Be aware of the new TV licensing rules

The Government decided to make changes to TV licensing rules after a so-called ‘iPlayer loophole’ was discovered.

This loophole essentially meant that households would not require a TV license if they only use a catch-up service, rather than watching live broadcasts. That way watching BBC shows, however dodging the £145.50 annual TV license fee.

From today, when watching catch-up TV shows on the service, a pop-up message will appear asking viewers to confirm that they have a TV license. A BBC spokesperson confirmed that ‘around 94%’ of households currently hold a TV license and therefore won’t notice any change, however at Belvoir we feel a duty to inform households of the change, and encourage everyone to obtain a TV license to ensure they are compliant with the latest regulatory changes.

The Government previously said that they did not want those watching catch-up TV to get a ‘free ride’ when viewing online, and vowed to modernise the system to meet modern requirements.
What are the regulations?

  • You must have a TV license to watch both live and catch-up TV services.
  • These regulations cover TV’s, mobile devices, laptops, games consoles and third-party services from Sky, BT and Virgin. 
  • All households, including students, are included in these changes and must obtain a TV license to meet the regulations.
  • If you are covered at your address, then you are also covered on the go, so long as you don’t plug your device into the mains – in which case you would need another TV license for the location you are at. 

TV Licensing have made the new regulations crystal clear so there is no confusion if you are covered or not. It is important to note that TV Licensing have many ways of monitoring who has a license and who doesn’t, if you are found to not have a TV license you can be fined up to £1,000 (excluding legal fees) for breach of the regulations.

More information on the new regulations regarding your TV license can be found here.