For the first time in living memory the scaremongering PR harlots at TV Licensing have not issued threats specifically targeted at Six Nations rugby fans.
Virtually every year some of TV Licensing's scummiest mouthpieces (think bald heads and buck teeth) fill the papers with tripe about £1,000 fines for anyone caught enjoying the rugby without a valid TV licence. For some reason it hasn't happened this year.
Anyone wishing to watch the games "live", at the time they are broadcast on any TV channel, should be correctly licensed to do so. However, there are a multitude of legal ways of enjoying your favourite Six Nations coverage without stumping up £145.50 to the blind-eye turning BBC.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the Six Nations without a TV licence:
1. Watch it non-live via an on demand service: You do not need a licence to enjoy previously broadcast non-live coverage via on demand services like the ITV Hub, All 4, My5 (the on-demand service, not the TV channel) or YouTube. Please note that a TV licence is now required to watch on demand BBC iPlayer content.
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 2017 Six Nations schedule is as follows:
- Scotland v Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
- England v France at Twickenham Stadium, London
- Italy v Wales at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
- Italy v Ireland at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
- Wales v England at Principality Stadium, Cardiff
- France v Scotland at Stade de France, Paris
- Scotland v Wales at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
- Ireland v France at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
- England v Italy at Twickenham Stadium, London
- Wales v Ireland at Principality Stadium, Cardiff
- Italy v France at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
- England v Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, London
- Scotland v Italy at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
- France v Wales at Stade de France, Paris
- Ireland v England at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
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