ITV Catchup Axed From Prime Video, Blocking Old Devices

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In a quiet but significant move, ITV has pulled the plug on its ITV Catchup channel on Amazon’s Prime Video, leaving some viewers with older tech in the lurch.

This move shifts the spotlight firmly onto ITVX, ITV’s shiny streaming service, but not everyone’s invited to the party.

If you’ve been using the ITV Catchup channel on Prime Video to dodge adverts and keep up with ITV’s hits on an older device, you’re out of luck.

Plus – the Prime Video version was cheaper than a full ITVX Premium subscription, if you just wanted to skip the adverts (but gave you less content).

The closure of the ITV Catchup channel, previously known as ITV Hub+, signifies another pivotal moment in ITV’s ongoing efforts to streamline its services.

Here’s everything you need to know, and where you can keep watching.

The Rise Of ITVX

ITVX, launched with much fanfare, represents ITV’s ambitious vision for the future of television in the UK.

ITVX February 2023 collage

As a successor to ITV Hub, ITVX was not just a rebranding exercise but a comprehensive overhaul designed to meet the evolving demands of viewers.

Offering tens of thousands of hours of free, ad-supported content alongside a premium, ad-free option, ITVX stands out for its rich mix of live channels, on-demand shows, and exclusive premieres.

The platform’s introduction of BritBox and Studio Canal Presents content to its premium subscribers further underscores ITV’s commitment to delivering diverse and high-quality programming.

ITV Catchup On Prime Video Goes Away

Before the advent of ITVX, ITV Catchup (initially called ITV Hub+) served as another component of ITV’s digital offering.

For a fee of £3.99 per month, subscribers could access ITV’s biggest hits and a selection of library shows without the interruption of adverts.

ITV Hub on Prime Video Channels

This service, available through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels in the UK, offered a cost-effective alternative to the traditional broadcast model, catering to viewers’ growing preference for ad-free content.

Amazon’s Prime Video Channels have emerged as a key player in the UK’s streaming landscape, allowing Prime members to customize their viewing experience by subscribing to additional channels on top of their Prime membership – and paying for everything via one Amazon bill.

This platform has enabled broadcasters like ITV, Paramount+, Discovery+ and many others, to reach a wider audience by offering standalone channels that cater to specific interests or viewing preferences.

To access all these paid channels, viewers only need the popular Prime Video app – instead of installing a standalone app for each and every service.

Prime Video Channels 2021
Prime Video Channels

However, as broadcasters develop their own comprehensive streaming platforms, the role of intermediary services like Prime Video Channels may evolve, leading to reevaluations of their partnerships and offerings.

Therefore, with the launch of ITVX Premium at £5.99 per month, which not only removes adverts but also enriches the content library with BritBox and Studio Canal Presents offerings, the rationale behind maintaining a separate, less comprehensive service became increasingly tenuous.

For a while, the two managed to coexist peacefully – but a couple of months ago, ITV quietly shut down its ITV Catchup channel on Amazon’s Prime Video.

More Devices Losing Access To ITV’s Streaming

The transition from ITV Hub to ITVX marked a significant leap forward for ITV’s streaming ambitions. However, this upgrade came with its own set of challenges, notably in device compatibility.

ITVX on TV man confused

The shift necessitated advancements in streaming technology and content protection, which unfortunately meant that older devices, including some Humax Freeview and Freesat boxes, certain models of Samsung Smart TVs, and more – were left behind, unable to support the new ITVX app.

For viewers with some of these older devices, the ITV Catchup channel on Amazon’s Prime Video emerged as an unexpected but invaluable solution.

This channel allowed subscribers to stream ITV’s content, without adverts, bypassing the need for the now-unsupported ITV Hub or ITVX apps.

Samsung TV
Photo: Deposit Photos

It was a perfect workaround for those whose devices could still run the Amazon Prime Video app but found themselves cut off from ITV’s direct streaming services (alas, Humax’s older devices do NOT support Prime Video. But many older Samsung TVs do, for example).

Similarly, ITVX also doesn’t work on some older iPhones and iPads – where the Prime Video workaround was also useful.

The decision to discontinue the ITV Catchup channel on Prime Video has, however, closed this loophole, leaving viewers with unsupported devices facing a new dilemma.

Without this channel, they must look for alternative ways to access ITV’s programming, which might include upgrading to newer, compatible streaming devices.

The BritBox Conundrum

The changes surrounding ITV Catchup are part of a larger narrative involving BritBox, which has also seen significant evolution.

Once available as a standalone subscription, BritBox’s recent integration into ITVX Premium represents a strategic consolidation of ITV’s digital assets (with the BBC buying off BritBox international from ITV).

Interestingly, while BritBox is no longer available independently, it DOES remain accessible as a Prime Video Channel, at least for the time being.

BritBox on prime video screenshot
BritBox on Prime Video

Furthermore, some of the shows that were previously available on ITV Catchup, are now available on the BritBox Prime Video channels (but many others are no longer available at all on Prime – or are only available to rent/purchase directly).

But at £5.99/month, the Prime Video Channel version of BritBox makes little sense – as it’s the same price as ITVX Premium, which offers more content and value for money. 

However, it also remains the only option for those who have devices that don’t support ITVX – or simply prefer to use Prime Video instead of ITVX’s app.

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