What can you legally watch without a TV licence?

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The TV licence fee costs £159 a year, or £13.25 a month, but not everyone needs one thanks to the rise in popularity of streaming services like YouTube and Netflix. However, when it comes to who needs a licence and what people can watch without a TV licence, there are several rules to note.

The TV licence fee is here to stay until at least 2027 when the Government will look at other ways to fund the BBC.

Not everyone has to pay for a TV licence – Britons over 75 who rely on Pension Credit are entitled to a free TV licence.

People who are blind or partially sighted are entitled to a 50 percent reduction.

Residents in care homes that have ARC schemes only have to pay a concessionary rate of £7.50, while those over-75s in residences with ARC schemes are eligible for a free licence.

What can I watch without a TV licence?

Britons can watch Youtube, Netflix and other streaming services as long as they don’t watch live TV, but one is needed for BBC iPlayer.

On the TV licensing website it states: “You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever watch on demand or catch up programmes on services other than BBC iPlayer – and never watch TV programmes live on any channel or TV service.

“This applies to any device you use, including a TV.”

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If people think they don’t need a licence they can ask TV licensing for a full refund.

However, it pays to be sure before cancelling as a Cheshire couple were recently fined £460 in court bills after they were caught using televisions without a TV licence. 

This is almost three times the cost of the BBC licence fee of £159 for the year.

Meanwhile, the BBC licence fee was cancelled by more than a quarter of a million more people last year as more and more Britons refused to pay the controversial fee. 

One factor why the BBC saw more cancellations could be that Britons have been struggling to find the money to pay for bills during the cost of living crisis.

Another likely factor is that more and more people are watching streaming services like YouTube and Netflix and no longer watching live TV so they don’t need a licence.

How to get a refund on your TV licence:

On the TV Licensing website it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.

“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.

“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”

“People can go to tvlicensing.co.uk to find out more about whether they are eligible for a refund or discount.”

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