Do you need a TV Licence to watch Netflix?

You need a TV licence to watch live TV – but what about On Demand shows and films?

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Whether you’re looking to binge on The Crown, Stranger Things, The Witcher, or Black Mirror, Netflix is the streaming service for you.

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But do you need a TV licence to watch the On Demand platform? What can you watch without a TV licence? And when do you need one?

Here’s everything you need to know…

Do you need a TV licence to watch Netflix?

No. You don’t need to buy a TV licence just for watching TV shows and films on Netflix.

As explained on the TV licencing website, you only need a licence if you…

  • Watch or record programmes (not just BBC programmes) on a TV as they’re broadcast.
  • Watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service on any device (such as through ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go)
  • Download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer – live, catch-up or On Demand.

As Netflix does not broadcast its titles live, you do not need a TV Licence to use the service. You don’t need a licence if you only ever watch titles on demand or on catch up on services other than BBC iPlayer.

Do I need a TV Licence to watch Netflix on my smartphone, tablet or laptop?

No. You don’t need to have a TV licence to watch On Demand content (outside of BBC iPlayer) on any device.

However, if the content you’re watching is being broadcast live – a sporting event through Amazon Prime Video, for instance – you will need to have a TV Licence.

As long as the main address you live in is licenced, you can watch live TV (and shows on BBC iPlayer) outside your home using a device powered solely by its own internal batteries and not plugged into the mains. This includes your mobile phone, laptop and tablet.

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As Netflix does not currently broadcast live TV, however, you can watch the service anywhere without a problem.