Businesses will need a TV licence to watch live Olympic coverage this summer

THERE will be more than 2,500 hours of live Olympic TV coverage on offer this summer, much of it broadcast during working hours, so the Federation of Small Businesses and TV Licensing are reminding small businesses in East Anglia to check that they are licensed to share the spectacular sporting TV coverage as it happens.

Considerable numbers of local businesses are expected to provide screens for customers and staff to enjoy landmark Olympic moments in local shops, offices, pubs and hotels.

But this reminder comes as research conducted by TV Licensing shows that many small business haven’t adequately planned ahead to make sure that they stay legal.

Around 80 per cent of us are likely to watch some Olympic coverage, but research by Harris shows that only 11 per cent of small businesses have discussed if and when they will provide TV screens for staff or visitors.

More than half haven’t made special allowances for providing screens staff and customers can watch.

John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The Olympics will boost morale across the country and so those firms that wish to show events must make sure they are prepared – even if staff wish to watch via a computer.”

Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “We know that businesses like to share big national events with their staff and customers. By getting a licence for £145.50 owners and managers will give themselves peace of mind ahead of this amazing Olympic and Jubilee year and avoid the risk of a visit from an enquiry officer. We would always rather people pay for their TV Licence than risk an embarrassing prosecution and fine of up to £1,000.”

TV Licensing Enquiry Officers will be visiting unlicensed premises throughout the summer. Anyone found watching TV illegally risks a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.

Officers use a database of almost 30 million UK addresses to identify premises where they suspect individuals and business owners are using TV illegally.