Why we're here:
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.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Student TV Licence Reminder

As sure as night follows day, TV Licensing fills the September newspapers with articles targeting students at the start of the university year.

We've written a fair bit on this previously (see here and here for deeper reading), but given TV Licensing's recent media offensive it's worth publishing this brief reminder for anyone heading to university for the first time.

A TV licence is required for any property where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programmes at the same time (or virtually the same time) as they are broadcast to the wider public. Additionally, from the 1st September 2016, a TV licence is required for any property where equipment is used to watch or download BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer.

However, a student is covered by the TV licence of their non-term time address if they only ever watch using an unplugged device powered by its own internal battery (e.g. an unplugged laptop or tablet connected wirelessly to the web). If they only ever watch programmes on unplugged devices then they do not need to purchase their own TV licence. We suggest that most students could adjust towards this form of viewing, thus saving themselves £147 (at the time of writing).

A student would require their own TV licence if they decided to install (e.g. plug in to the mains or an external aerial) a device to receive TV programmes (or BBC on-demand programmes) in their own rented room.

Students are reminded of the following facts when dealing with TV Licensing:
  • Anyone who does not legally require a TV licence is under no obligation to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing. They do not need to prove their non-TV status to TV Licensing, despite TV Licensing's regular pretence to the contrary.
  • Under normal circumstances TV Licensing goons have no special legal rights to enter any property, but they will often seek the occupier's permission to enter. Unless TV Licensing has a warrant, which it almost certainly won't (a lot more in this post), then the occupier should refuse entry. TV Licensing goons cannot be trusted.
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

BBC Distorts Taxi Expense Figures

BBC extravagance is making the headlines again today, with news that the Corporation spent around £1.5m on taxi fares in the last three financial years.

In its response to a Freedom of Information request the BBC confirmed the following expenditure on taxis:

- 2014/15: £512,861
- 2015/16: £411,317
- 2016/17: £341,095

The BBC has previously released the following taxi expenditure figures:

- 2011/12: £10,741,554
- 2012/13: £11,775,985
- 2013/14: £11,918,789

Spot the difference?

That's right. The BBC has got canny with the way it records these things.

Information held by the BBC for the purposes of journalism, art or literature (e.g. production purposes) is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The BBC's taxi records were such that it was unable to separate out journeys made for production purposes for the financial years 2011/14, so it was forced to disclose the total amount spent on taxis for whatever purpose.

Having received a well-deserved kicking as a result of those earlier taxi expense figures, the BBC has obviously gone away and decided to change the way it records taxi expenses, so it can separate out those journeys made for production purposes. By separating out those journeys the taxi bill immediately appears much smaller than it actually is.

Speaking of the latest figures, John O'Connell of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Hard-pressed licence fee payers will be furious that BBC staff are racking up such an extraordinary bill.

"The rest of the public sector is clamping down on unnecessary taxis and the Corporation should be no different.

"The BBC has to start spending money more efficiently or sympathy for the outdated TV Tax will continue to wane."

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Reader Letter: TV Licensing Called... But Didn't!

In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.

Lancastrian Craig, a stay at home Dad, was surprised to get a TV Licensing calling card through the door, even though he was at home all day and had no visitors.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I found your website by total accident, but I'm really glad I did.

My situation is that I live in a ground floor flat with my girlfriend and our 8 month old baby daughter. My girlfriend has a better paid job than I do, so when she returned to work I volunteered to take a career break to look after the baby at home. We get our entertainment from sites like YouTube, so we don't have (or need) a TV licence. In the 2 years since we moved here we have received a TV Licensing letter nearly every month, but no-one has ever visited us.

The other day the TV Licensing man pushed a leaflet through my door saying that he had visited. The strange thing is that I was home all day and never heard anyone ringing the doorbell. Given the urgency of every TV Licensing letter I was really expecting him to hammer on the door, but he must have just pushed the leaflet through and left.

My girlfriend is now really worried that TV Licensing will return, perhaps with the police in tow. Please can you give us a bit of advice?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Craig,

Thank you very much for getting in touch with the TV Licensing Blog.

Congratulations on the recent birth of your baby daughter.

It sounds like you're aware of the relevant legislation already, but just to be on the safe side we'll remind you. Your property needs to be covered by a TV licence if you use any equipment there to watch or record TV programmes on any channel or, since 1st September 2016, watch or download on-demand programmes on the BBC iPlayer.

If you don't need a TV licence, which you have said you don't, then there is really no need to be concerned about TV Licensing. You are under no legal obligation to assist TV Licensing at all. Put TV Licensing letters straight in the bin; leave TV Licensing goons out in the cold. Do not waste a minute of your time fretting about the legal authority TV Licensing doesn't have.

As for the TV Licensing goon that visited your property, there is a chance that he/she pushed the calling card straight through without bothering to ring the doorbell. Sometimes the arrival of a calling card is enough to coerce the occupier into buying a TV licence, whether they legally need one or not.

It would also be fair to say that many TV Licensing goons lack backbone and stamina, so quietly pushing a leaflet through the door is the easiest option for them. TV Licensing also uses G4S for the bulk delivery of calling cards.

For more information, please download our free ebook TV Licensing Laid Bare.

Best wishes


If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.

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