How not to pay TV licence legally

If you’ve got Sky TV, you’ll have loads of choice but you’ll be paying a pretty high monthly cost for it. On top of that, you’ll also have to pay the licence fee. There are ways you can get out of paying your licence fee but this is a legal matter so don’t try this without taking a lot of advice or you could end up with a massive fine.



The current regs say that you don’t need a TV licence if you don’t watch shows live. If you watch anything at the time it’s broadcast whether it’s on a TV, laptop or tablet, you’ll need to pay the licence fee. You also need to pay if you record live TV and then watch it back. According to the laws attached to the TV licence, that also constitutes “live TV” so beware of that one.


If you stream TV from a catch up service like Demand 5 or BBC iPlayer, you won’t need a TV licence. You will need a smart TV though that connects to the internet or at the very least a set top box that does the job for you. Firms like Apple and Sony make great set top boxes that will cost you less to pay outright than a year’s TV licence (something like £50 to £100).


We’re not in the business of telling you how to evade the law so even if we knew how the TV licence detection worked, we really wouldn’t want to make that knowledge known. The TV licencing guys feel the same way: “We don’t talk in detail about detection because we do not want to inadvertently aid people deliberately trying to evade the licence,” a TV Licensing spokesman said. “But our processes enable us to identify whether live TV is being watched, regardless of the technology used.” The same spokesman said that they catch around 1,000 offenders each day.

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