Citizens are required to purchase a television license if they wish to watch or record any live broadcast in the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies, any household watching or recording live broadcast television transmissions (terrestrial, satellite, cable, or internet) is required to purchase an annual television licence. As of 2012, this costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for black and white. Income from the licence is primarily used to fund the television, radio and online services of the BBC. Total levies from the licence fee were £3.662 billion in 2010–11 of which £579.4 million or 15.8% was provided by the Government through concessions for those over the age of 75.
Apparently licensing officials will show up at your door. Naturally, this isn’t too popular with many in Britain.