Cancelling TV license -- prove my innocence?

I've been reading the guide here: about cancelling my TV license.  I believe I could do it as I hardly ever watch live TV (literally once a month at most) and it would be no hardship for me to stop doing so altogether.  But I'm a bit perturbed by the following, from the "Quick questions" section:
"If I have a smart TV and only watch catch-up, do I need a licence?

Yes if you're watching BBC iPlayer, but technically no if you only use other catch-up services. But proving it will be difficult, especially if your TV is connected to an aerial or satellite dish and is capable of receiving a signal. So it's possible you could find yourself in a tricky situation."


Am I reading this correctly: that I may be required to prove my own innocence?  There's no way I could do that (I can't imagine how anyone could to be honest).


  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631
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    edited 10 March 2020 at 11:57AM
    No it's on TV Licensing to prove your guilty, they can do this by establishing the simple fact that your TV is connected to an aerial, satellite dish or cable TV system. It's therefore really important to disconnect your TV if you want to go legally license free.
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,482
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    Remember that catch up is delivered over the internet so no need to keep the aerial/dish connected - just don't sign in /use BBC I Player.
  • spoovy
    spoovy Posts: 236
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    Thanks both, this is what I would have thought (and hoped!).  Maybe the article needs to have ", especially" removed.
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,135
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    The MSE article is more about what does and doesn't require a Licence.   If there was to be an article about how to handle TV Licensing enforcement, that could be interesting, but I've not seen any media outlet willing to get into the practical, legal and moral complexities of it.   

    If we start from what TV Licensing actually do, they are not that interested in examining equipment, and they rarely obtain physical evidence of evasion or present it in Court.    Their main form of evidence is a verbal confession obtained in questionable circumstances and detailed on a paper form.   

    In terms of what appears in the article, it is good advice to keep the aerial/dish lead disconnected if there is no TV Licence.   However, it isn't actually a legal necessity, because you could be using the TV to listen to radio.   If I have an issue with any of the wording, there, it's with "proving".   There is no requirement to prove anything to TV Licensing.   However, in the bizarre world of the TV Licence, you may find yourself telling them that (they will accept it, though, they have no choice).
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