The man in charge of BBC iPlayer and technology at the Beeb has said he wants to expand the licence fee even to those who only watch on the web.
Currently, a licence fee isn’t required to watch BBC iPlayer as programs on it aren’t streamed live as they air on TV. But BBC director of Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers says that even if you don’t own a TV but still use BBC iPlayer (On your iPhone, say), you should still pay the £139.50 annual levy.
“My view is that if you are using the iPlayer you have to be a television licence fee payer. I don’t believe in a free ride. If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder,” he said this week.
Of course this, wouldn’t affect households with TVs already, but the BBC Trust has warned that viewing habits are changing, with a generation emerging that prefers TV streaming on demand via BBC iPlayer and other services.