Do You Really Need A TV License?

I think the simple answer to this question depends on your watching habits. For us, we have absolutely no reason to have a TV license. I remember a time when just by owning a TV meant you were legally required to purchase a TV license. But those days are long gone.

The rules are, if you watch live tv or record live tv then you definitely need a TV license. But we have watched less and less live TV as each day passed. The only live channel we ever watched was CBeebies, which would be on as background noise for a lot of the day. Guiltily.

Hubby began to question the amount of money that we were chucking away each year on our Sky television package. Each month we were paying £30 a month for our Sky TV (The Variety pack option) and then £37.62 every 3 months for our TV license. That’s a whopping £510.48 each year. For what? There of course was upsides of the package, with box sets and hundreds of channels. But the reality was, we were never able to find a programme we wanted to watch live.

After doing a bit of research, you do not need a TV license to watch programmes online unless of course they are live. You also don’t need one to use Netflix which costs just £7.49 a month for unlimited watch time on 2 devices at once. All in HD that is at no hidden cost. With the prospect of saving £420.60 a month we couldn’t not switch.

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We’ve disconnected our TV aerial, signed a declaration to say we do not watch live TV, connected a Chromecast to our television and cancelled our Sky TV package. We have had our setup like this for about two weeks now and part of me is missing the CBeebies. That’s it though. The happy theme tunes of Justin’s House and the cheerful bounce of Bing. I don’t miss having to flick through channels trying to find something I want to spend my time watching.

Netflix has allowed us to watch so many films and I’ve even started watching Pretty Little Liars when I fold the washing upstairs. Hubby is thoroughly enjoying starting House Of Cards and the girls love episodes of Clifford Puppy Days and My Little Pony. We are watching soaps a little less and having to catch up all at once but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not as convenient as having all your favourite recorded programmes in one planner. Instead I have to use all the different on demand apps for each channel.

So, do you really need a TV license? Would you consider cancelling?

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  1. We don’t have Sky so don’t have that expensive going out each month, so I don’t mind paying the license, as we do watch programs that are on TV and I do like to watch them when they are on!

  2. I have a TV license at the moment, but I’m living in a shared uni house, and we have a really affordable Sky package, which when split between 6 of us, is really quite a good price. However, if I was living on my own I don’t think I’d bother as I mainly watch Youtube and Netflix anyway!

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  3. Hannah - Budding Smiles

    We’ve not had a TV for 4 years now so am definitely with you on this! We watch Netflix and Iplayer through the computer/ipad etc and have never felt like we’re missing out xx

  4. Gosh I’ve never really thought about this. I’d like to say I could go without live tv but I don’t think I could x

  5. Harriet from Toby & Roo

    Hmmm we have Sky TV, netflixs and use the iPad… I need it all haha! I have to admit to being bloody awful for watching TV. I love a tonne of series that you really can only get on the TV xx

  6. This is really interesting as I rarely watch live TV and even the kids watch their stuff on Netflix. Ian wouldn’t want to cancel it all through “just in case” sigh x

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