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BBC Boss Wants iPlayer Freeloaders to Prove They Have a TV Licence

By Gary Cutlack on at

People who avoid having a licence fee in order to do all their BBC watching on iPlayer should still be required to pay the charge, says director general Tony Hall, hinting that a PIN-protected iPlayer for fee-payers only may be on the cards.

The BBC estimates that around 500,000 households avoid paying the charge by doing (or saying they do) all their TV viewing online. Hall said in a speech at the Oxford Media Convention that: "Our view is that there is room for modernisation so that the fee applies to the consumption of BBC TV programmes, whether live on BBC 1 or on-demand via the iPlayer or other devices."

To back up his idea he produced a BBC survey that claims the general public would happily pay between £15 and £20 a month to access its services, which is actually more than the current £12 a month licence fee currently costs. [Guardian]