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 - including News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Food, Bitesize, Arts, BBC Three
  • BBC iPlayer - 1000s of live and on demand programmes (including news, sport, dramas, comedy, documentaries, entertainment), box sets and exclusive content
  • BBC Sounds - a huge range of musical genres, radio stations 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

What the licence fee pays for

Watch our short video on how the TV Licence fee supports a wide range of programmes and services - on TV, radio and online.

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.

The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee, and announced in January 2022 that it would remain unchanged at £159 for two years, followed by annual rises in line with inflation for four years from 1 April 2024. 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: