Advanced Television

Fee collectors name BBC shows ‘worth the licence’

April 27, 2017

The top TV moments from shows most valued by licence fee payers have been revealed by TV Licensing, the collection of companies contracted by the BBC to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system.

Dancing bears from Planet Earth II topped the list of memorable TV moments Twitter users noted as “worth the licence fee”. The phrase was used by more than 5,000 licence fee payers in the past year to recognise moments viewers truly appreciated in return for the licence fee, according to data gathered by TV Licensing over the past year.

Noteworthy scenes from Strictly Come Dancing also made the list, with more than 100 tweets affirming Ed Balls’ salsa routine to Gangnam Style was ‘worth the licence fee alone’. BBC drama Poldark ranked third, as dozens of Licence Fee payers said Aidan Turner’s “spellbinding” “splendid” and “shirtless” performance was worth the fee.

The second Planet Earth II moment lauded by viewers was one unforgettable sequence featuring a newly-hatched marine iguana running the gauntlet of racer snakes to reach the sea. Over 5,000 payers gave the thumbs-up to standout TV moments and programmes they felt were worth the licence fee in the past year.

“This shows just how much viewers value BBC programmes – whether it’s magic moments on Planet Earth II or the sparkle of Strictly, noted Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said. “While lots of people tweet as they watch the programme live, there are also plenty who catch up later, so it’s important to remember that you now need a TV licence even if you’re watching BBC programmes on iPlayer.”

The top ten programmes and series viewers said were ‘worth the licence fee’ in 2016/17 have also been revealed by TV Licensing. The second season of Planet Earth, which returned to screens last autumn, topped the chart, with more than 2,000 Licence Fee payers tweeting the series was worth the fee (around 40p a day). More than 340 viewers agreed BBC One’s The Missing was ‘worth the licence fee’, with audiences particularly enthralled by its final moments.

According to TV Licensing research conducted from October to December 2016, when asked about the value of the licence fee, 50 per cent of respondents said the TV Licence represented good value for money, up from 44 per cent from Jan to March 2016 and the highest approval rating recorded to date.

A colour TV Licence currently costs £147 (€174) and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV. A TV Licence is also needed to watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer. This applies whether using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment. You can visit the TV Licensing website to find more information about

The Top 5 TV Moments “Worth the Licence Fee”:

  1. Dancing Bears on Planet Earth II, BBC Studios Natural History Unit
  2. Ed Balls on Strictly Come Dancing, BBC Studios Entertainment Music & Events
  3. Aidan Turner shirtless on Poldark
  4. Snakes vs. Iguana on Planet Earth II, BBC Studios Natural History Unit
  5. The Missing Finale


The Top 10 TV Programmes “Worth the Licence Fee”:

  1. Planet Earth II: 2,329 mentions, BBC Studios Natural History Unit
  2. The Missing: 343 mentions
  3. Rio 2016 Coverage: 210 mentions
  4. Line of Duty: 153 mentions
  5. Strictly Come Dancing: 139 mentions, BBC Studios Entertainment, Music & Events
  6. The Great British Bake Off: 103 mentions
  7. Peaky Blinders: 83 mentions
  8. Spy In The Wild: 57 mentions
  9. Sherlock: 54 mentions
  10. Match Of The Day: 48 mentions


Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Business, Consumer Behaviour, FTA, Funding, Policy, Regulation, Research