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Love live TV? You need a TV Licence

Love live TV? You need a TV Licence. Buy one now

Welcome to The People’s Rules of Live TV

Inspired by TV lovers, we’ve made a list of the rules that make live viewing more enjoyable. But before you check them out, don’t forget the rule that makes live viewing legal.

Because, whatever live TV you enjoy – and no matter what channel, streaming service or device you’re watching on – you need to be covered by a TV Licence. It also covers you to watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

So, if you don’t already have a TV Licence, buy yours now.

When you need a TV Licence

Content Server Image Watch or record TV programmes live on any channel
(e.g. ITV, E4 or Dave - not just the BBC)?

Content Server Image Watch or record TV programmes live on any paid-for TV service
(e.g. Sky, Virgin or BT)?

Content Server Image Watch (or 'stream') TV programmes live on an online TV service
(e.g. ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV or Sky Go)?

Content Server Image Watch or record TV programmes live on foreign channels, via satellite or online streaming?

Content Server Image Download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer?


This applies to any device you may use.

Mobile phone
Laptop computer
Tablet device
Games console controller

Doing any of the above? The rules say you need a TV Licence.

That way, you’ll be legally covered to enjoy all the drama of live TV. Like a last-minute penalty or soap cliffhanger. Or the uproar over a judge’s score. It’ll also cover you if you’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

What are the Rules of Live TV in your house?

All over the country, people who love live TV have their own rules when it comes to watching. Here are twenty of them. How many are rules in your home, too?

1. Sprint home for the start

2. Make sure dinner doesn’t clash with a celeb trial

3. Don’t miss a second

4. Never tune in to a baking show on an empty stomach

See more

5. Limit loo breaks, to set breaks

6. Win or lose, it’s ok to cry

7. Strictly no talking over the judges

8. Every soap’s better with a cuppa

9. Lip sync like no one’s watching

10. Paper is allowed for the big words

11. Celebrate loud enough for the neighbours to hear

12. Make it a good innings on the sofa

13. Unpacking stops when your show starts

14. Refresh your island lingo

15. Matching the island vibe while watching is optional

16. Be there for every moment

17. Ignoring texts could spell trouble

18. With a new telly someone always hogs the remote

19. Tune in for TV gold

20. Cliffhangers are more gripping on a new TV


General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: