BAD NEWS, BBC iPlayer freeloaders, you'll have to cough up £145.50 for a TV licence to watch catch-up TV from 1 September.
The BBC will close the loophole that has allowed non-TV licence holders to watch catch-up TV and download programmes on iPlayer, just in time for the start of bloody Bake Off announced this week. (Don't worry, Robot Wars fans, that finishes on 28 August).
"From 1 September 2016 you will need to be covered by a TV licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch-up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use," the TV Licensing website said.
This means that you'll need a licence for anything TV-related by the BBC no matter what device you watch it on, be it a laptop, tablet, Xbox or Roku player.
But what if you take your laptop round to a mate's to catch up with Mary Berry and Co? Don't worry, somebody at the BBC has thought about that.
"If you already have a TV licence for your address you will be covered to download or watch iPlayer when you’re on the go, provided the device you’re using to watch or download programmes isn't plugged into the electricity mains at a separate address," explained the Beeb.
"If the device is plugged in at a separate address, you will need to be covered by a licence at that address."
So, er, don't plug your device in.
Former culture secretary John Whittingdale pointed out in March that video on demand did not exist when the licence fee was introduced.
"The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong," he said.
Naturally, if you already own a TV licence you won't be affected by the change. TV Licensing said that less than two per cent of households are likely to be hit.
If you watch programming on demand from other UK broadcasters, such as ITV and Channel 4, you still don't need a TV licence. µ
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