BBC Licence Fee to be extended to catch up services?

22 August 2014

tvWhile most of us still quite like the BBC, the days when the Beeb was the most dominant broadcaster in the country are now gone- even despite the might of BskyB, we are more likely to be a nation of Daves these days. Nevertheless, we are all required by law to cough up £145.50 a year for the privilege of having the BBC, even if we don’t watch it.

Savvy viewers among us know that under the current TV licensing rules, last updated in 2004, provided you never watch live TV, you don’t need a licence. Note that this applies to watching any live TV, not just BBC content. Also, TV that is recorded and watched later (eg Sky+ or TiVo) counts as live, even if you don’t watch it for two months. Therefore you only escape the licence fee if you exclusively watch iPlayer/4OD type content.

However, this may be about to change. Despite previously insisting they were completely not bovvered by the catch up watchers as most viewers still watch live TV and therefore cough up the £145.50, the BBC's director general has now commented that it is “worth considering” revised licencing rulesto close the ‘loophole’.

The BBC has previously said it had no plans to alter the licence fee arrangement. But in an interview with the Daily Mirror, DG Tony Hall said: "I think the Licence Fee has plenty of life left. But it has always moved with the times, whether it be scrapping the old radio licence or introducing a new colour licence. It could be modernised again – so it applies to watching BBC programmes both live and on iPlayer. This is for the Government to decide, but worth considering."

Currently fewer than 2% of households only watch on-demand telly, around half a million viewers, and the BBC admit "this is growing only slowly". Nevertheless, it’s been over ten years since the rules were last updated, and with technology moving apace, with most TVs now capable of streaming iPlayer style content, the BBC are probably already counting the extra cash. Half a million more licence fees would be a nice little earner.

TOPICS:   TV   Technology


  • paidinchickens
    Blood suckers!
  • Alexis
    Does the berk even know what he pays Capita to do?
  • terence c.
    the BBC costs £10 million a day to produce sub standard programmes for television and radio. 500,000 intelligent people not paying the licence fee is a loss of £70 million to the BBC, ie a weeks programme costs. I do hope more people just watch catch-up Television and then maybe the BBC will be less arrogant and start producing programmes that entertain.
  • Mr P.
    "we are all required by law to cough up £145.50 a year for the privilege of having the BBC, even if we don’t watch it." Its not a law, its a Act. There is a difference and like most Act's they are passed in the favour of large private corporation's just like the BBC. I personally don't pay for the TV licence as I legally don't need one. The whole model of the BBC and its TV licence is a farce, Paying to watch any type of live broadcast from other channels other than the BBC but they don't receive a penny from the licence fee. They spent millions gagging people over the years that were abused by Jimmy and co. Its should be scrapped and they should be left to sink in the giant crap hole they have made for themselves.
  • Jessie J.
    I was on The Voice. Worst job ever.
  • Mr T.
    Just do what all of us ytubers do when capitia send there pathetic excuse of goons round answer the door with a camera and watch them run away with the licenses between there legs.
  • Pie M.
    I haven't had a TV licence for 20 years. Whenever I've moved house I've always written immediately to withdraw their implied right of access, and all their letters go in the shredder and then onto the compost heap which, coincidentally, is where most of the old shite on the telly would be most at home! As Mr Tube rightly says, they don't like it up 'em, so if you are unfortunate enough to answer the door to a Capita employee, waving your phone in their face will have the desired effect. If they even *think* you're filming them, they will nob off with all due haste. On both occasions this has happened to me this tactic has worked admirably.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment