You'll need a TV License from September 1 to watch iPlayer catch-up

BBC iPlayer

Starting from September 1, you'll need a valid TV License to watch catch-up TV on iPlayer.

Previously you only needed a TV License to watch live programming on iPlayer, but the renewal of the BBC's Royal Charter has closed this loophole, which currently costs the BBC £150 million.

The change does not affect radio content listened to on iPlayer, and nor does it cover other catch-up services such as All 4 (the Channel 4 streaming service) or ITV Hub.

License to bill

The BBC has confirmed to TechRadar that it has no immediate plans to password protect iPlayer, meaning that you will still technically be able to access the service without a license.

The corporation has confirmed however that it is keeping its options open with regards to requiring a TV license number be provided by those wishing to access iPlayer, it just currently has no plans to implement the requirement.

The TV License, which costs £145 annually, is payable on a per-household basis. In shared accommodation such as student houses, a separate license is required for any rooms that have a lock on their doors.

The changes come as viewing habits have increasingly shifted online with services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video now competing with traditional broadcasters with original programming of their own.

The closing of the iPlayer loophole should allow the BBC to more effectively compete with this online competition, as content such as BBC Three moves online.

Via The Guardian

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.