Pub landlords should avoid RBS 6 Nations penalty

TV Licensing and BII are reminding pubs across the home nations to make sure they are correctly covered by a TV Licence if they are showing the RBS 6 Nations Championship this month.

TV Licensing will be visiting unlicensed pubs and bars throughout this year’s championship, which continues until the 19th March. 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. Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence plus costs.

Throughout the course of 2010, TV Licensing’s enquiry officers found more than 1,000 businesses using their TVs illegally.

Neil Robertson, Chief Executive of the BII, the professional body for the licensed retail sector, said:

“We know that pub landlords are always keen to stay within the law so if you’re showing the RBS 6 Nations, it’s a good opportunity to make sure you’re correctly covered by a TV Licence. Pub managers and landlords with residential accommodation on the premises also need to check that they are correctly covered in those separate areas too.

“If you do need a TV Licence there is no need to risk a trip to court when you can tackle this in minutes and avoid a trip to the sin bin.”

Jon Shaw, TV Licensing spokesman, said: “To be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch or screen television illegally.

“We’re always keen to make sure that businesses have all the information they need to stay on the right side of the law and avoid risking a fine.  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 0300 7906124 or visit A licence costs £145.50 and can be purchased in minutes online.”


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

Notes to editors

Who needs a TV Licence?
If anyone at your business watches or records TV programmes as they are being shown on TV, 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 costs £145.50. A black and white TV licence costs £49. 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 22,000 PayPoint outlets across the country
  • Direct Debit - monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes are available and can be set up online at
  • Online – people are now able to pay online at by Direct Debit or with a debit or credit card
  • To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online, by SMS or by phone using the TV Licensing Payment Card 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
    0300 790 6124 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 0300 790 6063.

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