Live TV Licensing

Unanswered Question
Aug 13th, 2010


I have a question on Television licencing.

If we wanted to be able to stream live TV on the Digital Media Players for viewing on multiple screens, do we need TV licences?

Would we also need a seperate TV licence for each Tv in different countries does anyone know?


I have this problem too.
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Charles Little Fri, 08/13/2010 - 09:01

The answer is a strong YES!

This issue is controversial in the digital signage business and DooH. You see quite a few companies doing this, streaming live television to a digital sign and wrapping advertisements around it or adding a ticker at the bottom. Many are doing it with out permission, simply ingesting the content into the network thinking it is OK. I have spoken with attorneys and many of my friends in the broadcast industry and the consensus is that the legality of ingesting a television signal into your network without previously getting permission from your service provider is illegal.

It is a question of copyright. When you encode the NTSC analog video signal coming out of the back of the set top box into an MPEG format or otherwise then re-distribute that across your IP network you are modifying and copying that content. You do not have permission to duplicate any content coming out of any set top box unless you receive specifice permission from your service provider or the owner of the content in writing. To do so with out express written permission from the content owner is a copyright violation and illegal. You will need to work through your service provider and probably purchase rights on a channel by channel basis or purchase some type of commercial package similar to what a hotel or a hospital will purchase to run television across their own private TV networks in ther facilities.

As to your ability to use it in multiple countries, this issue will be discussed as part of your conversation when you negotiate content rights for "usage". Cost of licensing will vary greatly depending on this "usage".

I hope this helps.


oneill-james Tue, 08/17/2010 - 06:54

Thank you Charles for the detailed reply.

It makes sense with what you are saying.

A further question I have if you would be so kind is about the DMM. If we have a number of these dotted around the globe, can one DMM control all of these or do we need a different number to suit each country?




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