The BBC is to suspend the licence fee as part of a one-off dispensation for the King’s coronation weekend.
The move will allow venues to screen the live coronation ceremony coverage on May 6 and the coronation concert on May 7 without needing to purchase a TV licence.
It costs £159 annually for a colour TV licence and £53.50 for a black and white TV licence.
The BBC said the dispensation is granted in “exceptional circumstances”, with the event needing to be of “national importance” and screened in a community setting.
The public should be able to watch for free and bring their own food and drink.
Examples of venues cited by TV licensing include community spaces, such as churches and town halls, as well as commercial premises such as concert halls, performing arts venues and cinemas. The dispensation also applies to any outdoor venues which have the facilities to screen the coverage.
The decision on whether an event is of national importance is taken on a case-by-case basis, taking into account if it is constitutional in nature, is in the public interest, is on a bank holiday and if people are likely to want to watch in a community setting, such as a street party, where TVs may not normally be used, the broadcaster said on Tuesday.
The licence fee was scrapped for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.
King Charles III’s coronation is the first to be staged in Britain for 70 years and it will see the royal anointed and crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of more than 2,000 guests.
The Queen Consort will also be anointed and crowned in a simpler ceremony during the King’s coronation service.