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TV licensing in fresh warning to Northern Ireland students

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More than 800 young people across Northern Ireland have been caught watching television without a TV licence in the past year

More than 800 young people across Northern Ireland have been caught watching television without a TV licence in the past year

More than 800 young people across Northern Ireland have been caught watching television without a TV licence in the past year

More than 800 young people across Northern Ireland have been caught watching television without a TV licence in the past year.

The figures released yesterday by TV Licensing revealed that 810 people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer illegally.

And TV Licensing is reminding students that they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer on any device.

The research also indicated that 92% of students are aware that the £150.50 licence is needed for watching BBC iPlayer on a TV set.

Currently students who live in halls of residence and watch live TV or iPlayer shows in their room will need to be covered by a TV licence.

Students in shared houses also require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room and have a separate tenancy agreement.

However, there is a legal loophole. The TV Licensing website states that students could be covered by a parent's licence if a student's out-of-term address (usually their parents' home) is covered by a TV licence; if they only use TV receiving equipment that is powered solely by its own internal batteries; and they have not connected it to an aerial or plugged it into the mains while watching TV.

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Karen Grimason of TV Licensing said: "Every year there are myths which circulate around campus about when you do and don't need a licence.

"As most students own at least one device capable of showing live TV or watching BBC iPlayer - such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet computer - it's important they know the law around being correctly licensed.

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

Recent research showed a TV remains the most popular method for watching live shows with the number of students taking one to university rising from 23% to 27% since last year. However, for those watching BBC iPlayer, most students are using a laptop, with 65% watching on a portable computer and 28% watching on their smartphone.


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