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Since 1st April 2017*, the BBC has cost the taxpayer...

The figure is updated every 10 seconds. Sources, notes, & caveats can be found below.

Key Facts

TV Licence Cost (2018, p.a.)


Government Funding (p.a.)


Cost per Second¹


Cost per Minute


Cost per Hour


Cost per Day


BBC Commercial Revenue*


Earning over £100,000 (p.a.)

660 Employees

Earning over £1,000,000 (p.a.)

3 Employees

Sources & Notes


All sources used to create the figures are listed below. Figures include inflation (averaged) using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Composite Price Index (CPI) for 2016 - 2017. Figures are provided in good faith and for general reference purposes only. The TV Licence fee changed on 1st April 2018. This change has been included in the calculation and an explanation can be found here.

¹ = Figures are rounded where required. For example, the actual cost per second is £130.046025046478. Figures provided in the Key Facts section are rounded accordingly. Full data available upon request.

* = The latest data available for the licence cost is for 2018, and the latest available data for households and earnings is for 2017.


Source links may be archived using either Google's cache or on, or around, the date of data creation.

Notes & Caveats

TV Licence calculations are made using the cost of a colour TV Licence. According to TV Licensing, fewer than 9,000 Licence holders have a black and white TV. The BBC generates £1,167,000,000 per annum from private sources (BBC Worldwide). As explained on the TV Licensing website and in the BBC Annual Report, the following should be considered:

  • 52 weeks per year, rather than 52.14.
  • 365 days per year, rather than 365.24.
  • The government, in part, funds BBC World Service and issued a grant of £289,000,000 over four years. This has been averaged (/4).
  • The BBC generated £1,167,000,000 from commercial sources, mainly BBC Worldwide. This figure is excluded from the total.
  • The BBC had a tax liability of £10,000,000 on commercial profits. As profits are not included in the total, this has also been excluded.
  • As the government grant is funded by the taxpayer, we have included this figure.
  • Per month is per calendar month.
  • Please see the TV Licence page in order to understand the changes made since the increase in cost.
  • Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.

In Addition

The sources used list specific information to consider:

Under the terms of our Royal Charter, we are required to publish an annual report for each financial year from the BBC Remuneration Committee with the names of people working for the BBC who are paid more than £150,000 from licence fee revenue in a financial year set out in pay bands of £50,000. We have for some time disclosed earnings of any employee who is classified as a senior manager and this information is publicly available on the BBC’s website.

BBC Annual Report and Accounts

As at the end of each financial year i.e. 31 March. These figures are approximations of the number of licences in force. They do not include concessionary licences held by Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC).

TV Licensing

Driving efficiencies across the BBC has an inevitable impact on jobs. We continue to be fully committed to managing job losses through redeployment and retraining wherever possible and our current severance policy is:

  • [One] month’s pay for each year of service up to a maximum of 12 months’ pay. For those employees who joined before January 2013, the maximum is higher at 24 months’ pay
  • A cap on redundancy payments of £150,000
  • A maximum length of notice period of six months
BBC Annual Report and Accounts

An address may require more than one licence (e.g. student accommodation). Therefore, it is the number of licences is shown here, rather than the number of addresses with a licence. The number of households and business premises with TV Licences cannot be readily extracted from the total number of licences in force, because such information is not specifically recorded for each licence.

TV Licensing