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Black and White TV reigns supreme for over 13,000 UK viewers

Black & White TV reigns supreme for over 13,000 UK viewersThe Digital Switchover might be done and dusted but someone forgot to tell 13,000-odd UK residents.

According to figures released today by TV Licensing, there’s more than 13,282 active licences for black and white tellies across the country,

That’s roughly equivalent to the number of people living in the village of Clafont St. Peter in Buckinghamshire and the number of staff Apple’s fabled Spaceship campus will house.

The majority of the UK’s colour TV deniers live in London, with Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool making up the top five.

Stephen Farmer, a spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

“It’s remarkable that with the digital switchover complete, 41 per cent of UK households owning HDTVs and Britons leading the world in accessing TV content over the internet more than 13,000 households still watch their favourite programmes on a black and white telly.”

The UK’s top ten black and white cities are:

  1.     London – 2,715
  2.     Birmingham – 574
  3.     Manchester – 413
  4.     Glasgow – 256
  5.     Liverpool – 185
  6.     Leeds – 183
  7.     Bristol – 180
  8.     Nottingham – 161
  9.     Belfast – 143
  10.     Sheffield – 118


While you might scoff at the 13,000 monochrome homes, bear in mind that they’re saving a pretty penny. A black and white licence costs £49 for a year, while a licence for a colour TV costs £145.50, almost three times the amount.

John Trenouth, a Television and Radio Technology Historian, added that low-income households mind find the cheaper licence “an attractive alternative to the full colour fee,” but admitted that “there will always be a small number of users who prefer monochrome images, don’t want to throw away a working piece of technology or collect old TV sets.”

Maybe these will still be around in 10 years from now when the number of black and white licences will have fallen to a few hundred.

Overall there’s 25 million licenced viewers in the UK, which puts 13,202 into perspective somewhat.

January 10, 2013

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