UK TV Licensing – Live Streaming

Today I received by email my renewed TV License.

Something flipped in my brain to say hold on but you and any member in your household do not watch terrestrail tv and its time to do something about it…….So I decided to contact the “TV Licensing” by their online contact form. I filled in all the neccessary questions and then posted the following message and I will tell you what happened when I pressed the send button at the end of my post.

The message was:

I am a web designer and want to know how using Amazon Prime Video which Amazon use their own servers for has anything to do with you?

I underatand watching terrestrial television on any device is payable but where websites use their own servers why do you charge when these services do not belong to you?

I will be making a blog post about this on as I think it is a questionable charge for something that has nothing to do with you and is against my consumer rights to be forced to pay for something that I do not directly use, which is terrestrail tv or live streaming.

If anything for people such as myself you should offer “a pay as you go service” for the occasional viewing.

But anything that is not part of itv hub should not be passed off as belonging to you and that is illegal to claim that it does.

I have thousands of followers and I will cause an uproar as I feel I am being misleaded.

I would like an answer and an explanation why you are charging me £154.40 a year for something I do not use.

Your terms and conditions state the following Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc. What does the (etc) mean?, you are not being transparent which is also illegal.

I think trading standards should get involved. However when I pressed the (send) button I ended up with the following error:

A bit of a coincidence that an error occurred. Obviously the TV Licensing people do not want confrontations so they make it difficult to complain. What use will it be to me to phone up to be told they cannot give me an answer over the phone.

Youtube do not charge you to watch programmes and websites such as Netflix charge subscription fees. Sky TV you pay a service charge to them directly and they use their own servers just like Amazon and this has nothing to do with the TV Licensing people. I can undestand if a signal from their masts were being used to broadcast channels to your device, so yes I would understand that one would have to pay for the service but for the occasional use it should be a pay as you go service which you could cancel any time.

What gets me is they send intimidationg people to your door if you do not pay.

Streaming TV

According to the TV Licensing people, broadcasts coming direcly from their hub or live viewing such as sport events are deemed as payable to the TV Licensing Organization, However other websites hosted on other servers and services offered by other websites such as Netflix or Amazon should not be also charged to the consumer by TV Licensing UK. If anything they should charge the website owners and make them have a license but not charge the consumer as well……. that is just plain greedy.

Since when do the TV Licensing bodies own the internet or the movie websites?

I do not know too much about streaming websites but I assume one needs a license in order to offer a service. The TV Licensing people are burning the candle at both ends.

The basic rule of thumb is that you must have a TV licence if you watch, record or otherwise consume live television or watch ITV, BBC, S4C. Which I do not!!!! It doesn’t matter which television stations you watch, or how you watch them. You still have to buy a license even if you only watch live streams from Mongolia’s Eagle TV channel.

The definition of “live stream” means it is in real time although there can be delays in transmission such as buffering due to weak wifi/broadband signal strength, and many set-top boxes and PVRs let you pause or save TV programmes to watch later. Therefore recording, capturing and storing live TV shows also counts as watching live television. You can’t get out of paying for a licence by recording programmes and watching them later.

So if you are considering streaming a TV programme just before it ends, you need to have a licence. If you start streaming it just after it has ended, you don’t need a licence.

Regardless what device you use to view live television, or how you collect and process the media, you are still viewing real time TV. No matter how you get the feed whether it is an aerial, a cable network, a satellite dish, a wifi hotspot or any other internet server it all still counts as streaming. This includes watching live fights on Sky Sports Box Office, NHL ice hockey games from Canada, ATP tennis on Amazon Prime and so on, even though you will be paying separately to watch them. Logically, it must also include any live television feeds on Facebook or Twitter. Which I reiterate I do not!!!!

Live Streaming is viewing a Live Feed in Real Time.

It does not matter if your watching live TV via a feed on a TV set, a computer monitor, on a smartphone, tablet or laptop, on a VR headset or projected on to a wall, you still have to pay, which is underatandable providing what you are watching is in real time or on the ITV Hub or BBC iplayer.

Anyone who thinks they can get out of paying without a legitimate reason is very much mistaken as they will hound you until you pay and will even fine you and take you to court. So regardless what device you use if you watch terrestial tv such as ITV, BBC, S4C or live stream TV programmes in real time on your devices whether it is a TV, Laptop, Computer, Smartphone or via a Roku stick in the back of a monitor you still have to pay.

I would therefore like to know what I have got for my money considering they have just charged me £154.40 – the answer I will tell you, absolutely nothing not one iota.

I have basically handed over £154.40 for nothing, imagine this money could go towards my grocery shopping and not the TV Bosses who live in luxury accomodation, with fancy cars and fat pay cheques (checks) from misleading consumers.

I happily pay both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (For Movies) but I do not live stream and do not watch terrestrial TV such as ITV, BBC or S4C. Half the rubbish they broadcast only destroys my valuable brain cells which are better spent blogging. I do not see why I have to pay the TV Licensing people if I do not use their service.

If their argument is that all broadcasts over the internet belong to them then they should make the website owners pay for a license and not the consumer.

But if they can get money from the consumer as well as the website owner thats more chi-ching for them and the consumer who thinks he has to pay regardless if they live stream or not because they are brain washed into thinking they must then, they will pay because they would not know what else to do and the TV Licensing people then laugh all the way to the bank.

Why should I pay Amazon for Prime Video to be charged more than double amount by the TV Licensing people also even though I do not live stream? Amazon is an American Company so what has that got to do with the British TV?

Surely there are jurisdictions on counrty to country viewing tv laws and Britain does not govern the whole wide world. So my question is how can Britain dictate for example Amazon Prime Video which is an american streaming channel, where I presume in order to stream Amazon would have already acquired a license to offer the service and with a paid subscription. So how does Britain have a say in the broadcasting of a foreign country, when it is over the internet and via satellites which do not belong to Britain. I would understand if the live stream was being broadcasted in Britain but if is from abroad how can Britain charge a license fee and if it is for a one time even, for £152.40 and one only viewed as a one off you could go literally watch the event live and get yourself front row tickets for that amount of money. Just asking?

I am angry to say the least and like an idiot I have been paying them for the last 10 years even though I might have only watched a handul times worth of viewing at the most 7 days viewing (not live streaming may I add) only on ITV hub, so for say 10 years at a cost of £1,524.00 they have made over £1,524.00 and I have had nothing for that amount of money which I think they should refund me for.

I remember once whilst I was abroad in the EU back in the day when we were in the EU, I wanted to access a documetary whilst I was in my hotel and it basically said I could not watch the program on my iphone, so the following day I rang theTV Licensing people and they said my license did not cover me to watch British TV on my device whilst I was abroad. So if that is the case they should not charge for live streaming from TV networks from abroad.

But have I the energy or time to complain and just like the rest of the british people (programmed sheep} who end up paying because they are scare mongered into a corner, end up paying for the sake of not having any problems with the TV Licensing people, I may actually break free and stand my ground.

**Note: Anyone reading this please share it far and wide and bring a stop to this once and for all. If Microsoft get their money from every laptop, computer, tablet that is sold that has Windows installed on it, then the TV Licensing people should do the same with all newTV’s and have a subscription service for people who want to view online.

I may take this further, we will just have to see……

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Renata is a businesswoman and published author. She primarily focuses on Digital Marketing, Content Writing, Website Design, Develo[pment, SEO, and Domain Brokering.

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