A CHANGE to TV licensing is coming on September 1 and you need to know about it if you’re a fan of iPlayer.

The loophole which currently allows viewers to watch on-demand BBC shows for free will be closing.

A licence will be needed by anyone downloading or watching BBC programmes on any device including smart TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets and games consoles.

People who continue to watch iPlayer without a TV licence will risk prosecution and a £1,000 fine.

Only live content is covered by the £145.50-a-year licence fee at the moment.

People who already have a TV licence will not be affected by the change, while one will not be needed to watch other on-demand services such as Netlfix or ITV Player.

Students in particular could be affected by the change, with two in three students watching catch-up TV online and only 22 per cent taking a television with them to university.

Research shows iPlayer is the most popular form of watching catch-up TV online for students.

Ben Craig, spokesman for TV Licensing London and the south east, said: “Watching catch-up TV is really popular among students and we want to make sure students are aware of the change in law.

"From 1 September, everyone will need to be covered by a TV licence to watch BBC TV programmes on-demand – including catch up – on iPlayer.

“Students can check at our dedicated TV Licence for students (tvlicensing.co.uk\studentinfo) page whether they are correctly licensed before the big move.

"And, of course, you still need to be covered by a licence for all live viewing and recording, no matter which channel you are watching or what device you are watching on.”

It is unclear how the new rules will be enforced, with TV Licensing saying there are no plans to make people enter their licence fee number but “all options" are being looked at.

Ahead of closing the loophole, John Whittingdale, then culture secretary, stated in March: "The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it.

"Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong."