Licence fee to extend to iPlayer?

The UK TV licence fee could be extended to cover catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer as part of an overhaul of the levy being considered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

British viewers currently pay £145.50 (€166) annually for a licence if they watch or record programmes as they are broadcast, whether viewed via a television, computer, mobile phone or video games console.

However, computer catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer do not require a licence.

The issue is likely to intensify over the 12 monts, as a rash of new Internet-enabled STBs, including the BBC-backed YouView, are scheduled to launch.

A spokesman for The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Government is aware of developing technologies and the changing viewing habits of those who watch television programmes. How the BBC is funded as these issues evolve is a matter the department will need to address in the near future.”

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