Tyrone tops for black and white TV viewers

Plenty of people in Tyrone seem content to watch TV in black and white in 2017. (Shutterstock)

Tyrone has more black and white TV licences per head of population than any other region of the UK.

The figure was revealed recently on the 50th anniversary of the first colour transmission from the BBC.


Omagh which has 80 black and white TV licence holders, sits in ninth position alongside Sheffield, and ahead of other major English cities like Bradford, Bristol and Edinburgh.

In the east of the county, Dungannon tunes in to the top 20 list with 49 black and white viewers, placing it in 17th position.

However, the latest figures from TV Licensing reveal that Augher has now gone full colour, with no householders registered for black and white licences.

“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 80 in Omagh, content to watch spectacular programmes like The Night Manager and Planet Earth in monochrome,” said Karen Grimason from TV Licensing.

It is almost 25 years since the last black and white television sets were produced.

Back in 2013, Omagh was also the number one place for monochrome TV licences in the UK, with 109.

While a regular TV licence costs £147 – which is also needed for watching BBC iPlayer – a black and white licence costs just £47.


In the DUP manifesto ahead of the June 8 Westminster election, the party called for the UK government to freeze the TV licence before cutting or abolishing it.

The Wimbledon tennis championships marked the beginning of regular colour television in the UK in 1967.

Just a handful of colour sets were in use at the start of colour transmissions, but by 1968 most BBC Two programmes were in colour and by 1977, sales of colour TV Licences had overtaken numbers of black and white licences.

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