13:19 24 June 2017
BBC iPlayer, a hugely successful streaming catch-up service, can now only be accessed with a username and password. The move aims to identify viewers who are watching content without a TV licence.
A notification that was sent to viewers last month reads: "You'll soon need to sign in to watch. It's quick and easy. And we'll keep you signed in."
"The information you provide us with can help TV Licensing ensure that people are abiding by the law and minimise licence fee evasion".
Writing in an official BBC blog, MyBBC launch director Andrew Scott explained: "By matching email addresses we may be able to identify someone who has told us they don't need a TV licence while at the same time having signed in and watched iPlayer.
"So we will now use this alongside our existing enforcement techniques to help identify people who are watching licence fee-funded content without a licence.
"Both the National Audit Office and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee have focused on the need to reduce evasion recently.
"The Government has also asked us to consider whether a verification system is required for BBC iPlayer so that people who are not paying the fee cannot access licence fee-funded content for free.
"This is something we’re continuing to look at."
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