iPlayer loophole closure blocks 4,000 hours

iPlayer March 14British viewers choosing not to take a television licence before September 1 will lose access to nearly 4,000 hours of on-demand programming, according to new analysis.

A recent UK law change saw the BBC ‘iPlayer loophole’, which currently allows households to access programming on-demand such as Doctor Who and Sherlock without paying, closed. This comes into effect in September.

Ampere Analysis noted this would block around 4,000 hours of on-demand content, including around 2,600 hours from the past month and Olympic events that are not available via linear routes.

Overall, the 4,000 hours comprises nearly 6,000 episodes across 1,000 titles. Ampere data suggests more than one-third of UK consumers access the iPlayer.

Evading the licence fee, which costs £145.50 (US$188.50), will land offenders with fines of up to £1,000. These additional funds will go towards cover the cost of TV licences for over 75s, a levy the government placed on the BBC last year as part of Charter renewal discussions.