Research carried out by the TV Licensing themselves shows 29% of students believe they cannot be caught watching live TV if done so on a computer. TV Licensing explains on its website that: “If you watch TV programmes live, you will need to be covered by a valid TV License. [However], if you watch programmes after they have been broadcast either to download or via streaming on demand, you will not require a TV License”.
The news comes as the organisation have started to remind freshers’ that they could face prosecution and a possible fine, reaching a maximum of £1,000, if they are caught watching live TV without a valid license. Martin Dyan, who is the TV Licensing spokesperson for London and the South East, commented that: “Every year myths circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a license. “We want to make sure students know one is needed by law to watch or record live TV, on any device including a laptop, tablet, mobile phone or games console.”
A TV Licence costs on average £12.13 a month which goes towards services like Radio 1’s Big Weekend, BBC iPlayer, Newsbeat and BBC One Match of the Day.” One first year History student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that: “I do not have a TV license and live in university halls. However I only watch what’s on Netflix so I don’t need one anyway.”
Dyan also commented that: “To avoid the risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, we encourage students to check if they need a licence on our website – www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo – or by calling 0300 790 6113.” The official TV Licensing website does state that although they do not offer a discount for students, they can issue refunds for when students move out of their house during the summer. If you move out at least three months before your license expires, you could receive around a £37 refund.