THE BBC sent more TV licensing letters as takings from the fee fell, new figures have shown.

More than 36 million licence enforcement letters were sent to households across the UK in the last financial year, data obtained by The Telegraph has found.

Numbers of people dodging the £159 annual payment are on the rise and the corporation is battling to compete with new media in the form of podcasts and online streaming services.

Enforcement letters warn residents that if they do not pay the fee, they are breaking the law by watching TV or using BBC iPlayer and they may be visited by an enforcement officer.

In the financial year from 2022 to 2023, the BBC sent 36.1 million letters to households, up just over 1% on the 35.7m sent between 2021 and 2022 and approximately 6% on the 34 million reportedly sent between 2020 and 2021, figures obtained by The Telegraph showed.

Dodging the fee is thought to cost the corporation around £430 million at a rate of 10.3% of households avoiding the payment – the highest level since 1995.

A spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “The overwhelming majority of households are correctly licensed. TV Licensing has a responsibility to communicate with unlicensed households to support the collection of the licence fee.

“The letters generate more funds than they cost to send, so more money can be spent on programmes and services.”