Iamlittle Tech Blog

What does the UK TV License pay for and what can you do without it?

Published on June 11th, 2019 by Duncan McClean.

Yesterday, the BBC announced that pensioners will need to start paying the TV license fee unless they receive Pension Credit.

7.3 million households currently receive the TV license for free. Tony Hall, the BBC's director general has said that the move was not an easy decision.

The license fee costs over £150 a year. However if you don't want a TV license, it's not quite as simple as just not watching BBC TV channels or not watching iPlayer.

Some things to note

  • If you're watching any live TV (any TV show on any channel), you'll need a TV license, even if you're streaming it from on-demand services, like iTV Player.
  • Without a TV license you won't be allowed to record TV shows on any channels either.
  • If you're watching TV shows through an on demand service then everything's good - but you can't watch any iPlayer if you don't have a license and you can't watch anything live.
  • If you're watching something on demand, you can't watch it at the same time it's live on TV.

What can I do without a TV license?

  • You can watch streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or NowTV (they use internet)
  • You can also watch YouTube.