This is a follow up to a previous post about the peculiarly British phenomenon known as TV licensing. Several readers were decent enough point out answers to questions raised in that post, for which I am grateful.
In the light of ITV’s recent announcement that they will be laying off 600 employees in reaction to falling profits and asset depreciation, I felt I had to comment on another bizarre offshoot of the whole TV licensing situation in the UK.
My understanding is that a TV license is required in order to watch or record any live TV. That’s any live TV. So, no matter whether you watch ITV or Channel 4 or Sky or BBC1 on a TV then you must own a TV license.
However, the BBC take all the proceeds from the TV license. So we have a very unique, anti-competitive situation where if you want to watch only Sky (as many people do), or even only ITV, then legally you must subsidize its principal UK competitor. Is this fair market competition?
How has this situation remained unchallenged in the law courts for so long? Perhaps there is something about the British psyche I have yet to fathom.