More than 9,000 UK households say they still watch black-and-white TV

Editor’s Note: We end our 2015 reporting with a look back at some old technology that’s still holding on. reports that almost 50 years after Europe’s first colour TV broadcast took place on BBC2 in the UK, the number of people paying for a black-and-white TV licence is still surprisingly large. The latest TV Licensing survey concluded that as of September there were 9,356 households across the country that say they watch TV in the old-fashioned way.

London is the leader with 2,222 black-and-white TV licences issued in 2015, followed by Birmingham and Manchester with 429 and 313 licences respectively. In the whole of Scotland, only 550 households claim to be watching a monochrome TV set.

A black-and-white TV licence in the UK only costs £49 per year, compared to £145.50 for a colour licence. It is unclear how many people are simply cheating the licensing authority in order to pay less. Given the UK’s penchant for old-world charm and quaintness, it’s entirely possible that a fair number of licensees might be genuinely not interested in colour images, HD resolution, and myriad other benefits of the modern-age television.


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