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new bbc iplayer

From early next year, you'll need to log in to use BBC iPlayer. The BBC's catch-up service will make the BBC ID account mandatory (at the moment, it's optional).

In order to sign up, you'll need to provide the BBC with your postcode. If you already have a BBC ID, you'll need to give the Beeb your postcode next time you sign in.

The BBC denies it wants your postcode in order to check which viewers have a TV licence and which don't. The law recently changed, making it illegal to watch iPlayer without a TV licence (closing the so-called 'iPlayer loophole'). TV Licensing will have access to the information, however, and may use it to enforce the new rule in the future, the BBC said. Which should put the willies up anyone currently flouting it.

According to Helen Boaden, BBC director of radio, the changes are "about giving you a better BBC."

BBC director general Tony Hall added that it would help personalise the service for users.

"By learning about what you want and like we can take you to more of the great programmes you love, stories you might be interested in and content you might otherwise never have discovered.

"This is a real transformation – reinventing public service broadcasting for the digital age."

Seven million people in the UK already have a BBC ID. According to the BBC, "significant numbers of new people" have bought a TV licence since the iPlayer loophole was closed last month.

Source: BBC

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