New BBC iPlayer laws to close popular student loophole

on September 2, 2016

The BBC has updated the legislation behind their online service, BBC iPlayer, meaning that you now need a licence to watch all BBC content online.

From September 1, you’ll now need a full TV Licence (Cost of £145.50) to watch any BBC content, whereas previously you only required one if you watched content live and not if you were watching catch-up.

If you are caught without a licence, you can face a fine of up to £1000 plus additional legal fees.

Research by TV Licensing1 has revealed iPlayer is the most popular catch-up platform used by students.

Caroline McCourt, a spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

“Watching catch up TV is really popular among students and we want to make sure students are aware of the change in the law. From 1 September, everyone will need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch BBC TV programmes on demand – including catch up – on iPlayer. Students can check at our dedicated TV Licence for students page whether they are correctly licensed before the big move.

And, of course, you still need to be covered by a licence for all live viewing and recording, no matter which channel you are watching or what device you are watching on.”

However, you won’t require a TV licence if you watch BBC services on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon or Now TV.

Award-winning journalist based in Birmingham UK. Data Editor @ Birmingham Eastside and owner of @UKbynumbers. Contact me: @Loftysandro or

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