PUBLICANS are being advised to check they are correctly covered by a TV licence before showing live rugby World Cup matches. 

Due to the time difference, the scrum at the bar will has started far earlier this weekend as rugby fans pack into pubs to watch the home nations live in action.

Natasha Lee, TV Licensing spokesperson for the south west said:  “This year’s rugby World Cup looks set to be a thrilling competition and landlords across Cornwall can score easy points with fans looking to soak up the atmosphere by ensuring they are properly licensed to screen the live action. 

"To be fair to the honest majority who do pay, we’ll be blowing the whistle on establishments that are showing live games without a licence.  Our advice to landlords wanting to avoid an infringement is to check whether they need a licence rather than risk being prosecuted. There is more information at”

All businesses need to be covered by a valid TV licence if staff, customers or visitors watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This applies to any device provided by the business.

Those found to be showing live games without a valid licence could end up in the sin bin as they run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.

Mike Clist, chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the leading professional body for UK’s licensees, said: “Watching sport in the pub is a great British tradition, and we are sure the rugby World Cup will prove no different. However, together with the BBC, we always like to remind licensees that they must have a current TV licence in order to publicly show live sport legally.”

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