With gyms across Northern Ireland expecting to welcome new members this month, TV Licensing is reminding fitness clubs owners to check if they are correctly licensed for the year ahead.
Any gym or leisure centre that allows customers, staff or visitors to watch live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC iPlayer whilst they exercise, must be covered by a TV licence.
With the indulgences of December tipping the scales in the wrong direction, New Year’s resolutions will be driving many of us to get fit in 2019. Most gyms offer TV facilities or personalised viewing screens, making it easy for members to switch from sofas to treadmills.
Working out while watching TV can help motivate people viewing their favourite shows while keeping fit.
Alana Taylor, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: “Watching live TV while getting fit can be a great motivator but it’s really important that gyms owners buy a TV licence if they are offering live TV viewing or BBC iPlayer to customers. If they are caught without a licence, it is a criminal offence and could lead to a prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
Deaglan O’Hagan, General Manager of BETTER Gym Belfast, said:
“Our gym has personalised TV screens built into every piece of our cardio equipment. We understand that sometimes gym users need a bit of motivation to get to the gym and to get through a workout so if watching your favourite TV show inspires you to exercise then everyone’s a winner.
“Some of our gym members plan their visit around what’s on TV, especially when a big sporting fixture is on. We have a large HD TV screen in the gym and some members view this as a great opportunity to get moving and to stay active rather than sitting on the couch to watch sport.”
Any customers watching live TV on their own devices, such as mobile phones, are covered as long as they have a TV Licence at home.
It’s not only gyms that need to ensure they’re correctly licenced. Any business that offers live TV viewing on their premises must be covered by a licence which costs £150.50 and can be purchased at www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by calling 0300 780 6071.