Do you need a TV licence? If like me you love watching television especially the soaps and reality tv shows (don’t judge me!) you are quite happy to pay for the TV licence – or are you? Did you know that if you only watch certain ‘catch up’ TV programmes you do not need a TV Licence?
Below is how (if you follow certain criteria) you can save £150 a year on your TV licence and watch TV for free.
How much does a TV licence cost
A TV licence costs £150 per year for colour and £50.50 per annum for a black and white TV. There are certain exemptions where you can get your TV licence reduced. See this link for further clarification https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/reducedfee
The licence can be paid weekly, monthly, every quarter or annually.
Why the rules have chanced
You used to be able to watch BBC I player without a TV licence (providing you were not watching live TV shows). Of course many people thought this was fantastic as with the internet now people may not watch live TV and can view their favourite programmes not only on TV but on a computer, laptop, mobile or any other numerous devices. So more and more people were doing this. Naturally this meant many people were legally opting out of paying their annual TV licence.
This has now changed any if you watch BBC I player (regardless of live or recorded) then you will need a TV licence. However, some people do get confused as you can watch other catch up sites for free without a TV licence.
You will not need a TV licence if you watch TV after it has been recorded unless on BBC I player.
So how can I get away with not having a TV licence
Unless you do not watch BBC I player then you can legally watch TV for free if you are using other channels catch up services.
The BBC state you need a TV licence to watch BBC I Player and this rule was established in September 2016 but this does not apply if you are watching other catch up services which include ITV Hub and All 4. These stations (plus others) you can watch for free without a TV licence as long as you are not watching them live on TV.
You may think that if you wait for ‘catch up’ TV that this will take a while before you can see your favourite tv programme but often this is not the case and normally the programmes are shown fairly quickly after the ‘live transmission’
You cannot record ‘live broadcasts’ as this would be considered as watching TV live.
If you are watching live TV even on a mobile phone you will need to have a TV licence.
How to cancel your TV licence
If you wish to cancel your TV licence you need to inform the TV licensing group. This is vital as otherwise you will get numerous letters coming your way.
Make sure any direct debit is cancelled and this can be done by completing the TV Licence contact form. Make sure you explain to them that you are no longer watching Live television and state the address to which the cancelled TV licence is referring to. The link is here https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/contact-us/index.app
You will need to fill out the ‘no licence needed’ declaration form and make sure you keep this as proof you have cancelled as otherwise they may call you or even visit your home to establish you are not watching Live TV. It is vital you keep a copy of the confirmation of cancelling should they require evidence you have cancelled. Did you know that if you are watching TV ‘illegally’ then you could be fined up to £1000 (£500 in Jersey and up to £2000 in Guernsey) you could also be prosecuted. The TV licensing claims to catch over 1000 offenders daily. So make sure you avoid the visit from the TV inspectors.
Remember you need a licence to watch or record any live TV programme, on any channel and not only BBC I player but also ITV Player, All 4, Sky Go, Virgin Media, BT TV, Apple TV, Now TV, YouTube, Roku and Amazon Instant Video etc
According to the TV Licensing the amount of people who only watch catch up tv is around 2%. So you really need to ask yourself do you still need a TV licence. However, what about major events that are happening, remember if you cancel your TV licence you would not be able to watch live coverage of major sports on even the upcoming Royal Wedding!