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Will Budget result in having to pay for BBC iPlayer?
Monday 06 July 2015 10:28:31 by Andrew Ferguson

The BBC it appears may find itself having to fund the free TV licences for over-75s' if the Budget on Wednesday decides to save £650m from the Department of Works and Pension budget by shifting responsibility to the BBC.

So why the headline to this article? Well as many people have already figured out that as more people switch to watching BBC content when its NOT live via BBC iPlayer they do not have to pay for a TV Licence and it appears the BBC is considering charging for access to iPlayer, essentially meaning you need a TV Licence to even watch catch-up content.

How exactly this would be policed is difficult to say, but one can only presume that you will end-up having to register your TV Licence for various devices and only then will you be allowed access. Of course with a decent amount of BBC content already ending on services like Netflix some may simply decide to wait that bit longer, or just no watch the content.

Update 4pm The Culture Secretary has confirmed changes in who pays for the free TV Licences for over 75s'. It also appears that charging for catch-up services is to be brought forward. We will see if there is a definitive statement available.


Posted by 961a about 1 year ago
Why should I pay a licence fee to fund programming shown on the i-player where others can watch it free?
Why did the BBC take so long to understand that only an idiot pays for something he can get free 10 seconds later including full Wimbledon coverage? Is its management really that poor?
By 2017 no one will be paying
Time it was funded by subscription oor advertising (We pay enough for the BBC to fill advertising space with expensive trails of its own programmes
Posted by AndrueC about 1 year ago
@961a: Not everyone has a computer hooked up to the internet and ready to use for TV. I bet the vast majority of people are still watching TV the same way they always have done. You're not adding anything to the debate by labelling several million adults as idiots just because they haven't gone to the trouble of joining the IPTV revoluion.
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
BBC needs to just follow the rest and add advertising to both Live and On Demand transmissions.

The BBC has nothing that I'm interested in anyway, I was interested in Radio 1 but the good DJ's have now been snapped up or left leaving fake and annoying people in their place.

TV.. 3 shows that air for a few weeks a year together... so yep charge for iPlayer!
Posted by AndrueC about 1 year ago
If you want to debate the merits of the TV license you should really spend some time understanding the market. I'm pretty sure that iPlayer is still a relatively small %ge of the viewing figures. Most people just sit down and turn the TV on. It's all they ever have done and all they want to do.

Most people can't even be bothered with time-shifting let alone firing up a silly computer just so they can watch things '10 seconds later'.
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
Almost forgot... I think its a sick practice charging TV license to those who subscribe to premium TV services.

Specially when those premium tv services use their own infrastructure to get to the customer. (Sat, Cable, IPTV)
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
@AndrueC - The only people I know who can/do sit down and watch TV like you say above are pensioners....
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@generallee94: Was your username created because you like making sweeping "general"isations?? I'm not a pensioner, yet I don't watch TV via IP because my broadband is not good enough. Your statement might be true that the only people *you* know of who watch TV in the way I do are pensioners, but this does not hold true for the huge numbers of people that you *don't* know.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@generallee94: I guess your comment "The BBC has nothing that I'm interested in anyway" is also a generalisation as I can't believe you never ever have any involvement in anything the BBC does. I'm sorry, but you're just an troll with a downer on the BBC without any sensible arguments, like quite a lot of other people. Yes, that's a generalisation too.
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
don't like my comments, thats too bad...

You and a small percentage of the UK not having access to decent broadband is not other peoples problem, and my comment regarding pensioners could of been worded better... what was meant was most people don't have time to sit watching TV these days..
Posted by Llety about 1 year ago

Who's problem is poor broadband?

Just interested in your insight and the real details of your solution? thanks.
Posted by AndrueC about 1 year ago
"what was meant was most people don't have time to sit watching TV these days"


The top line suggests that 54 million people found the time for an average of 22 hours of TV in the last week of June. And that's summer which is a traditional low point for TV. Go back to January and it's 30 hours a week.
Posted by ian72 about 1 year ago
Generallee, do you have stats that show that "most people" don't watch TV via a normal TV set? I stream very little, don't watch live but do time-shift. Time-shifting also requires a license because it is recorded at time of transmission. I use catch-up if I forgot to record something.
Posted by ian72 about 1 year ago
As far as watching it "10 seconds" later most things only become available some time after the actual programme has ended I believe. So, to watch the "live tennis" on catch up (ie where you don't currently need a license) you might have to wait some time.
Posted by herdwick about 1 year ago
Needing a license to use the iPlayer (legally) is a different thing to "paying to use the iPlayer", for the majority that have a TV licence.

iPlayer has an account facility, TV licences can be bought online, some integration to demonstrate you have a licence number and corresponding postcode isn't inconceivable.
Posted by 961a about 1 year ago
I have a licence, I also have a tablet with an i-player app from the BBC
The i-player shows more courts than I can get on my tv with red button and the delay is, I guess, 10 seconds
Please ask the BBC why I (and all who don't have a licence fee) can see Wimbledon tennis, many courts, on i-player with only a 10 second delay
Posted by chilting about 1 year ago
I don't believe that people who just use iPlayer don't watch some live TV - even if its only the news headlines.
Simply extend the need for a TV license to cover the iPlayer.
Posted by PhilCoates about 1 year ago

'could of been worded better'.

