According to TV Licensing's PR harlots, only 1-in-5 households is aware of changes to the TV licence system that come into force on 1st September 2016.
Of course, given that around 95% of properties are covered by a valid TV licence (and most of the 5% that aren't, don't legally need a TV licence), the changing legislation will be of no relevance whatsoever to the overwhelming majority of the population. That isn't quite such a headline grabbing statistic, which is undoubtedly why TV Licensing's PR flunkies have chosen to ignore it.
As there appears to be confusion in certain quarters, we shall briefly (and simply) summarise the key changes in legislation from 1st September 2016:
If your property is covered by a valid TV licence:
- The changes in legislation will have no impact on you at all.
If your property is not covered by a valid TV licence:
- As is currently the case, a TV licence will be required for the property if equipment is installed or used to receive TV programmes (e.g. programmes shown on any channel at the same time as they are broadcast to other members of the pubic).
- From 1st September 2016 a TV licence will be required to watch BBC on-demand services (e.g. those on the BBC iPlayer). No TV licence is required to watch BBC on-demand services until that date.
- As is currently the case, a TV licence will not be required to watch non-BBC on-demand services.
As previously mentioned, we consider the changes in legislation to be confusing and unenforceable. It is poor legislation designed to fix a problem (the so-called iPlayer loophole) that didn't really exist in the first place, given the negligible number of unlicensed people that used the BBC iPlayer for catch-up only.
We anticipate that the tiny increase in revenue generated will be more than offset by the added difficulties in administering and enforcing the new system.
When it all falls apart, you can be confident that we'll be first in line to tell the BBC "we told you so!"
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