Students urged to make sure they‘re licensed

TV Licensing reminds students to get correctly licensed if they are watching live TV online or risk a heavy fine of up to £1,000.

With Fresher students now well into their first term, TV Licensing is reminding those who watch live TV to ensure they have a valid licence, no matter what device they use to view it on.

The number of students who watch TV live online has increased significantly since last year to just under a third (29%) according to latest research. However, worryingly more than one in four (28%) of those who watch TV live online think they don’t need a licence or have no plans to buy one.

TV Licence is required for watching or recording any programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, regardless of the equipment used, including computers, game consoles, laptops and mobile phones.

TV Licensing is reminding students about when a licence is needed so they have all the information they need to ensure they are correctly licensed and don’t risk breaking the law. Anyone caught watching TV illegally risks prosecution and a maximum fine of £1,000.

Students can buy a licence easily and quickly in minutes at TV Licensing’s website - just visit TV Licensing for Students. TV Licensing offers a number of payment options for people to help spread the cost of paying for a licence, including by Direct Debt.

Pauline Gillingham, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:

More and more students are choosing to watch TV in a variety of different ways, including on devices such as iPads and laptops. If they are watching TV catch-up services a licence is not needed. But, if they are watching or recording programmes, including Frozen Planet, sport or the X-Factor, at the same time as they are shown on TV they must have a valid licence or risk breaking the law.

It’s easy to buy a TV Licence at or by calling 0300 790 6090.”


Pete Mercer, National Union of Students Vice-President (Welfare) added:

Anyone caught watching TV without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. With student budgets being so tight, it’s just not worth the risk. We would urge all students to ensure they are correctly licensed.”

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For more information please contact Farimah Darbyshire on 0207 544 3144.

Notes to Editors

*Research was conducted by Harris Interactive via Face-to-Face interviews among 200 students spread across universities in the UK in May 2011.

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