TV Licensing has issued a warning to Six Nations Rugby fans who might be tempted to tune into the tournament without a valid TV licence.
According to the latest "news" planted by TV Licensing's PR harlots - which will no doubt be coming to a newspaper near you very shortly (probably word for word) - its goons will be visiting unlicensed pubs, clubs and bars throughout this year's tournament, which kicks off next weekend and lasts until 19th March 2016.
A TV licence is required for any property where equipment is used or installed to receive TV programmes at the time they are shown. Businesses choosing to show TV programmes to customers require a TV licence covering the public area of the premises. Additionally, a second TV licence might be required to cover the reception of TV programmes in private or residential parts of the premises.
Chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping, Anthony Pender, said: "Watching sport in the pub is a great British tradition, and we are sure the Six Nations will prove no different.
"However, it's important that licensees making the most of live sport and the revenue opportunities it presents are doing so legally.
"We'd urge all those in the industry planning to show the tournament to check they have purchased a TV licence beforehand."
Remember that a TV licence is only needed if equipment is used to receive TV programmes at the same time as they are broadcast. There are many ways you can enjoy the Six Nations perfectly legally without a TV licence. Here are just a few:
1. Watch it non-live on a catch up service: You do not need a licence to enjoy previously broadcast non-live coverage on the BBC's iPlayer for example.
2. Watch live at a friend's place: If they've got a TV licence you could go and watch their telly instead. If you didn't want to impose you could take your laptop around and stream live TV via their broadband connection.
3. Watch live at the pub/club: I'm reliably informed by student friends that you can nurture a soft drink for at least two hours if you sip it slowly. That's just enough time to watch the game.
4. Watch live at your local electrical retailer: Electrical retailers do not need a TV licence for their display sets. If you're a bit of a cheapskate you could visit Currys and watch the best events there.
5. Become a TV engineer: If you're a TV fixer upper then you do not need a TV licence to test equipment you're working on.
We don't condone anyone taking a chance by watching the Six Nations without a valid TV licence. That said, we're so not bothered if anyone chooses to do just that!
The 2016 Six Nations schedule is as follows:
- France vs. Italy; Stade de France, Paris; 14:25 hrs on 6th February.
- Scotland vs. England; Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh; 16:50 hrs on 6th February.
- Ireland vs. Wales; Aviva Stadium, Dublin; 15:00 hrs on 7th February.
- France vs. Ireland; Stade de France, Paris; 14:25 hrs on 13th February.
- Wales vs. Scotland; Principality Stadium, Cardiff; 16:50 hrs on 13th February.
- Italy vs. England; Stadio Olimpico, Rome; 14:00 hrs on 14th February.
- Wales vs. France; Principality Stadium, Cardiff; 20:05 hrs on 26th February.
- Italy vs. Scotland; Stadio Olimpico, Rome; 14:25 hrs on 27th February.
- England vs. Ireland; Twinkenham Stadium, London; 16:50 hrs on 27th February.
- Ireland vs. Italy; Aviva Stadium, Dublin; 13:00 hrs on 12th March.
- England vs. Wales; Twickenham Stadium, London; 16:00 hrs on 12th March.
- Scotland vs. France; Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh; 15:00 hrs on 13th March.
- Wales vs. Italy; Principality Stadium, Cardiff; 14:30 hrs on 19th March.
- Ireland vs. Scotland; Aviva Stadium, Dublin; 17:00 hrs on 19th March.
- France vs. England; Stade de France, Paris; 20:00 hrs on 19th March.
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