BBC iPlayer & The TV Licence

BBC iPlayer LicenceThe law has changed: From 1 September 2016 you now need a TV Licence to watch or download BBC programmes on demand, as well as live on BBC iPlayer.
The rules only apply to iPlayer, so you do not need a TV licence if you only ever watch on-demand or catch-up programmes through other service providers – as long as you do not use BBC iPlayer.

This seems a pointless exercise by the BBC, the new rules will be almost impossible and probably very expensive to enforce.
It seems strange the BBC are so worried about British residents viewing their content without a TV licence, while the whole world can watch their live channels for free globally on FilmOn.
Remember: you do not need to register, sign in, or confirm your postcode to view BBC iPlayer.

So how does the BBC prevent non licence viewing from occurring? Well there is no high tech software involved, they simply ask – Got a TV Licence?
Followed by two options:
I have a TV Licence. Watch now.
BBC iPlayer LicenceI don’t have a TV Licence.

Previously, only viewers who were watching shows live (as they were being broadcast) needed a licence.
That meant it was legal to watch content after broadcast via iPlayer without paying the annual licence fee.
From September 1 2016, people need a TV licence to download or watch almost all on-demand and catch-up programmes on BBC iPlayer.

Watching live:

That means watching or recording at the same time (or virtually the same time) as they’re being broadcast, or distributed to the public in any other way. In BBC iPlayer, you do this using the Watch Live (simulcast) option. Anyone in the UK watching or recording television as it’s being broadcast or simulcast on any device – including mobiles, laptops and PCs – must, by law, be covered by a valid TV licence.

As a general rule, if you’re watching a programme on a computer or other device at the same time as it’s being shown on TV, then the programme is “live” so you need a TV licence. If you use the live rewind function to restart a live programme or rewind a live stream for up to 2 hours, you also need a TV licence. This is because you’re still accessing the live simulcasts.

BBC iPlayer LicenceWatching On-Demand:

Any programme you download or watch that is not being shown as live TV, including catch-up TV is On-Demand. These programmes can be accessed on the BBC iPlayer website or through an app on a smart TV, digital box or any other device. On demand also includes exclusive programmes that are only available online. You must also be covered by a valid TV licence if watching programmes this way.

What will happen if I don’t have a TV licence?

It is a criminal offence to watch live or on-demand television without a TV licence. It’s also a criminal offence to possess or control a device which you know or reasonably believe will be used to watch live or on-demand TV without a TV licence. You could be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 (plus legal costs) for these offences.

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