Sep 012016

BBC iPlayer loophole closes as licence required for catchup TV

It remains unclear how BBC will enforce new rules, which are designed to help plug £150m gap in its finances

Anyone attempting to use iPlayer to catch up on their favourite show on Thursday will, for the first time, be presented with a message telling them they must have a TV licence even if they aren’t watching live.

Legislation passed this year making it illegal to watch BBC catchup content without a licence comes into force from 1 September. The move is designed to help the BBC plug a £150m gap in its finances caused by the increasing number of people who were opting out of the TV licence.

It is unclear how the BBC will enforce the new rules at scale. It is considering whether to make it mandatory to sign in to use iPlayer and other online services, but that move is aimed at improving its ability to personalise services and learn about user behaviour.

The information collected at the moment does not include address or licence fee number, which could be used to work out whether or not people are watching illegally.
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