BBC Closing Loophole, Requiring a License for iPlayer Viewing

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The days of watching last night's programs on the iPlayer without a license are almost over. As early as this summer, parliament will receive proposed legislation on closing what is known as the "iPlayer loophole." That information comes from a speech by culture secretary John Whittingdale, addressing the Oxford Media Convention.

“The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. 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,” The Guardian quoted Whittingdale as saying.

Currently, viewers watching catch-up programming are able to access shows just moments after they're broadcast. Viewers won't need a license for other catch-up services, including ITV Player and 4oD, assuming they're not watching or recording live broadcasts.

So far, there's no information on how the BBC will police the requirement. The online viewing loophole currently costs the BBC £150 million per year. A standard color TV license costs £145.50 per year. Viewers caught watching live shows without a license face a stiff £1,000 fine.

News of the loophole's closure has been met with angry words, The Daily Mail reports, with many saying they will turn to subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime rather than pay up.

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