Businesses without TV licence face red card

Businesses allowing staff to watch the World Cup without a licence face a £1000 fine

Business planning to allow employees to watch World Cup games in the office will face stiff fines if they do so without a TV licence, the TV Licensing authority has warned.

If caught allowing staff to watch games without a licence, businesses will face a fine of up to £1000, plus any court costs.

TV Licensing spokesperson Jessica Ray, said: “We have a database of more than 28m addresses. Whatever the kick-off time, our enquiry officers will be knocking on doors, so businesses should ensure they have a valid licence or they risk scoring an own goal in the form of a trip to court, a fine of up to £1000 plus court costs, and they will still need to buy a TV licence if they need one.”

This is not the first time that TV Licensing has targeted businesses during major sporting events. TV Licensing enquiry officers caught over 24,000 people watching without a licence at home and in the office during Euro 2004.

The law states that any business using a TV or PCTV to receive television programme services must have a TV licence. Businesses only using their equipment for playing videos or closed circuit monitoring are exempt.

Many businesses have decided to allow employees to watch World Cup matches in the office in a bid to reduce the amount of staff hours lost due to unauthorised absences.

The tournament runs from 9 June to 9 July 2006, with at least three games on each day during the match stages.

The England team face Paraguay on 10 June at 14.00; Trinidad and Tobago on 15 June at 17.00 and Sweden on 20 June at 20.00. The majority of games during the knock-out stages have been planned to occur on weekends.


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