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TV licence not important to home movers

Posted by faye.stammers | 26 October

Section 363 of the Communications Act 2003 states that without a TV licence, it is against the law to watch or record any live TV programmes as they’re being shown on a television. So, why does it sit so low on the priority list for home movers?

Our recent survey of 1,000 people found that despite the threat of a heavy fine, the purchase of a TV licence for their new household ranked below buying new furniture, a fridge or a dishwasher. Surprisingly, the most important purchase for a new home is the internet, which came above insurance in second place.

Internet topping the list of the most important buys may explain why a TV licence sits so low on the priority list for home movers. People can indeed avoid needing a TV licence if they only watch TV when it’s not being shown live. Thanks to on demand services such as 4OD and ITV Hub, people do not require a licence anymore to watch their favourite shows. However, people streaming content on BBC iPlayer without having a licence would be breaking the law. 

According to a TV licence report from 2016, a huge 300,000 people were caught watching TV without a licence last year. According to the report, 800 evaders are caught daily which can lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

From our findings it can be concluded that home movers may not realise that when they move house, their TV licence does not follow them. Marie Black, Group Managing Editor of IDG UK, warns, “There's a good chance that those who don't own a licence but do watch live TV will be caught out. If your home doesn't have a TV licence, you are already on the TV licensing authority's database”.

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