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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

BBC TV Licence Fee at Risk Due to Techie Teens

Recent Ofcom research highlights that a growing number of younger viewers are watching non-live catch-up services instead of "live" broadcast television programmes.

A TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is used to receive TV programmes at the same time they are broadcast on a normal TV channel. A TV licence is not required to watch previously shown programmes on non-live catch-up services like the BBC's iPlayer.

The research, published as part of Ofcom's eleventh Communications Market Report, measures confidence and knowledge of communications technology to calculate an individual's Digital Quotient (DQ) score with the average UK adult scoring 100 (take Ofcom's DQ taster test).

The study, among nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children, finds that 6-year-olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45-year-olds. Also, more than 60% of people aged 55 and over have a below average DQ score. Average DQ scores by age group as shown in the clickable graphic below:

It shows that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens; this drops gradually up to our late 50s and then falls rapidly from 60 and beyond.

Worryingly, from a BBC TV Licensing point of view, is that the next generation of licence-fee-payers spend less than half their viewing time watching licensable live broadcast TV programmes. An increasing number of younger viewers are turning to DVDs, online catch-up services and downloadable programmes, none of which require payment of the £145.50 a year TV licence fee. Furthermore, only 3% of the 16 to 24-year-olds surveyed said they would miss watching live broadcast TV programmes, compared to almost a third of those aged 65 and over.

A BBC spokesman told the Daily Mail: "As the data shows young people still spend two thirds of their viewing time watching live or recorded TV which needs to be covered by a TV licence. Well under two per cent of households watch only catch-up TV".

In characteristic BBC fashion, he's actually being misleading in that statement: Recording live broadcast TV programmes requires a TV licence; watching them does not.


steven a man said...

The BBC will not give up without a fight, they know they will be unable to get the government , to change the legislation to have ALL FORMS OF WATCHING ANY TV fall under there control, so i would imagine there next step, to keep the gravy train chugging along will be for non license (do not watch live TV)
BBC iplayer watches to pay a fee to access there non-live recorded content, and for the license holders to have a code to enter the recorded on-line content.
The BBC will fight tooth and nail to keep from encrypting all there content and allowing the great unwashed to choose if they want to fund the BBC,
its just a shame they were not as dedicated in uncovering all the pedophiles as they are in keeping the currant MAFIA STYLE SYSTEM in place.

Chris said...

Annoyingly the use of catchup services is often reported in the media as "a loophole" which lets people "avoid" paying for a TV license.

That is obviously bollocks. They might as well claim that someone buying fish in Tesco is "using a loophole" to "avoid" a rod license from the Environment Agency. In fact I used a loophole earlier to avoid buying an LGV license from the DVLA, I drove a car instead.

The TV license, as we know, covers the reception of broadcast TV under the Communications Act 2003. These days it is a poor label since TVs can do lots of things besides receive broadcasts, and there are lots of ways to receive broadcasts that aren't TVs. Back in the day TVs meant reception of live broadcasts so it made sense.

The license fee is NOT a license to receive BBC content per se, and the media always get this wrong too, suggesting that people watching iPlayer are freeloading from decent hard working license fee payers and that the fee should be moved into a broadband tax, that kind of thing. That totally overlooks what the license actually covers in law.

Of course Capita could make this crystal clear in one announcement, but the media's confusion translates to increased revenue as people needlessly buy or retain a license.

Ultimately the BBC must take responsibility for the education and clarity of the information out there, and their failure to address these common misconceptions, leading to increased revenue, is a conflict of interest and frankly apalling.