Students urged to get TV licence

The average student now has three devices at university which are capable of streaming live TV. INLT 34-812CON
The average student now has three devices at university which are capable of streaming live TV. INLT 34-812CON

University students in east Antrim may fail to understand the difference between recorded TV and catch-up services, according to research.

TV Licensing says almost 60 per cent of current university students in Northern Ireland are unsure about TV terminology which has evolved in recent years to describe advancements in technology and TV viewing habits, including streaming, downloading, on demand and recording.

Over half of those surveyed thought recording a live episode of Game of Thrones to watch later would be an example of “catch-up TV”.

The results suggest young people here may not realise when they need a TV licence, for example, to record their favourite television series.

The survey also revealed 31 per cent of respondents thought streaming the Wimbledon final live on iPlayer would be an example of “catch-up”.

This suggests some students wrongly assume a licence is not needed to watch live TV on iPlayer.

The majority correctly said watching episodes of The Only Way is Essex on ITV Player would be an example of “catch-up” TV.

Caoimhe Moore, who is a spokesperson for TV Licensing in Northern Ireland urged students who are leaving home to study to check the frequently asked questions on the TV Licensing website.

“We understand students are streaming, downloading, recording, using catch-up services and watching live TV on devices. There are so many ways to watch the programmes you love, so to help undergraduates decide if they need to buy a licence, we are encouraging them to read the FAQs at tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo before the big move,” she said.

“The Government has announced it will bring forward legislation in the next year to modernise the licence fee to cover public service broadcast catch-up TV. Until then you need a licence to watch or record programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, or live on an online TV service,” she added.

Recent research shows the average student owns three devices at university which are capable of streaming live TV with four out of five students watching television content via any device. More information can be found online at tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo