What does your TV Licence fee pay for?

The income from the TV licence fee means all licence payers can enjoy an ever wider choice of BBC programmes and services on TV, radio and online including:
  • Nine national TV channels plus regional TV services
  • Radio stations - 10 pan-UK, six national and 40 local
  • BBC website
  • BBC iPlayer
  • BBC Sounds – including radio and podcasts
  • BBC World Service - TV, radio and online
  • Other apps and online services like Bitesize, CBeebies, BBC Three, Food, News, Sport and Weather.

All free at the point of use, on a wide range of platforms and devices.

By buying a licence you support the creation of BBC programmes and services, and new ways of bringing them to you. Our purpose is to ensure as much of the fee as possible goes towards funding them.

Even though the ways we watch and listen are changing, the licence fee also allows the BBC's UK services to remain independent and free from commercial advertising.

Pay for a TV Licence

Your fee contributes on screen, on air and online

Each week, 90% of UK adults use BBC services1, from TV channels and BBC iPlayer to national and local radio stations, and entertainment, services and information online.

Select a device below to find out more.

  • Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Flatscreen TV Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Flatscreen TV
  • Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Radio Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Radio
  • Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Laptop Find out what your TV Licence pays for - Laptop

How is the money spent?

86% of the licence fee is spent on BBC TV channels, radio stations, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds and online services.

Monthly spend in 2020/21 – £13.13 per household

Licence fee spend 2020/21 pie chart

TV key icon Television: £6.42

Radio key icon Radio: £2.29

Key icon BBC World Service BBC World Service: £1.28

Spend other icon Other services and
production costs: £1.10

Online key icon Online: £1.32

Collection key icon Licence fee collection and pension deficit cost: £0.72

The costs of administering the TV Licence are less than you might think. For every £1 taken in licence fee payments, just 5p is spent on collection and pension deficit costs2.

Part of the fee also contributes towards Freeview and Freesat, and towards the UK broadband rollout, funding local TV channels and S4C, the Welsh language TV channel, as agreed with the government as part of the 2010 licence fee settlement.

In 2016 the Government announced that the licence fee would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017. A standard TV Licence now costs £159.

1, 2 Source: BBC’s Annual Report 2020/21 (English)


General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: