The days of you sneakily watching BBC iPlayer from Thailand could be over


BBC iPlayer has started forcing users to sign in before watching content via the on demand streaming service.

The plans to introduce mandatory logins for people to use the service was first announced last month, but now the BBC has started putting those plans into action.

The requirement is just starting to roll out to users in the UK, although as of yet not all users are being asked to sign in.

Some users trying to access iPlayer have been met with the message:

“You now need to sign in to watch. It’s quick & easy. And we’ll keep you signed in.”

While the BBC had previously denied the move was part of crackdown on license fee evaders, it has said it will help identify anyone who uses iPlayer without paying or who isn’t eligible to use the service – such as people accessing the service from overseas using a VPN.

Last year the BBC said that anyone who wants to use iPlayer needs to have a TV license.

BBC iPlayer is only accessible to people within the United Kingdom.

However, British expats in Thailand and elsewhere use VPNs in order circumvent the geo-restrictions in place that block people from outside the UK using the service.

The VPN changes the IP address of the user’s computer to make it appear they are in the UK, when actually they are located elsewhere.

The BBC have said the new requirements will help make its service “more personal and relevant to you” and that it will be able to tailor programmes based on a user’s interests or previous viewing history.

Netflix offers a similar kind of thing.


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