TV Licensing says “the scrum at the bar” will start earlier than usual this weekend because the contest kicks off in Japan, and predicts rugby fans will pack pubs to watch the home nations’ live action.
It warns any business showing games without a valid licence (which costs £154) could face a court fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs.
Enquiry officers are said to have carried out check-up visits to tens of thousands of UK businesses over the last three years, including pubs, takeaway restaurants and sports clubs.
TV Licensing Scotland spokesman Fergus Reid said: “To be fair to the honest majority who do pay we’ll be blowing the whistle on establishments that are showing live games without a licence.
“Our advice to landlords wanting to avoid an infringement is to check whether they need a licence rather than risk being prosecuted.”