Home TV News The Night Manager ‘worth the licence fee alone’ according to study

The Night Manager ‘worth the licence fee alone’ according to study

by Dave Elliott
The Night Manager 'worth the licence fee alone' according to study

The Night Manager ‘worth the licence fee alone’ according to study

As anyone that reads this site regularly or listens to Geektown Radio knowns, we here at Geektown are passionate defenders of the unique way the BBC is funded. Those reasons include shows like The Night Manager, Line of Duty, and of course, the various brilliant David Attenborough series.

In an interesting experiment conducted by TV Licensing, the organisation, which this year marks the 70th year since the introduction of the first combined radio and TV Licence, has examined Twitter mentions of  “worth the licence fee” over the past year, and draw up a list of the top ten shows people thought were worth the money.

The phrase, used more than 12,000 times, shows which programmes, services and presenters or actors Licence Fee payers truly value in relation to the cost of their annual Licence Fee.

The Night Manager, the show that had everyone hooked as the wonderful Tom Hiddleston pursued Hugh Laurie’s arms dealing Richard Roper, proved to be most popular with Twitter users, taking first place for unique mentions of a TV series (492 mentions).

Sir David Attenborough’s documentary series “The Hunt” also claimed one of the top spots, with more than 570 Twitter users declaring the programme, or the broader work of the veteran broadcaster, worth their Licence Fee alone. Almost a thousand viewers tweeted their appreciations of nature documentaries more widely, while 14 per cent of all “worth the licence fee” sentiment related to drama programmes.

Happy Valley, the crime drama filmed and set in The Calder Valley, was the third most mentioned show, with 241 unique mentions.

Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “Twitter is a powerful way of sharing your appreciation of your favourite show and the data indicates just how important these landmark TV shows are to Licence Fee payers. The Licence Fee is used to fund the BBC’s programmes and services, and it’s interesting to note people still engage with these shows in real-time. Despite changes in new ways of watching, more than 95 per cent of all viewing is live, with Licence Fee payers covered to watch on their TV, phones or tablets.”

Interestingly, more than 100 Twitter users singled out BBC One renovation show DIY SOS as worth their £145.50 outlay. The BBC Proms was also highly rated, with 166 users favourably relating the music festival to value for the Licence Fee.

When first introduced on 1 June 1946, the licence covering the monochrome-only single-channel BBC television service cost £2. Radio-only licences were abolished in February 1971. The current cost of a TV licence is £145.50 per year.

Anyone who watches or records TV programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service, must be covered by a valid TV Licence. This is true no matter what device they are using or the method they use to receive those programmes.

The top 10 programmes deemed “worth the licence fee” by viewers across the UK

  • The Night Manager (492 mentions)
  • The Hunt (403 mentions)
  • Happy Valley (241 mentions)
  • BBC Proms (166 mentions)
  • Panorama (156 mentions)
  • Strictly (123 mentions)
  • DIY SOS (106 mentions)
  • Line of Duty (106 mentions)
  • Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (100 mentions)
  • War & Peace  (97 mentions)


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