run the Simple Payment Plan trial, which has been designed to help those most in need."

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