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.


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.


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