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Auntie keeps mum over non-license fee paying households

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 5, 2013 | 2 min read

The BBC is remaining tight-lipped over the number of non-license fee paying households amidst claims that more than a million households are skirting the annual £145.50 fee by watching television online.

Bosses at the broadcaster are refusing to cooperate with FOI requests for such data, apparently fearful that if the true figure were to be made public they could be hit by a substantial loss of revenue as thousands of others follow their lead.

The Times reports that in excess of a million households have already jumped through the loophole with many more continuing to join them thanks to the growing popularity (ironically) of the BBC’s own iPlayer service.

Such has been the enthusiasm for the new digital era that the BBC is actually premiering a new Peter Kay sitcom on the format, meaning no-one need pay a bean to enjoy it.

The BBC’s critics have used the stushie to argue that the time has now come to look at alternatives to the license fee which has lost relevance in the modern world.

As such the Department for Culture, Media & Sport has said it will look at changing the scope of the present license fee when it comes up for renewal in March 2017.

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