Viewers ditch TV licences as Netflix effect takes hold – The Times

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Viewers ditch TV licences as Netflix effect takes hold – The Times

The number of people cancelling their television licences has jumped as viewers ditch the BBC in favour of streaming services such as Netflix.

More than 860,000 TV licences were cancelled in 2017-18, compared with 798,000 a year earlier.

The figures, amounting to 2,300 cancellations a day, represent the first official data to support anecdotal evidence that the “Netflix effect” is leading viewers to abandon the BBC entirely.

Television licences are compulsory for anyone who watches live television or uses the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service. As of March last year 25.8 million licences were held, a record high driven largely by population growth. Viewers do not require a licence if they only watch shows via on-demand streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV.

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