The BBC has revealed it will force smartphone and tablet users to pay the £145.50 annual licence fee to watch its streaming services.
This latest news comes after the BBC confirmed it would be closing a ‘loophole’ that let viewers watch the iPlayer without paying, reports the International Business Times.
The move aims to stop the £150m-a-year losses the BBC are allegedly suffering due to the so-called loophole and will extend it to cover smartphones and tablets.
According to The Sunday Times, the BBC hasn’t finalised how it will work but they are likely to use a system similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime, which require a user account and password.
At last week’s Oxford Media Convention, UK Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said:
I will be bringing forward legislation which will extend the current TV licensing regime not only to cover those watching the BBC live, but also on catch-up through the iPlayer.
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.
Given the popularity of subscription services, the BBC has struggled to keep up with the pace of change – last year they slashed 1,000 jobs to save £50 million and in another cost-cutting move BBC 3 was also taken off air and made an online-only service.
The days of free telly could be over…