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TV Licence Cancellations Rise as People Go Full Streaming

By Gary Cutlack on at

The number of people cancelling their TV licences has risen for the first time in five years, with the suspicious finger and squinting eye of blame pointing in the direction of those troublesome young-ish people who are more interested in the kudos of having a streaming account than indirectly bankrolling Graham Norton via the BBC's legacy media charge.

According to numbers collated by The Times, 860,192 people cancelled their TV licences last year, up from 788,605 in the previous 12 months. Cancellation numbers had been on a downward trend for years, although this u-turn doesn't necessarily mean everyone's on Netflix, Amazon and YouTube instead, as the evasion rate has risen too; so perhaps more people are simply chancing it and going without a TV licence because they think they can front it out by saying they don't watch or listen to anything on the BBC and using a Netflix account as proof.

The rate of cancellations seems to be rising too, as the most recent numbers -- for the first nine months of the 2018-19 period -- put projected cancellations for the current year up to around the 890,000 level. Although these stats do include some non content related cancellations, such as moving in with someone else who already has a licence, and auto-cancellations because of failed direct debit payments. [The Times]