Video on Mobile Phones FAQs

Do I need a TV licence to watch live TV on my device?

UK users need to be covered by a TV licence to watch live TV on mobile devices and this includes live streaming of the BBC Sport content.

A 'live' TV programme is defined as a programme which is watched or recorded at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is being broadcast or otherwise distributed to members of the public.

As a general rule, if a person is watching a programme on a computer or other device at the same time as it is being shown on TV then the programme is 'live'. This is sometimes known as simulcasting.

What will happen if I don't have a TV licence?

It is a criminal offence for users in the UK to watch 'live' television without a TV licence or to possess or control a device which you know or reasonably believe will be used to watch 'live' TV without a TV licence.

You could be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000 (plus be ordered to pay legal costs) for these offences.

Where can I buy a TV licence or get more details?

To buy a TV licence or obtain further information about licensing requirements call TV Licensing on 0870 241 5590 or visit

How do I play a video/audio file?

Simply select the appropriate link (by touching on the image or play icon) and the stream will automatically play.

Why can't I watch live video or highlights clips on my phone?

We currently only offer video services to iOS devices with iOS 5.0 and higher and Android handsets with OS2.2 and higher. Android handsets must also have Flash installed.

If you have one of these devices and a lower OS version, it may be possible to upgrade the operating system of your device. Please contact your mobile network operator or handset user guide for more information.

Android users on OS4.0 and above may have to download Flash from the Android marketplace to be able to watch video.

Because of the wide range of handsets on the market and the different technologies they use to serve audio and video, the BBC is not able to offer media to all handsets.

We regularly review the range of handsets being used to access the site and aim to ensure the most popular models are able to access as much content as possible.

How much does it cost to listen/watch via 3G?

The BBC will not charge you to watch video or listen to audio. However your operator will charge you for the amount of 3G data you use.

If you are playing media over 3G and are unsure of the data costs on your tariff please contact your network operator.

How can I limit the costs of watching/listening to video content on 3G?

There are several ways to limit the costs of watching video content:

•The same live and on demand content offered on the mobile service is also available on the desktop BBC Sport website. You can use this service on a desktop PC or laptop with an internet connection.

•If you use a lot of mobile data you can talk to your mobile operator about the most cost-effective way of using the mobile internet on your phone and find out about ways of monitoring your mobile internet usage.

•You can reduce data costs by using wi-fi when available via your wireless broadband connection at home or at a wireless hotspot. If you are not sure if your phone has wi-fi built in please contact your network operator or review your handset's user guide.

Can I improve the sound quality?

Some mobile phones with built in speakers offer low sound quality. Try using headphones or plug-in speakers.

Why can't I watch/listen to media when I am outside the UK?

The BBC only has the rights to show certain live and on demand video in the UK.

Can I download these videos to watch them later?

No. Due to rights restrictions, BBC Sport only makes video available for streaming.