TV Licence: What can you legally watch without paying £159 fee? Simple steps for a refund | Personal Finance | Finance


A television licence is needed to watch or stream programming as it is being broadcast live with the money going towards the funding of the BBC. But as more and more people turn to Netflix and Now TV, is there a way to save some money?

On The TV Licensing website, it explains when a TV licence is necessary.

TV programmes live on any online TV service, including Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, ITV Hub or All 4, need to be covered by a TV Licence.

People also require a TV licence if they watch or steam programmes live via an online TV service on any device including tablets, gaming consoles, laptops and mobile phones.

Examples of these include the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV and Sky Go.

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If someone watches or records TV programmes live on any channel or TV service, or download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, they will also need to be covered by a TV Licence.

Furthermore, people don’t need a TV Licence if they only ever use online services to watch on demand or catch up programmes.

Britons don’t need a TV Licence if they only ever use Netflix, Disney Plus, or other online TV services to watch on demand or catch up programmes, except if they’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

It should be noted that if individuals are watching a programme live on YouTube, they need to be covered by a TV Licence.


If someone is watching live TV on Amazon Prime, they need to be covered by a TV Licence.

They don’t need a TV Licence if they’re only watching on demand programmes on Amazon Prime.

However people will need to pay the licence fee if they are watching a live broadcast of a sport on Prime.

If people only watch on demand programmes on Netflix and don’t watch TV live on any TV or streaming service, and don’t watch BBC iPlayer, they may cancel their TV Licence if they won’t need it again before it expires.

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Refund forms can be found online through the TV Licensing website, which has a clear step-by-step guide for anyone worried about filling in the application.

The application will ask for the name on the TV Licence, the licence number, address and postcode.

People will also need to include the date from when the licence is no longer needed.

On the TV Licensing website, it states: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires. That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.

“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”

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