TV Licensing: Avoid a world cup penalty with a TV Licence

As World Cup fever grips millions of TV viewers around the UK this summer, TV Licensing is reminding supporters to make sure they are correctly covered by a TV Licence to avoid falling foul of a penalty.

The tournament kicks off on Thursday 14 June, with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Meanwhile England fans will be cheering on one of their youngest ever squads, with millions expected to tune in to follow the trials and tribulations of the football frenzy.

Fans watching the sporting action live on TV or online at home, or on the go via a device such as a tablet, PC, games console or mobile phone, will need a valid TV Licence or risk a fine of up to £1,000. A TV Licence is also needed to catch up on highlights or matches on BBC iPlayer.

The BBC will show England’s opening two games, which will see them face Tunisia (Monday 18 June, 7pm) and Panama (Sunday 24 June, 1pm). The BBC will also have the first two choices of quarter final games, including England’s match if they progress.

Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing, stressed the importance of the public understanding TV Licensing requirements if they plan to watch the football at home or on the move.

Whether you’re a seasoned England fan, experienced in the disappointments of being knocked out, or optimistic that a team of young hopefuls can finally deliver success, the competition is sure to bring some surprises. What is certain is that if you’re watching games live on TV, live online, via a device such as a tablet, PC, games console or mobile phone, then you’ll need a TV Licence. You’ll also need a licence to watch any highlights on BBC iPlayer.

More than 20 million UK viewers tuned in to watch Germany beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, which was simulcast on BBC One and ITV. The BBC's coverage peaked with 16.7 million during the match's final five minutes. So, if you don’t want to miss any of the action, check if you need a TV Licence or purchase yours now.

Your household licence covers you to watch live TV on any channel or BBC programmes on iPlayer on any mobile device away from home, as long as it is powered by internal batteries.

For those tempted to view some of the live matches at work, TV Licensing has produced a Workplace Viewing Guide. This guide is for businesses and helps clarify where, when and how staff or customers can watch live TV at work.

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