As you may or may not be aware, all citizens of the UK who own or operate a television set are required to pay a yearly license and have a license certificate on hand. The TV Licensing web site gives details about licensing requirements, exemptions, and enforcement. The web site makes it very clear:
bq. There is no excuse for watching TV without a licence – it’s a criminal offence.
A person caught watching without a license can be fined up to £1000. How are they caught, you ask? Why, by the TV license enforcers and their special, top-secret detector vans, which can pinpoint on errant television signals in as little as 20 seconds. Anyone purchasing or renting a TV or other similar equipment is also required to submit their name and address, and the retailer is required to report that information.
Oh, in case you were wondering, the TV license fees pay for the operations of the BBC(British Broadcasting Corporation).
Clearly they’re a little more serious about this than we are with PBS(Public Broadcasting System), which Congress is once again trying to de-fund.