This loophole lets you watch TV shows without paying the licence fee 4 years ago

This loophole lets you watch TV shows without paying the licence fee

Whatever you may think of the BBC politically, there's no denying that they provide a pretty comprehensive service.

According to the BBC Trust, "The BBC offers twenty-five public services in the UK. There are eight television channels, sixteen radio stations and an online/red button interactive service."


That's nothing to sneeze at, but at a flat fee of £145.50 a year, not everyone is thrilled with the licence fee that accompanies these services. There is a way around it, but it's not easy.


Photo: Pexels


The most obvious way to avoid paying the licence fee is to never watch any television ever, but then you'd be entering into something of a cultural black hole, and that's not a place you want to be.


However, the Mirror recently pointed out this exception to the licensing rules: with the exception of BBC iPlayer, if you're not recording or watching live TV, you don't need a TV licence.

That means if all you watch is non-BBC catch-up TV (including ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) internet video content from places like YouTube, on-demand movies from providers like Sky Movies, or DVDs/programmes and movies bought through the internet, then you don't need a TV licence.

Be warned, though. This sounds good in principle, but as a TV Licensing spokesperson told the Mirror, "Fewer than 2% of households only watch catch-up TV, so don't need a licence."

You can be slapped with a £1,000 fine if you're caught watching TV without a licence, so it's up to you to decide if you can prove that you're part of that 2%.

If you believe you are exempt, you can write to TV Licensing and declare yourself.


Feature: TV Licensing / Daily Invention 

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