Pay to view world cup - licensing advice

TV LICENSING has announced its very own World Cup Squad as it kicks-off a special crackdown targeted at the thousands of people in Ipswich planning to watch, rent, sell or provide a TV for this summer's World Cup.

TV LICENSING has announced its very own World Cup Squad as it kicks-off a special crackdown targeted at the thousands of people in Ipswich planning to watch, rent, sell or provide a TV for this summer's World Cup.

An estimated 15 million workers are intending to watch England play and six million of those say they are willing to call in sick if they can't watch it at work.

TV Licensing is warning individuals and businesses without a valid TV Licence – including the 37,000 UK pubs expected to show the England matches – to make sure that the only penalties they're worrying about this summer, are the ones on the pitch.

Last year saw a record number of evaders caught in Ipswich – 654 – up 16 per cent on the year before.

Anyone caught watching TV without a valid licence runs the risk of paying a maximum £1,000 penalty, plus £112 for a colour TV Licence and court costs of around £40. For about the same amount, football fans could buy a return air ticket to Japan and Korea to watch the tournament live.

TV Licensing's enquiry officers – including the newly launched Business Taskforce – will be out on Ipswich's streets during England's three first-round games, including the showdown against old rivals Argentina. During World Cup France '98, an estimated 20 million people tuned in to watch the England v Argentina match.

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Retailers and dealerships, which have a legal obligation to notify TV Licensing when they sell or rent a TV, will also be included in the nationwide crackdown.

Stephen Taylor, TV Licensing's Southern Regional Manager, said: "This World Cup is promising to be the biggest TV viewing event for years. We're not spoil-sports, we want everyone to enjoy the games but we have absolutely no qualms about spoiling TV Licence evaders' fun –why should they get to watch the tournament without a TV licence, when the honest majority of fans have paid theirs?

"Visiting Ipswich's unlicensed addresses during peak viewing times is a successful way of catching evaders. Last year, thanks to such methods, we caught a record number –up 16pc on the year before.

With plans to catch even more this year, Ipswich's TV Licence evaders should understand that it's not worth taking the risk. They should call 0870 241 5590, get themselves a licence, kick back and enjoy the World Cup."