Belfast Telegraph

1,100 young adults caught without TV licence in Northern Ireland


By Brett Campbell

More than 1,100 young people across Northern Ireland have been caught watching television without a TV Licence in the last year.

According to new figures released by TV Licensing, the significant number of 18 to 25-year-olds were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer illegally.

With 78% of undergraduates aged 24 and under, the body contracted by the BBC to administer the licensing system has issued a reminder to new students that they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Watching live TV or BBC programmes on iPlayer on any device without paying the £145.50 licence fee is a criminal offence.

TV Licensing in Northern Ireland's Karen Grimason warned students, including those who live in halls of residence, that they should be aware of the law.

"If you're watching live TV on any device, including mobiles and tablets, or watch catch-up programmes on BBC iPlayer, you need a TV licence," she said.

"Students and young adults need to be aware of their legal responsibilities."

Recent research by TV Licensing shows BBC iPlayer continues to be the most used service for catch-up and on demand content among the 82% of students who use the BBC platform.

The study also revealed more than 50% of students would be embarrassed to get caught.

"If students are concerned about paying for a TV Licence they should get in touch - we know some people struggle to pay, and there are many payment options available," Ms Grimason added.

She went on to clarify: "Students in shared houses will also require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room, and have a separate tenancy agreement.

"Shared houses with joint tenancy agreements require only a single licence for the home."

Belfast Telegraph

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