Takeaways without TV licences could face prosecution

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The trend for TVs in takeaways could be putting outlet owners at risk, according to TV Licensing.

With more than 500 takeaway food shops in Sussex, including 50 in Crawley, those showing live TV without a licence could be at risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

TV Licensing spokesman Ben Craig said: “Whether for people queuing for a kebab or sitting down to tuck into some fish and chips, many takeaway owners now offer customers entertainment via hanging or wall-mounted TVs. Some takeaways show music channels to pass the time, with others show sport or light entertainment shows.”

Any business that shows television programmes as they are being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service, for customers 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. Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence, or they could face a potential second prosecution.

The spokesman added: “With many takeaways mounting small TV screens, it’s really important that owners take into consideration that, if not correctly licensed, they could face a fine. TV Licence costs £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo.”

Andrew Crook, National Federation of Fish Friers’ treasurer added: “In order to create the best experience for customers, more and more takeaways are showing live TV, whether music channels or sport for example. We regularly remind owners that if anyone watches live TV in the workplace, whether at the front of the shop or back, they need to have a TV Licence.”

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