Students encouraged to buy TV Licence or face fine

Figures released today by TV Licensing reveal more than 25,000 adults* under the age of 25 were caught watching live TV without a TV Licence in the past year.

With 80 per cent of first year students under the age of 25, TV Licensing is issuing a reminder to students that if they are caught watching live TV without a TV Licence they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Whether they are in shared accommodation or halls, students have to abide by the law which means being covered by a current TV Licence if they’re watching live television.

As 99 per cent of students own a device capable of streaming live TV**, it’s important undergraduates and postgraduates alike understand the law so they can watch TV safe in the knowledge they are doing so legally.

Stephen Farmer, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

With nearly all students owning at least one device capable of showing live TV - such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet computer - they should know the law around being correctly licensed. If you’re watching live TV on any device, including mobiles and tablets, you need a TV Licence.
Students and young adults need to be aware of their legal responsibilities. Anyone caught watching TV without a TV Licence can face prosecution and a fine of up to a £1,000.
If students are worried about paying for a TV Licence, they should get in touch. We know some people struggle to pay, and there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year.

If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV in their room, they will need their own TV Licence. Students in shared houses will also need their own licence if they use a TV in their room, and have a separate tenancy agreement. Shared houses with joint tenancy agreements require only a single licence for the home.

TV Licensing makes every effort to ensure students know about their licensing requirements and regularly supplies informative literature and posters to universities and colleges up and down the country. Any student who is in any doubt about whether or not they need a licence should visit or call 0300 790 6090

* Figures relate to people aged 25 or under caught between October 2012 and September 2013 and are accurate at the time of reporting.

** Research was conducted by Harris Interactive among 220 students spread across universities in the UK in May 2013.


General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: