BBC iPlayer to require TV licence
The cost of catch-up
Watching BBC iPlayer may soon be illegal if you do not possess a TV licence if proposals under consideration by the government become law.
As it stands, any UK resident viewing a live broadcast - be that on their TV, games console, mobile phone or fondleslab - must pay the annual licence fee of £145.50.
But it is not necessary to pay the UK's enforced annual BBC subscription if you just watch catch-up TV.
Past BBC research found that only 0.2 per cent of households use iPlayer and other catch-up services as their only source of telly content.
However, with heaps of internet-enabled set-top boxes ready to flood the market over the coming year, observers reckon many more people will start watching telly through catch-up services rather than as live broadcasts.
That is prompting the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to consider changing the law, The Guardian claims.
"Government is aware of developing technologies and the changing viewing habits of those who watch television programmes," the ministry told the paper. "How the BBC is funded as these issues evolve is a matter the department will need to address in the near future."
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt last year insisted the government wouldn't introduce a 'PC licence' fee.
A green paper on a new communications bill is expected this December. ®
Can't they just set up some kind of user account tied to your TV licence. Want to watch iPlayer? You need to log in.
No law changes necessary.
The BBC is still good value and this won't make any difference to the vast majority that already pay their TV license.
No other company will send 4 camera teams to the Arctic for 4 months to get the shots needed for something like 'Frozen Planet'. The Beeb may (and hopefully) will make a profit by selling the programme to other networks abroad but I can't see any other production company risking that sort of cash. Most things made by for profit companies seem to appeal to the lowest common denominator and are designed for a quick turnaround and to make some quick cash.
I own a TV connected to a pc, but only watch programs on iplayer (not live) I have never felt the £145 to be good value due to the endless repeats.