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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence from September

Published 01/08/2016

Watching catch-up content on BBC iPlayer will now require viewers to have a licence
Watching catch-up content on BBC iPlayer will now require viewers to have a licence

You will no longer be able to watch BBC iPlayer without paying the £145-a-year TV licence fee, from 1 September.

The licence has always been required for television channels, but, until now, non-live, catch-up content was free to view on the iPlayer website and app.

The new rule works regardless of whatever platform you are watching on, according to The Guardian, and includes Sky, Virgin and BT. It does not affect ITV Hub or Channel 4's All4.

The BBC was apparently losing £150m a year through the so-called ‘iPlayer loophole’, the closure of which the government has been pushing through.

“As of 1 September 2016, a change in the law means you need to be covered by a TV licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand – including catchup TV – on BBC iPlayer,” a spokesperson for TV licensing said.

“This applies to all devices. The change will not affect the huge majority of households which are already licensed.

“Fewer than 2% of households only watch catchup – and only those watching BBC iPlayer as part of their catchup and on-demand viewing will need to buy a licence from September.

"You will not need a TV licence to download or watch programmes on demand from other providers, such as YouTube, Netflix, ITV Hub, All 4 or Demand 5. All unlicensed households are being mailed and a publicity campaign will happen before 1 September.”


Independent News Service

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