What is ‘Live TV’ and when do I need a licence to watch it?

Live TV means any programme you watch or record at the same time as it’s being shown on TV or live on an online TV service.

You need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch live TV on any channel or device.

If you’re watching live TV, you need to be covered by a TV Licence:

  • if you’re watching on TV or on an online TV service
  • for all channels, not just the BBC
  • if you record a programme and watch it later
  • if you watch a programme on a delay
  • to watch or record repeats
  • to watch or record programmes on +1, +2 and +24 channels
  • to watch live programmes on Red Button services
  • even if you already pay for cable, satellite or other TV services
  • to watch satellite or online programmes shown live from outside the UK or Channel Islands.

Find out more about watching live TV.

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: