A loophole allows you to watch BBC iPlayer without buying a TV license

Here’s how to do it


Yesterday, the BBC announced they were cutting the BBC iPlayer loophole, putting an end to viewers freely catching up with BBC programmes on demand. Particularly devastating for students then, who would now have to fork out the extra £145.50 to pay for an annual TV licence, even if they don’t own a telly.

It appears, however, there is a loophole in the loophole.

One of the clauses in the legislation suggests that students are exempt from paying for the licence, as long as they abide by some rules. Students can get away without a TV licence if they register their permanent address to their parents’ home rather than their term-time address, where their parents own a valid TV licence themselves. They also have to watch BBC iPlayer off a charged device as it can’t be plugged into the mains or an ariel.

The BBC announced putting an end to the the iPlayer loophole in March, with then Culture Secretary John Whittingdale saying: “The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it” and that “Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong.”

They have intentionally created the student exemption, however, so that they don’t become a “laughing stock” when thousands of people inevitably enjoy watching programmes on the iPlayer without paying a penny.

While it has been said that anyone who is found using BBC iPlayer without a licence could be fined up to £1000, it is unclear at the moment how this is going to be enforced. For now though, students can freely enjoy an evening off the Great British Bake Off, as long as they have full battery.

Bake off