Watching Wimbledon at work? You need a TV licence

Jun 20, 2011


Figures released by TV Licensing from a member poll conducted in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development show that the overwhelming majority of employers say they will not be allowing employees to take time off to watch Andy Murray’s pursuit of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles title. 
However, separate figures suggest this will not stop people tuning into the tournament:
  • 7.1 million people, the largest audience of last year’s tournament, watched Murray’s performance in the 2010 semi-final in the middle of the working day;
  • More than half of the UK tuned in (51%) over the course of the competition;
  • 6.8 million people watched matches live online last year during last year’s tournament. 
With this trend expected to be repeated this year, the chances are that employees across the UK will be cheering on this year’s hopefuls from their desks.  TV Licensing has rmeinded employers that one TV Licence will cover their office, allowing staff to tune in to matches either on office screens or via their own PCs. 
The CIPD, Europe’s largest HR and development professional body, says that staff watching Wimbledon in the workplace is not necessarily bad news for bosses. It could be a great opportunity to create a fun and united atmosphere, according to research adviser Dr Jill Miller.
She said: “Wimbledon is a great British sporting occasion which captures the nation’s attention for two weeks of the year. Employees following some of the nail-biting action at work, either at their computers or on TV screens around the office, can help build team spirit and morale across the workplace.
“We know that when employers enable flexibility at work, employees are more likely to ‘go the extra mile’.  Depending on business needs, employers may choose to screen matches, perhaps asking people to make up the time afterwards. However, whether employers allow employees to ‘tune in’ or not, the policy should be clearly communicated to the workforce.”
TV Licensing spokesperson Rose Beynon said: “It is fascinating to see how many people are now watching live online, on traditional TV sets or even in 3D.  We want to make sure anyone watching TV in the workplace is aware they need to be correctly licensed to do so.
“Some employers might assume if they do not have a TV in the building, they do not need to worry but the rise of online streaming of live TV programmes means many more businesses need to be covered by a TV Licence nowadays.”
A licence costs £145.50, she added, and can be bought in minutes online at
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