When television broadcasts in the UK were resumed after a break because of the Second World War, it was decided to introduce a television licence fee in order to finance the service. When first introduced on 1 June 1946, the licence covering the monochrome-only single-channel BBC television service cost £2 (equivalent to £74.82 as of 2015). The licence was originally issued by the General Post Office (GPO), which was then the regulator of public communications within the UK. The GPO also issued licences for home radio receivers powered by mains electricity and was mandated by laws beginning with the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1904, to administer the licensing system. Households which bought a TV licence did not need to hold a separate radio licence as the TV licence covered both TV and radio reception. [Wikipedia]
Find out more about the history of TV licensing at radiolicence.org.uk.