Young Burnley residents flouting TV licence law

TV-watchers without a licence could face a fine up to 1,000.
TV-watchers without a licence could face a fine up to 1,000.
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More than 130 young people in Burnley have been caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a TV Licence in the past year, according to new figures released by TV Licensing.

Despite undergraduates aged 24 and under facing prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV or BBC programmes on iPlayer without a TV Licence, more than 33,000 young people are guilty of the offence across the UK over the past 12 months.

With BBC iPlayer being the most used service for catch-up and on demand by students (79% of students in the North West use the platform), some 52% of all students in the North West think it is highly likely that they would be caught if watching live TV without a licence.

Matthew Thompson, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “With many students owning at least one device capable of showing live TV or watching BBC iPlayer, 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 a TV Licence," he added. “Students and young adults need to be aware of their legal responsibilities."

Students living in halls of residence who watch TV on personal devices have been reminded by TV Licensing that they will need a licence, and that the same applies for residents in shared housing, with your own licence required if you use a device in your room and have a separate tenancy agreement.

“If students are concerned about paying for a TV Licence, they should get in touch," Matthew Thompson said. "We know some people struggle to pay, and there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year."

Students can check if they need a licence at or by calling 0300 790 6113.