From 1st September, viewers will need a TV licence to watch iPlayer content.
Up to this point, catch up TV has avoided the £145.50 licence fee due to a “loophole” in the law, but that is all about to change.
The legislation was pushed through by the government, to put an end to the “free ride” that users have been getting thus far.
“When the licence fee was invented, video on demand did not exist,” former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said in March.
“The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong.”
No matter what device you use to watch iPlayer, or if it’s through third-party services such as Sky, Virgin or BT, all those watching on-demand will be legally required to cough up the cash.
That said, a TV licence won’t be needed for watching other catch up services, like ITV Player, All4, and Netflix, and BBC Radio content isn’t covered under the new law.
TV Licensing said fewer than 2% of households would be affected by the change, and it will begin an awareness campaign before 1st September, targeting students starting the new term especially.