TV Licence


Do I need a TV Licence?

The law is changing

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.

Don’t forget, you still need a TV Licence to watch or record programmes on any channel as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service.

So, if you already have a TV Licence on 1 September, you’re already covered.


Will this change in law apply to students?

Yes. Anyone that downloads or watches BBC programmes on demand – including catch-up TV – on BBC iPlayer will need to be covered by a TV Licence. As before, you need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV on any channel.

You will need a licence even if you access iPlayer through another provider, such as:

  • Freeview, Freesat or YouView
  • Sky, Virgin Media or BT Vision
  • Apple, Roku or Amazon

Can I be prosecuted for watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer without a TV license?

Yes. From 1 September 2016 you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000* plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.

How do I buy a TV licence?

You can buy or renew your TV licence online by visiting  You can also buy a licence by paying by post, direct debit, via a savings card or over the counter at a Paypoint outlet.  A license currently costs £145.50 per year.



You may be able to get a refund if you don’t need your licence during the summer holidays. As long as your licence is still valid for at least three full calendar months and you don’t need it again before it expires, you can get some money back!



TV Licensing – information for students:

Citizens Advice – advice on television licences