Huddersfield businesses could face £1,000 fines for illegal Olympics screening

HUDDERSFIELD businesses planning on giving their staff an Olympic treat are being warned to get a TV licence.

HUDDERSFIELD businesses planning on giving their staff an Olympic treat are being warned to get a TV licence.

Workplaces hoping to screen round-the-clock coverage of this summer’s event are being urged to shell out £145.50 or face fines of up to £1,000.

The warning comes as TV licensing officers pledged they would be patrolling areas looking for unlicensed premises including shops, offices, pubs and hotels.

With more than 2,500 hours of live Olympic TV coverage being shown – most of it during working hours – it is expected many may fall foul of the law.

Jenny Wilkinson, spokeswoman for TV Licensing in the north, said: “We know that businesses like to share big national events with their staff and customers.

“By getting a licence for £145.50 owners and managers will give themselves peace of mind ahead of this amazing Olympic and Jubilee year and 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.”

John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, 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.”

Their comments come as research – by Harris – shows how 80% of people are likely to watch some Olympic coverage.

But despite this, only 11% of small businesses have discussed if and when they will provide TV screens for staff or visitors.

Figures also show more than half have not made any special allowances for providing screens for staff and customers to watch.

TV licensing enquiry officers have confirmed they will be visiting unlicensed premises throughout the summer.

Anyone found watching TV illegally risks a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.

Officers use a database of 30 million UK addresses to identify premises where they suspect individuals and business owners are using TV illegally.

 
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