Should the BBC licence fee apply to TV on-demand?

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The Broadcasting Act definesTelevision Broadcasting Service as:

(5)In this Part “television broadcasting service” means (subject to subsection (6)) a service consisting in the broadcasting of television programmes for general reception in, or in any area in, the United Kingdom, including a domestic satellite service (as defined by section 43(1)).

The BBC says that the Licence fee is payable if you install equipment in your home for the purpose of, or with the intention of, viewing a Television Broadcasting Service.

Therefore, surely, viewing programmes through BBC iPlayer ITV Player, 4 On Demand, Sky Player or any other peer-to-peer method of watching television programmes is exempt from the licence fee?  Downloading parts of a TV programme from numerous sources isn’t receiving a broadcast and uploading those parts through said peer-to-peer systems is not broadcasting.

So if you only watch TV through an on-demand service you shouldn’t have to pay a licence fee.  Or am I missing something?

Technorati Technorati Tags: ,


  1. axel (1214 comments) says:

    according to their website, you also need a TV licence to read the BBC NEWS website too

  2. lfb_uk (15 comments) says:

    I do not possess nor have any inclination to purchase a TV Licence, that said I do utilise very rarely the BBC I player service and the Propaganda sorry news web site.

    I do have a TV, which is used for DVD’s and the kids Playstation games.

    I have been harassed by the Licence collectors on numerous occasions, and on each occasion shown them the equipment. Although I do explain to them they have no rights of entry to my property, nor can they touch, switch on or tamper with any of my equipment. A close inspection shows there is no arial attached, so no need to test or switch on the TV. The next step is they want to inspect the bedrooms as we may have TV’s upstairs etc, at this point I tell them I have done far more than I am legally obliged to, they have no right to demand to “search” my home and they are asked to leave. A few have threatened with warrants from magistrates, they will get the police etc, but they are given short shrift and escorted out of my home.

    As far as I am aware, you only need a TV Licence for “live” TV broadcasts, therefore I Player is exempt as even when it lets you watch a live program there is a 2 min delay, so technically not live. As was explained to me by the Licence dude, they would need to be able to catch you watching TV on your pc to be able to take any action, and as the chances of that are remote, they understand they can do nothing.

    The statement on the website is misleading to say the least, as its content is viewable for free in any other country and you do not need a licence (as yet) for your pc even with a TV out card fitted.

  3. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Here is a weird thing, i listen to Radio 4 and sometimes when i miss a prog i want to hear, i get it off the intterweb site player and it appears to be a straight copy of the broadcast, that is it clacks in halfway through the continuity announcements at the the start and at the end, it sounds very unprofessional

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.