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If you are considering taking advantage of showing sporting events in your premises, it is essential to check that you have the correct commercial subscription in place with broadcasters.

Here is a link to the major broadcasters’ commercial subscriptions:

As well as a commercial subscription from the broadcasters, you also need a valid TV licence for the premises.

If you reside on the premises or offer guest rooms where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence. You may also require a PPL/PRS licence to deal with any copyright issues.

If you plan to show any sporting events which are not on live TV, such as re-runs of old football matches, you will also need permission for films on your premises licence as this is a licensable activity.

Local police, licensing officers and other enforcement authorities frequently visit venues to check that they have the correct permissions in place, and, if they do not, enforcement action be taken.

In addition, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) works closely with the broadcasters to tackle illegal broadcasting.

FACT has prosecuted pubs and operators for showing sports without the correct licence or authorised commercial subscription. This has resulted in heavy fines being imposed by the courts.

The fines for broadcasting commercial TV without a licence are unlimited and you may have to pay substantial legal costs. In some cases, it could lead to having your personal licence revoked.

Please be aware, if you do start showing sporting events more frequently, you may attract a different clientele to your premises and your regular customers may stay longer. It is worth considering any possible changes to your normal operations, or even carrying out a risk assessment. Finally, always check your premises licence to see if there are any restrictive conditions.

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