That should have been 'could HAVE been worded better'.
Posted by ian72 about 1 year ago
@961a - I don't know about those streams but those sounds essentially like a live stream? If it is a live stream that just happens to have a delay then you would technically need a TV license to watch.
Posted by uniquename about 1 year ago
The logical extension of your post re being able to see more courts on a tablet is that people using iPlayer should be charged more than the standard licence fee. Similarly those with internet-enabled TVs.
Posted by 961a about 1 year ago
I agree you should have a licence to watch this. My point is that the BBC should not be streaming "near live" until they have a method of enforcement
I entirely agree. At the moment they are encouraging folk to watch without paying and seem quite happy about it. Until they can enforce payment live streaming should stop
Posted by mervl about 1 year ago
Good politics though. A grubby compromise between a PM (sorry, election manager) who wants to keep his natural constituency on-side and a Chancellor as they all do, before I'm accused of anything) who wants to clean the books. Passing the buck is always the easy bit.
Posted by mervl about 1 year ago
I'm sure for everyone concerned about free streaming from the BBC, that Sky would be only too willing to have the opportunity to address that problem for you! It's probably what they have in mind. Creating a few jobs in the process, "good".
Posted by burble about 1 year ago
The BBC needs to charge for iPlayer? So what! link it to the licence job done, you enter licence number to access content,more than one address tries to do it at same time and its blocked.
As for the BBC 'funding' over 75 free licences, they don't 'pay out' money to 75+ it's just a revenue stream they can't access, yet some at BBC seem to have got hot under the colllar over this, seems very two faced to me, they don't complain about people who pay the licence but don't nessasarly watch BBC.
Posted by nervous about 1 year ago
I don't understand why people don't want to pay the license fee for the BBC with the myriad of services you get for your money.

The BBC is the best and most respected public service broadcaster in the world and you should be proud of it.

It is one of the jewels in the crown of GB and it also keeps standards up of independent television in this country.
Posted by nervous about 1 year ago
It can't be funded by advertising because CH4, another great public service broadcaster is funded that way plus it would just rob revenue from independent TV.

It is funded by subscription, ie license fee. More critically it's funded by the public which keeps it free of government and commercial control.

BBC charter renewal should remove any more interference by the government and appoint a completely independent body to set license fee.
Posted by nervous about 1 year ago
The world service which used to be paid for by the foreign office will also now be paid for by the license fee. The over 75's used to get their license fee paid by the DWP as this no will no longer be the case the BBC will have the power to charge them or lose the over £600 million revenue.

There are a lot of people in govenment which would like the BBC to become no more than a news broadcaster and for that reason alone you should stand by the BBC.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@uniquename: "...people using iPlayer should be charged more than the standard licence fee. Similarly those with internet-enabled TVs. ". There are actually 6 RB streams on Freesat at the moment (one in HD) showing Wimbledon, presumably this is more than is accessible via Freeview, but I don't think those watching on satellite should pay more. The medium is irrelevant, you choose the medium out of convenience or necessity. iPlayer is an oddity because it falls out of the "TV as it is being broadcast" condition.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@chilting, @nervous etc. Yes, I'm pretty sure most of the nay-sayers about the licence and the BBC do actually consume BBC content in one way or another, they don't actually realise the value of it and they would miss it when it was gone or if they had to sit through adverts for it or if it didn't have the quality and variety, etc etc.
Posted by broadband66 about 1 year ago
@generallee94: As you seem to be a person of a lower standard of education ("could have" not "could of") you don't realise the standard of production that the BBC outputs over its channels and therefore a charge IS required. I'm nowhere near being an OAP but I watch live TV quite a lot and am happy to pay the fee.
Posted by michaels_perry about 1 year ago
I am an OAP and my wife is eligible for a free licence. We are able to get fibre broadband where we now live but before we moved it was ADSL Max at 2 mbps maximum! That's typical of most rural areas and just too slow for IPTV. Many older people we know don't have web connections and are not interested due to complexity, as they see it, and unwarranted costs. So they watch live on-air broadcasts using Freeview.
Including iPlayer in the licence is a very good idea.
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago
BBC needs to be dissolved, it's paid for via coercion/theft/violence.
Posted by NetGuy about 1 year ago
@ DrMHH - while i agree there is a degree of 'demanding money with menaces' (such as frightening some into paying because they highlight what would happen in court as if it's about to happen, etc), I don't think it should be scrapped.

Plenty of quality material, well made, and with minimal product promotion.
Posted by NetGuy about 1 year ago
@ chilting

You can believe what you want, but I for one don't watch live TV - must admit, been a long time since I've even tried iPlayer, too. Last time was on Windows before the problems with downloading came about - 3-4 years ago, perhaps. They removed radio streaming from the iPlayer app on some box I had more recently, and killed my primary enjoyment wrt BBC output.
Posted by NetGuy about 1 year ago
Last thing I bought was a Now TV box with 4 months of entertainment for 12.50 about a year ago. The only things on BBC I think I have missed (apart from films - not sure which would have worth watching) may have been live Snooker. That sport alone isn't worth near 150 quid to me. If they did an a la carte menu I'd pay for Snooker only, but as things stand I just do without.
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago

Perhaps I was being too harsh in the moment, at the very minimum, privatized.
Posted by JacktheMac about 1 year ago
Right on nervous14. Loudmouths who berate the licence fee of £145 are usually brain-dead drones fed anti-Beeb propaganda by Murdoch media, who have no problem paying £500+ for 200 channels of Skycrap. I’d happily pay £145 for Radio 4 alone.

To use iPlayer services, you should enter your licence number. End off. Give a few shows out licence free as teasers. Tie this in to the BBC Redux project (all BBC output from the last 30 years digitised for on-demand purchase).

Don’t let Murdoch and his pals in the Tory party destroy the best broadcaster in the world.
Posted by JacktheMac about 1 year ago
Also: can you imagine just how bad commercial TV would get without the BBC maintaining standards ? It would be a scrabble to the bottom.

“BBC is ...Paid for via coercion/theft violence” Are you a complete idiot ? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, and don’t pay for it. It’s that easy.

Where’s the violence/theft/coercion in that premise ?
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