BBC Licence fee announcement

Wait what?

Netflix doesn’t broadcast live programs and you don’t need license to watch on demand on Netflix.

You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever use online services to watch on demand or catch up programmes, except if you’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.


No you don’t. The licensing page is deliberately convoluted, you only need a license if you watch live ‘TV programme’. That would include Netflix if you watched a live ‘TV programme’ on Netflix (which Netflix don’t do)

There’s so much misinformation out there because the rules are written in such a weird way and the definitions of words are all over the place.

Bottom line though is you don’t need a license to watch Netflix

Interesting to note that if you look at these conversations online, it seems like a lot of people are paying for a license on the misunderstanding that they believe they have to have one for services that have nothing to do with live tv

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If you read it on their website it clearly looks like they are actively trying to mislead people.

If you watch TV programmes live on any online TV service, including Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, ITV Hub or All 4, you need to be covered by a TV Licence.

If you watch or record TV programmes live on any channel or TV service, or download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, you need to be covered by a TV Licence.

You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever use online services to watch on demand or catch up programmes, except if you’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

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Yes you are right. I looked at the TV licensing site and the way it is written made me think that one needed to have a licence to watch Netflix largely because Youtube was specifically mentioned. It also implies to watch any streaming services you need a licence.

Having carefully dissected the wording and looking at other points on the web page I realise that the TV licensing page is as you correctly say deliberately convoluted. Any use of iPlayer is clearly (demand whether streaming or not) covered by licensing but other demand services are not.

I don’t like the BBC. Looking forward to the day it implodes and disappears into the abyss.

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It does imply this. And (tin foil hat on) I think this is deliberate.

It all comes down to wording which they hide away.

You need a license if you watch live TV programmes on YouTube. Makes sense, if you watch BBC live, you need to lay a license.

But what’s a live TV programme, and does that include Joe live streaming his basement?

Well to find out you need to go looking to understand what ‘TV’, ‘TV Broadcast’, ‘TV service’, ‘TV programme’ etc all mean

So… what does a TV service mean? And what’s a TV programme?

The last one is more important as this seems to differentiate between a program needing a license and Joe live streaming his basement.

It seems to mean any programme which is part of a TV channel, broadcast or transmission for everyone to watch at the same time.(their wording)

Which begs the question, wtf is a broadcast or transmission?

Now ask your gran to figure out if she needs a tv license or not to watch YouTube? Now watch as she pays for fear of breaking the law and not because she actually needs one.

They way they do licensing imo is predatory


The bbc will have to find new funding methods in time to survive anyway, my son is in his 20s and has tv but watches no broadcast tv only streaming services as do most of his group of friends consuming “tv” this way is going to become the Norm and that generation will not be in the habit of paying the license fee.

Thanks. Yes, I went through the same thoughts as I read the licensing page. WoW.

Problem is “watching streaming services” is not a get out of jail free card. Because some streaming services are covered by the licensing rules and others are not. It seems to come down to whether the live streaming is done by a broadcaster or not. Then we come to the issue, as @Eden previously states, of what is a broadcaster?

What ever your views on this subject can we all agree its Licence not License.


Of the British institutions I wish to protect, arbitrarily spelling a word differently in noun and verb form is not one of them. As British English and American English drift closer let’s pick our battles, I’m happy to ditch the dumb parts of our language so long as we don’t get the dumb parts of their’s.

Seeing Eye Dogs (a term that describes almost all dogs, not just those that guide people) is a hill I am willing to die on, finalise vs finalize is not.


:laughing: :laughing: If I could like a post more than once I would!

If we’re putting together a pan Atlantic lexicon I propose the following trade
“I could careless” in return loosing the for U in colour.

Of course you could careless we all could!


The only thing I hate is when a site puts a red line under a word I spelt correctly in English and spend ages thinking I was wrong only to find it is because it isn’t the American way :man_facepalming: :rofl:

At work, I try to stop myself from correcting all the ‘ize’ to ‘ise’ but I can’t help it!


The BBC licence fee should be called what it is ‘a form of taxation’


You have to pay for your driving licence if you’re any to drive, fishing licence if you want to fish, shotgun licence if you want to shoot … a tv licence to watch TV isn’t that wild


I agree @Eden

I am not a licence holder but recognise some of the value the BBC offers to wider society (than the license holder).

There is a risk that a lot of what the BBC provide just goes by the wayside because it is not profitable or interesting enough for companies to provide, even though those services are quite important to those who use them. I guess we will find out once we don’t have them but I can’t see any profit making company going out of their way to broadcast the shipping forcast! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I’ve always paid my licence, grudgingly, not happily - see it as a form of ‘tv tax’.

I watch the occasional live tv (Mr Lineker on MotD), catch up on iplayer, listen to their radio stations, check out their website.

Don’t have an answer to what the alternative might be but it is nice to watch/listen without adverts.


A BBC article on, you guessed it, the BBC licence fee.

When an intellectual heavyweight like Nadine Dorries is involved, you know it’s simply a distraction tactic.