TV Licensing Over 26,000 unlicensed 18-25 year olds caught across the UK

More than 26,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV without a TV Licence in the past year, according to new figures released today by TV Licensing1.

With 75 per cent of first year undergraduates aged 25 and under2, TV Licensing is reminding freshers that they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV, on any device, without a TV Licence.

Recent research3 by TV Licensing shows 29 per cent think TV Licensing can’t catch people watching live TV on a computer, laptop or mobile device and just over half of students believe that people in general are unlikely to be caught if they watch live TV without a TV Licence.

Kim Hayman, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

Every year myths circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence. We want to make sure students know one is needed by law to watch or record live TV, on any device including a laptop, tablet, mobile phone or games console. A TV Licence costs on average £12.13 a month4 which goes towards services like Radio 1’s Big Weekend, BBC iPlayer, Newsbeat and BBC One Match of the Day.

To avoid the risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, we encourage students to check if they need a licence on our website – – or by calling 0300 790 6113.

When asked, two in three students had a positive opinion of the BBC and 67 per cent thought the TV Licence offered value for money3.

1. Figures relate to people caught between September 2014 and August 2015 and are accurate at the time of reporting.

2. Higher Education Statistics Limited 2014 - distribution of first year degree students 2013/14

3. Research with students was conducted by Harris Interactive among 220 students across UK city centres, where there is a large student population, in May 2015.

4. The cost of £12.13 is averaged over 12 months; there is not a payment method where you can pay this amount per month.

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