The Times has reported that the number of UK homes that have told public broadcaster the BBC they do not need a TV licence now exceeds 400,000 with the newspaper saying that consumers accessing iPlayer and other catch-up services is driving the number up.
The newspaper received the figures following a Freedom of Information request, initially refused by the BBC, which relented after successful appeal by The Times.
The data supplied by the BBC reveals that in 2012 428,359 UK homes told the pubcaster that they did not need to pay the £145.50 TV license. The 2011 figure was 425,590.
The BBC told The Times that watching catch-up services was only one of several reasons people were legitimately not paying the license fee. It said that only 0.2% of all UK viewers watch TV exclusively on catch-up services.
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