TV licensing helping non-English speakers

TV Licensing has launched a new initiative with the Consular Corps/Association of Northern Ireland to help highlight recent BBC iPlayer law changes to those whose first language isn’t English.

All viewers who download or watch BBC programmes on demand – including catch-up TV – on BBC iPlayer must now be covered by a TV Licence after new rules came into force in September.

According to the last census almost 656 people in the Banbridge area didn’t speak English as their main language. The most common language spoken in Banbridge after English is Polish.

TV Licensing is working with groups such as CA-NI to provide information, foreign language leaflets and translation services to make sure people are aware of the BBC iPlayer changes.

CA-NI brings together Northern Ireland-based diplomats and consuls who represent 40 countries across the globe. Each official is tasked to represent and provide assistance to their overseas nationals living in Northern Ireland.

Karen Grimason, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “TV Licensing has been speaking to a range of organisations across Northern Ireland explaining the changes to the law and the need to be licensed.

“We want to ensure all viewers understand that a TV Licence is still needed when watching live television, whether it’s on a TV, laptop or smartphone. Anyone watching BBC programmes on iPlayer now also needs to be covered by a licence.”

Dr Christopher Strange, Secretariat of CA-NI and Honorary Consul of St Vincent and the Grenadines, said: “Consuls play an important role in building international economic, educational, academic, sporting and cultural links within Northern Ireland. However, we also provide assistance to overseas Nationals in Northern Ireland and work with organisations such as TV Licensing to provide information about local life.”

TV Licensing produces literature in 26 languages explaining licensing requirements, along with 180 languages on the translation line and 17 dedicated translated web pages

People who are not confident speaking in English can also call TV Licensing’s language translation service on 0300 790 6044.