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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Expats can watch the BBC for 4 pounds a month

Expatriates living in parts of Europe, Australia and Canada can watch BBC programmes for just £4 a month, making an annual subscription £52.

This is a bargain compared to the £145.50 that residents in the UK pay for their television licence each year.

Not only this, but overseas viewers also have access to BBC archive material that is not on offer to those in Britain through its Global iPlayer service, which is watched over the internet, reports the Daily Mail.

While this is good news for those who live abroad and miss television from home, it has provoked debate about the relative costs.

There are calls for the money made on the overseas service to be used for a reduction in the licence fee, with Conservative MP Conor Burns, a member of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, leading the charge.

He told the news provider: "I am very much in favour of the BBC commercialising content and using the revenue to create more innovative, good quality British-made productions.

"But it is an outrage that they are selling content to foreign nationals at a cheaper rate than to those in the UK who are obliged to pay the licence fee."

The Global iPlayer was introduced to a select number of countries two years, but none of these was the UK. It is now slowly being expanded to incorporate more destinations.

For £52 a year, overseas viewers have access to 2,000 hours of programming through devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.

As well as this up-to-date content, international audiences can decide to watch the back catalogue of a number of shows, including comedies such as Blackadder and Fawlty Towers.

BBC Worldwide revealed last year that iPlayer had been downloaded more than a million times abroad, proving just how popular the service is.

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Unlike the UK BBC iPlayer, the Global iPlayer is not a seven-day catch-up service, and it does not offer the same breadth or amount of content available to the UK licence fee payer. 

Despite this, many expats find the Global iPlayer a great way to watch great television and maintain a link with the UK at a reasonably small cost.

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