Even Santa’s Grotto Needs A TV Licence

Northern Ireland TV Licensing encourages pop-up Christmas shops to consider their licensing requirements

TV Licensing Northern Ireland are reminding pop-up Christmas shops that they will need a TV licence if they will be showing live TV.

Any temporary business needing a TV Licence over the Christmas period can buy one in October and claim a refund worth more than £100 in the New Year, provided the licence isn’t needed again before it expires.

TV Licensing is also prompting all businesses in Northern Ireland whether open just for the festive period or year round, to make sure they are aware of their licensing requirements in order to avoid the risk of getting caught over the holiday period and facing prosecution with a large fine.

The ease with which wireless smart TVs and portable tablets can show live online TV services, such as iPlayer, means it’s relatively simple for temporary businesses to show live TV as entertainment for customers.

Deborah King spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “We want people to stay on the right side of the law and enable people to enjoy a happy Christmas. But any business in Northern Ireland showing live television, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV Licence.

“Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs. Those found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence at £145.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution. So whether you’re managing a grotto, pop-up restaurant or temporary Christmas retail outlet and showing live television, make sure you have a valid TV Licence.”

Find out if your business needs a TV Licence on the TV Licensing website.