More than 26,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV without a TV Licence in the past year, according to new figures released today by TV Licensing. This includes 953 young adults in Northern Ireland.
With 75 per cent of first year undergraduates aged 25 and under*, TV Licensing is reminding freshers that they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV, on any device, without a TV Licence.
Recent research** by TV Licensing shows 29 per cent think TV Licensing can’t catch people watching live TV on a computer, laptop or mobile device and just over half of students believe that people in general are unlikely to be caught if they watch live TV without a TV Licence.
Over the summer, a 21-year-old woman from Co. Down was found guilty of watching live TV without a licence, and ordered to pay a £25 fine and £16 court costs.
Karen Grimason, spokesperson for TV Licensing Northern Ireland, said:
“Every year myths circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence. We want to make sure students know that one is needed by law to watch or record live TV, on any device including a laptop, tablet, mobile phone or games console. A TV Licence costs on average £12.13 a month which goes towards services like Radio 1’s Big Weekend, BBC iPlayer, Newsbeat and BBC One Match of the Day.
“To avoid the risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, we encourage students to check if they need a licence on our website – www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo – or by calling 0300 790 6113.”
When asked, two in three students had a positive opinion of the BBC and 67 per cent thought the TV Licence offered value for money**.