BBC tie access to the iPlayer with the TV licence

This will help identify those not paying the fee

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Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

There has been quite a bit of chat recent about our own TV licence in recent weeks, but the BBC in the UK has worked out a system they hope will clamp down on those evading payment. 

The BBC has announced that users of their iPlayer will need to enter a password to access the content in the coming weeks. The company has started to roll out notifications to viewers, informing them they will soon need to sign in to watch. 

While they have denied this move is part of a 'crackdown' on those who have not paid their TV licence, they do say that email addresses registered to an account may allow them to identify those using the service without having paid. 

The move was first announced last September in a blog post by MyBBC launch director, Andrew Scott. In the post, Mr Scott said it was part of the BBC's plans to make its services “more personal and relevant to you”.

Mr Scott also said the BBC was considering a verification system for the iPlayer so non-licence fee payers cannot access content for free.

Back at home, Minister Denis Naughten announced his intention to clamp down on those who fail to pay their TV licence earlier this week. 

Ireland has a high rate of evasion, estimated to be over 13.75%. This equates to a loss of approximately €40 million per annum to public service broadcasting, according to the Department of Communications.

There was talk that the TV licence would apply to those watching content on iPads and laptops, but that has since been scrapped.