AS the Rugby World Cup reaches its knockout stages this week, TV Licensing and the British Institute for Inn Keepers (BII) are calling on all pub landlords and managers across Wisbech to check they are covered by a TV Licence if they plan to show the tournament on their premises.
With England fighting for a place in the semi–finals, fans across East Anglia will be setting their alarm clocks this weekend to head to pubs and bars to watch their teams in action.
Ahead of the remaining games, TV Licensing and the BII are reminding all pub owners and managers in the area that they need to have a TV Licence to show any live games.
A TV Licence is required for watching or recording any TV programmes, at the same time as they are broadcast. If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence.
TV Licensing will be visiting unlicensed pubs and bars across the region throughout this year’s tournament, which runs until October 23. 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 caught more than 1,000 businesses using their TV’s illegally.
Neil Robertson, Chief Executive of the BII, the professional body for the licensed retail sector, said: “The Rugby World Cup is a great opportunity for people to gather in pubs and bars to enjoy the tournament together, but pub landlords and managers need to make sure they are correctly licensed to show the games.
“We know that most people want to stay within the law so if you’re showing the Rugby World Cup, it’s a good opportunity to check you are correctly covered by a TV Licence and avoid risking a fine.”
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “To be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who try to get away with not paying.
“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 the risk of prosecution.
“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 www.tvlicensing.co.uk/business. A licence costs £145.50 and can be purchased in minutes online.”