Non TV-licence payers to lose access to nearly 4,000 hours of BBC content on iPlayer

On September 1st, users of BBC’s on-demand service, iPlayer, will no longer be legally allowed to access it without a TV licence, currently paid for by around 26m households. According to Ampere data, this will deprive them of access to nearly 4,000 hours of on-demand content, around 75% of which is available in HD. This 4,000 hours, spanning nearly 6,000 episodes across 1,000 titles, includes around 2,600 hours of catch-up content from the past month, as well as many Olympic events which are not accessible on any of BBC’s linear channels.

Until now, popular BBC shows such as Sherlock, Doctor Who and Top Gear have been accessible free of charge and advertisements for all UK residents. Now those not paying the licence fee face a fine of up to £1,000 for using BBC iPlayer, which is used in the average month by more than a third of consumers, according to Ampere consumer data. The closure of the loophole is aimed at discouraging cord-cutter households from evading the licence fee, which currently stands at £145.50 per year. Any additional funds raised will contribute towards the upcoming deficit of £650m per year when the BBC has to cover the cost of TV licence fees for those aged over 75; currently subsidised by the government.