Thousands of people still watch black and white TV, new figures reveal

Laura Hannam
Reporter
New findings reveal that thousands still watch black and white television. (Getty Images)

We may live in a world of Sky, Netflix and YouTube – but thousands of people still watch black and white television – new findings reveal.

Figures released by TV Licensing show that a surprising amount of people still have active black and white televisions sets in their homes – 7,161 households to be exact.

The BBC introduced colour television back in 1967, and viewers quickly adapted to the new and improved technology.

Of the 7,161 households that are still shun colour television, the biggest concentration can be found in London, with 1,768 households having black and white television licenses.

“Over half of the UK’s TVs now connect to the internet, so it’s interesting that more than 7,000 households still choose to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly,” spokesperson for TV Licensing, Jason Hill said.

Although the amount may seem staggering, it is still a tiny amount compared to the current total of 27 million television licenses owned in the UK.

It also dwarves 2000 findings, which showed there were still 212,000 black and white TV Licences in the UK. This had already significantly shrunk by 2015, which reported 15,000 of the same licenses.

A key and likely reason for thousands still choosing the old fashioned way of watching telly is due to its reduced cost. A black and white license fee is just £50 a year, compared to a coloured license which is £150.50.

However, a radio and television historian says people might be tuning into a black and white television for the nostalgia element.

“There are hundreds of collectors like myself who have many black and white TV. Who wants all this new-fangled 4K Ultra HD, satellite dishes or a screen that’s bigger than your room when you can have glorious black and white TV?” says Jeffrey Borinsky told Radio Times.

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