Do I need a TV Licence to watch or host a live TV screening at a community event?

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel
  • watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)
  • download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

It is the address that is licensed rather than the TV receiving equipment, so you would need a licence even if you were using your own devices away from your licensed address.

In exceptional circumstances, the BBC can grant a dispensation for the temporary use of TV equipment away from the licensed address. For an event to be considered for dispensation, all the following must apply:

The TV receiving equipment must be:

  • used solely to screen an event of national importance, on the date(s) specified by the BBC
  • used in a community setting
  • normally used on a property that is already covered by a TV Licence.

The decision on whether a particular event is of national importance is taken on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all relevant factors. These include whether the event is of a constitutional nature, whether the event has a high level of public interest, whether the event is a bank holiday, and whether people are likely to want to watch the televised event in a community setting such as a street party, place of worship or community centre where TVs may not normally be used.

If you’re still not sure if your event is covered by a dispensation or you have any further questions, please contact us (in step 2 of the form click the 'Contact us' button at the bottom).

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: