Published: 05 February 2015
Q: I am the manager of a small village pub which is only open over lunchtime and during the evenings, although my premises licence permits me to sell alcohol from midday until 11pm. We do not have any entertainment and none is permitted by my licence. Some of my customers are asking if I will show any of the 6 Nations Rugby Cup matches this year and having thought about it, I would like to stay open in the afternoons to show some of the matches. If it is successful, I might start showing other sporting events. Can I do this?
A: Assuming there are no conditions on your licence to the contrary, you are able to open at any time within your permitted hours and do not have to give notice to anyone. In terms of showing the matches, you do not need to have regulated entertainment permitted on your licence, as showing live TV is not a regulated activity – however, clearly you must have a valid TV licence for the premises to cover any matches shown on terrestrial TV. If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence. If you want to show live sports events which are not on terrestrial TV, you will need a subscription from a company that provides sports TV packages. If you show any sports that are not on live TV, such as old rugby matches, this is a licensable activity and you will need permission for films on your premises licence. Finally, be aware that you may attract a new crowd to watch the match, or your regulars may be staying with you for longer during the day, and you should make sure you can manage the change in operation and, if necessary, undertake a risk assessment.
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