3 in 4 pensioners don’t believe TV licence fee is worth the money


  • Three-quarters of pensioners (76%) don’t think that the TV licence payment offers good value for money, according to new research by Broadband Genie

  • Three-fifths (61%) people aged over 75 are not aware that they may be eligible for a free TV licence

  • The research highlights an exodus to streaming services, with a third of pensioners (33%) now owning a Netflix subscription, with 36% having Amazon Prime and one in seven (15%) watching shows on Disney+

  • Broadband Genie calls for more awareness to be raised over free TV licences for those receiving pension credit, and offers advice to pensioners on how to get the most from their streaming services. 

Three quarters (76%) of pensioners say the TV licence payment does not provide good value for money ahead of the April 1 price hike, according to a survey conducted by Broadband Genie.

This Spring the government will increase the TV licence fee by 6.7% — in line with inflation — bringing the cost per year to £169.50. However, even before the price is increased, a survey of the UK’s older population found that 76% feel it isn’t worth the cost.

But while most will have no choice but to incur the extra cost, over 75s receiving pension credit are eligible for a free TV licence. However, three-fifths (61%) of those aged 75 and over are not aware of this.

Further research from Broadband Genie revealed that a third (33%) of people aged 65 and above have a Netflix account. Meanwhile, 36% are signed up to Amazon Prime and one in seven (15%) watch Disney+.

Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie, comments:

“The controversial TV licence fee hike has led many to question its value, especially given the rise of streaming services. With abundant options such as Netflix, which millions of pensioners already subscribe to, many Brits can access shows and movies easily without the licence fee. 

“What we are now seeing is growing fatigue with people paying to watch terrestrial TV, instead they are relying solely on streaming platforms for their TV and movie viewing. But while streaming services do offer better value for money in comparison, there are ways for pensioners to keep costs down.” 

4 Tips to Reduce Streaming Bills

Free streaming trials 

For those new to streaming, take advantage of free trials offered by some services to test the waters before committing. Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, NowTV, and Paramount+ all currently offer free trials.

Streamline subscriptions 

If you’re juggling multiple subscriptions, streamline by assessing if one service meets all your needs. Trimming unnecessary subscriptions can slash your monthly expenses. 

Additionally, if you’re only subscribing to watch something specific, you might consider binge-watching the series and toggling between streaming platforms. Subscribe when you’re using one and cancel when you’re done watching.

Shared accounts

In multi-person households, explore sharing subscriptions offered by many services. Splitting the cost among several users can lighten the financial load. 

Netflix’s premium subscription, which costs £17.99, allows four devices in the same household to watch at once. Split between four would cost just £4.49 a month each.

With Amazon Prime, members can share Prime Video with another adult through Amazon Household. This benefit is available with the full Amazon Prime subscription, excluding the £5.99 a month Prime Video-only membership.

Apple TV+ also allows sharing with up to six family members, enabling you to extend your subscription benefits to others in your household.

Ad-supported packages

You may also want to consider opting for ad-supported versions of streaming platforms for cheaper rates. While ads may be a minor annoyance, it’s a budget-friendly way to enjoy your favourite content. 

Netflix’s standard subscription runs at £10.99 per month, totalling £131.88 annually. However, opting for the ad-supported subscription at £4.99 would save viewers £72 per year. 

Disney+, ITVX Premium, Now Entertainment and Now Cinema all offer ad-supported packages.


Chris Price
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