April 20, 2012
With more than 2,500 hours of live Olympics on TV this summer, most broadcast live during the working day, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and TV Licensing have warned small firms to check they are licensed to watch at work or face a fine, writes Georgina Harris.
Research last year by Harris found that just 11% of UK small businesses have planned what to do with staff keen to watch London 2012. FSB chairman John Walker 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.”
The research also highlighted that more than half the firms interviewed hadn’t yet catered to staff, visitors and customers wanting a screen to view key events. Many businesses — in addition to pubs, clubs, hotels, and restaurants which already provide big screens for sporting events — are expected to install viewing facilities to boost trade, and that means they need a TV licence.
In addition, a licence is required for those watching TV live online, live via mobile phone or recording any live show. Businesses don’t need a licence for non-live broadcasts such as those on BBC i-Player.
A spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “We know that businesses like to share big national events with their staff and customers. By getting a TV Licence for £145.50 owners and managers will 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.”