REVEALED: The number of black and white TV licences still in use in Boston

As BBC One celebrates its 50th anniversary of colour TV this week, TV Licensing has revealed households in Boston are still watching TV programmes on black and white TV sets.
TV Licensing, still operating for some in black and white.TV Licensing, still operating for some in black and white.
TV Licensing, still operating for some in black and white.

There were seven black and white TV licences in force in the town at the end of September – down two on the previous year.

As you might expect, across the UK, the number of black and white licences has declined considerably over the years.

However, there were still 6,586 black and white TV licences in force at the end of September of this year.

This is a fall of 575 compared to the same time last year. In 2000, the figure stood at 212,000.

The numbers show that despite the rapid growth of smart TVs, smart phones and tablets to access TV content, a surprising number of households still appear to enjoy the nostalgia of monochrome TV sets.

They remain popular with collectors with vintage and portable TV sets regularly traded online, TV Lincensing says.

A licence is still needed to watch live TV and stream BBC programmes on iPlayer on a black and white TV or monitor and costs £52. However, if they are used to download BBC programmes on iPlayer or to record any live TV, then a colour TV Licence is needed.

Rachel Roberts, spokesman for TV Licensing in the East Midlands, said: “When BBC One launched its colour TV service in November 1969, there were only three channels available. Fast forward to 2019, and more than half (53 per cent) of TV households have in some way an internet connection to their TV and access to hundreds of channels.

“Whilst only accounting for a very small proportion it’s interesting to know that some households still like to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly.”

BBC One launched its full colour service on November 15, 1969. The new service was also extended to ITV, bringing them in line with BBC Two, which had been offering colour programmes – including Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and The Eurovision Song Contest – since 1967 under controller David Attenborough.

Programmes showing in colour on the 15th included Star Trek and Dixon of Dock Green, The Harry Secombe Show and Match of the Day, plus the feature film The Prisoner of Zenda.

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