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2 weeks ago

Showing EURO 2024 Without Scoring an Own Goal

Welcome to our essential guide for business owners looking to bring the excitement of the 2024 European Championships to their customers. EURO 2024 is just around the corner, and with the England and Scotland teams eager to make their mark, it's the perfect opportunity to draw in the crowds and create a fantastic atmosphere at your venue.

Before the opening ceremony, it's crucial to ensure you're goal side of the law. Showing live sporting events in the UK requires the correct licences, and this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to avoid any avoidable goals and keep your business right in it.

Doing the Basics Right

In the UK, broadcasting live television, including major sporting events like the Euros, Wimbledon and the Olympics, involves more than just mounting a TV and plugging in an aerial. Specific legal requirements must be met to ensure that all parties involved in creating and broadcasting the content receive fair compensation.

The key difference is between a domestic TV licence and a commercial one. While most people are familiar with the need for a standard TV licence at home, a commercial TV licence is necessary for businesses wishing to show live TV to their customers. These rules, of course, apply to pubs and bars, but they even extend to dentist waiting areas and office staff rooms.

Don’t Take Your Eye Off the Ball

To legally show the Euros at your business premises, you'll need several licences to cover the broadcasting and associated activities such as playing music. Here's a straightforward breakdown:

  • TV Licence: A commercial TV licence is necessary for any business showing live TV to customers. Unlike a domestic TV licence, a commercial licence covers the public performance aspect.

  • PRS for Music: This licence ensures that songwriters, composers and music publishers will receive compensation when their music is played publicly, whether it’s Baddiel and Skinner or an orchestra playing the anthems.

  • PPL: This licence covers the rights of record companies and performers. Having PRS for Music and PPL licences allows you to legally play recorded music from ‘World in Motion’ to ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’.

  • Special Event Licences: Depending on your location, you might also need a special event licence from your local council, especially if you plan to set up temporary outdoor screens or a pop-up beer garden.

Scotland football fans celebrating

Setting the Stage

Once your licences are in the bag, it's time to get your venue ready for the opening whistle on Friday 14th June:

1. Check Your Kit

Ensure you have fully functional, high-resolution screens with good visibility from all areas of your venue. Once your space is filling up, check your audio equipment is clear and loud enough, bringing in extra speakers if necessary. If you're streaming matches online, ensure you have a reliable and fast internet connection.

2. Avoid Any Penalties

It's a passionate game, and accidents can happen, but the last thing you want is for your business to receive an unwanted penalty. Make sure you have adequate insurance in place before the fans start to fill your establishment.

3. Welcome Your Visitors

Arrange your seating to give everyone a good view of the screen. If you’re expecting a bumper crowd, consider standing room. Football-themed decorations can enhance the atmosphere. Banners, flags and buntings in team colours can add to the excitement and appeal of your venue, whether you’ll be plastering it with the St George’s cross or the Saltire.

4. Shout About Your Venue

Use local advertising, posters and flyers to let people in the area know you'll be showing the matches. Promote special events on social media platforms to reach a wider audience, using local groups and hashtags to reach football-mad customers.

By following these steps, you'll ensure that your venue is legally compliant and the place to be for excited fans ready to cheer on their team and enjoy the football festivities.

Staying Onside

You’ve made a great run, but you mustn’t stray offside and get hit with a legal penalty that could leave your tournament in tatters.

Licencing Inspectors on Your Turf

Licencing inspectors can visit your premises at any time to check that you hold the necessary licences. If you receive a visit, greet the inspector politely and cooperate fully. Have your commercial TV licence, PRS for Music and PPL licences ready to show upon request. If the inspector identifies any issues, address them promptly and follow any given instructions to rectify the situation.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with licencing requirements can result in significant penalties, including fines for each offence, potential court proceedings and a damaged reputation.

Put Your Name on It

  • TV Licensing: tvlicensing.co.uk 0300 790 6112

  • PRS for Music: prsformusic.com 020 3741 3888

  • PPL: ppluk.com 020 7534 1000

  • Local Councils: Visit your local council's website for contact details and application forms.

Extra Time

Creating an enjoyable environment for fans to watch EURO 2024 involves more than having the proper licences and quality equipment. Consider offering themed food and drinks, such as cleverly named cocktails or half-time snacks. Encourage staff to wear their favourite football shirt to add to the fun.

To maintain a safe environment, don’t exceed your venue’s capacity limits, and consider hiring trained security workers to manage larger crowds. Remember to establish clear emergency procedures and ensure all staff know how to handle specific incidents.

To engage your customers, consider organising football-themed competitions like quizzes, raffles and sweepstakes. Provide special offers or discounts during matches to encourage repeat visits.

Final Whistle

By following this guide, you should be well-prepared to show live football in your business, ensuring you’re fully compliant with legal requirements and creating an unforgettable experience for your customers. With the correct licences, a prepped venue and some football-themed fun, your business can become a hotspot for fans to enjoy all the action this summer.

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Sam White