fees and the like...
Well, here in the good 'ol USA somethings have fees. In my case I have a nice XM (satellite) radio, and I pay a nice fee on a quarterly basis. I gave them my receiver number (a 32 bit hex encoded thingy), and they let my receiver work. If they didn't receive the $$$ (I turned off the credit card, or some such), I suspect that my nice radio (I listen to a '60s radio channel) would go silent.
It is a wonder that the beeb didn't have this for TVs and license fees. It would have eliminated all sorts of problems, and enforcement stuff.
some most american TV is a wasteland. In one hour we only get 45 minutes of actual TV worth viewing, but it does pay the bills. My wife likes her TiVo so she can skip the nasty stuff at high speed. Then again, every once in a while (it is rare!) an advert is amusing, or (shudder) informative. Life goes on.