Is On Demand TV Free?

Author: Sean

If you’ve read any of my other posts on this site (see this post do I have to pay for on demand TV shows), you may realise that I have answered this question before. I’ve talked about what you have to pay for, what you don’t – do you need a TV License (in the UK) and what you don’t need one for.

I wanted to spend a moment and directly answer just this one question in this post. So that anyone who is just looking for this answer, can get this info without searching for it.


What is free?

So, let me begin by saying that a lot of the on-demand TV services are free. There are others though that you have to pay for.

As an example, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV (in the UK) and some channels in the US (and other countries) are on a subscription model. You have to pay a monthly subscription to get unlimited access to that channel.

These usually offer a vast array of TV shows and movies for you to pick from and watch at your convenience. 

There are, however, many other channels that offer free to view on-demand TV. These, at least in the UK, are terrestrial channels that make available shows after they have been shown on live TV. Generally, they refer to them as catch up TV – though these are true on demand as you can watch them when you want.

Do you need a TV License for the on demand programs

In the UK we have to buy a TV license – though this is for viewing BBC.

I have a post titled Do I need a TV License to watch Netflix where I talk a little more about this. 

If you are not watching live TV (so don’t have a TV Aerial) and you do not watch iPlayer – you don’t need a TV license as stated on the TV License websiteIf you want to watch on demand TV for free then stay clear on Live TV and iPlayer.

Cost of on demand device

What I have not talked about is the cost of the hardware. You can watch most on-demand TV through a computer and web browser. If you want to watch this on your TV it’s more convenient to have an on-demand TV device.

These are generally little devices that plug into the HDMI port on your TV. These days they are mostly quite small – being little stick like devices.

They come with a remote control so you can control them from your armchair. They generally allow you to also install many on demand TV channels – some of which offer more free content for you to watch.

On demand give you freedom from cost

On-demand TV gives you freedom from the confinements of channel listing but also from the cost of paying for content. Today you can watch many hours of TV content daily for free.

We went on-demand only around 3 years ago and have never once looked back.


  • hi, i would like to watch the latest episodes of Yellowstone, the Dutton family, what is the price that i would have to pay, or who do i subscribe with.

    • A

      I’m not sure; you would need to check the channel for subscription costs

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