Pub landlords urged to check TV Licences

TV Licensing and the BII have teamed up to urge pub landlords to check they are correctly covered by a TV Licence if they are showing matches during the RBS 6 Nations tournament.

TV Licensing will be visiting pubs and bars which do not have a licence throughout the tournament, which starts on 6 February.

Any pub or bar which shows live television must be covered by a valid TV Licence. If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence.

Steve Howe, director of membership for BII, the professional body for the licensed retail sector, said:

"We know that pub landlords want to stay within the law so if you’re showing the RBS 6 Nations, it’s a good opportunity to make sure you’re covered by an up-to-date TV Licence. If people are also watching TV in residential accommodation on the premises, it’s worth brushing up on the rules as you will need a separate licence in order to be correctly covered. TV Licensing is there to help with any queries you might have, so enjoy the tournament and don’t risk a trip to the sin bin!"

TV Licensing uses its database of almost 30 million UK addresses, including pubs and bars, to identify unlicensed premises and inform the occupants of the need to be covered by a TV Licence if people are watching or recording TV programmes as they are broadcast. If the landlord or manager receives an enquiry from TV Licensing and no licence is required, they are encouraged to contact TV Licensing so the database can be updated.

If an unlicensed TV set is found to be in use by TV Licensing enquiry officers during a visit, the landlord or manager risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. Last year, TV Licensing caught over 413,000 individuals and businesses across the UK watching or recording TV programmes illegally.

Joanna Pearce, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:

"TV Licensing would always prefer people to buy a licence if they need one rather than risk prosecution, which is why we are issuing this advice ahead of the visits which will take place during the RBS 6 Nations.

If any landlords or managers would like more information about the licensing requirements, or ways to spread the cost, they can call our businesses team on 0844 800 6732 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/business-and-organisations/."

For further information, please contact the TV Licensing press office on 020 7544 3144.

Notes to Editor

Who needs a TV Licence?

If anyone at your business watches or records TV programmes as they are being broadcast, irrespective of what channel they're watching, what device they’re using (TV, computer, laptop, mobile phone or any other), and how they receive them (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the Internet or any other), you will need to be covered by a valid TV Licence. In general, one licence will cover all the TV equipment your business uses for business purposes on a single site. The only exception to this is hotels, which have separate licensing requirements.

However, if you sub-let any part of your premises to another business or have an on-site social or welfare club, then it will require its own separate licence. Please note that the licence does not cover any residential accommodation on-site or within the premises.

When is a licence not needed?

You do not need a licence for your business premises if the TV equipment is never used to receive or record television programme services, but is only used for closed circuit monitoring or to watch pre-recorded videos.

Penalties for TV Licence evasion

Using television receiving equipment to watch or record television programme services without the correct licence is a criminal offence. Your business could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Paying for your business’s TV licence

A colour TV licence currently costs £139.50. A black and white TV licence currently costs £47. The licence fee is set by Government.

TV Licensing aims to make it as easy as possible for people to buy a TV Licence, which is why there are many different ways to pay.

  • Over-the-counter – people can now pay at any of almost 20,000 PayPoint outlets across the country
  • Online – people are now able to pay online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk by Direct Debit or with a debit or credit card
  • Direct Debit - monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes are available and can be set up online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pay-for-your-tv-licence/
  • To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online, by SMS or by phone on the cash payment plan, call 08457 289 289 or view payment methods.
  • Debit or credit card over the phone - this facility accepts payment from a range of debit cards including Maestro, Delta and Connect
  • By post – send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL
  • BACS: Businesses can pay by BACS electronic transfer. Please phone 0844 800 6732 for more information

For more information about any of our payment options, to set up Direct Debit payments or to pay over the phone by debit or credit card please call 0844 800 6732.