As colour TV celebrates its 50th anniversary, statistics reveal seven people in Solihull are still watching in black and white - The Solihull Observer

As colour TV celebrates its 50th anniversary, statistics reveal seven people in Solihull are still watching in black and white

Solihull Editorial 27th Jun, 2017   0

THIS Saturday marks 50 years since the first colour transmission on the BBC.

But new figures from TV Licensing reveal more than 8,000 homes across the UK – and seven in Solihull – still enjoy programmes in black and white.

The TV Licensing B&W Index1 shows large urban areas hold the majority of black and white TV Licences, with more than 1,500 homes in London watching in black and white, followed by 377 in Birmingham and 276 in Manchester.

Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for the West Midlands, said: “It is striking that in an era of HD TV and spectacular true-to-life pictures, there are still more than 8,000 viewers, including seven in Solihull, content to watch spectacular programmes like The Night Manager and Planet Earth in monochrome.




“Whether you watch in black and white on a 50-year-old TV set or in colour on a tablet, you need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they are broadcast. You also need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, on any device.”

While the figures reveal there may be life in the oldest TV equipment yet, BBC statistics indicate emerging technologies are changing the way many of us watch TV.


Fewer than 500 families had a colour TV set in 1967 when Australian John Newcombe took the Wimbledon Mens’ title in 1967. Comparatively, more than nine million people tuned in to watch Andy Murray contest the title last year, with BBC iPlayer recording the highest unique browser reach on record, with an average of 19.9 million unique browsers weekly across June 20162.

A TV Licence is needed to watch or record live TV, or watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer.

A colour licence costs £147 and a black and white licence costs £49.50, and can be bought in minutes at tvlicensing.co.uk/midlands

The TV Licensing Black & White Index – Top 20

1 LONDON 1596

2 BIRMINGHAM 377

3 MANCHESTER 276

4 GLASGOW 176

5 LEEDS 138

6 LIVERPOOL 131

7 NOTTINGHAM 105

8 BELFAST 90

9 SHEFFIELD 80

9 OMAGH 80

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