ITVX, the new streaming service from ITV, has an optional “Premium” tier that removes the adverts for £5.99/month. Alas, some shows and films will keep showing you adverts, even if you pay – due to licensing restrictions.
The titles are primarily American shows such as Family Guy, The Sex Lives of College Girls, The 100 and more, along with many American films like Wonder Woman, Despicable Me and Back To The Future (see the list below).
ITVX’s live-streamed channels also have advert breaks, but that’s expected, as the original channels have adverts – therefore there’s no way to remove them from the live-streamed versions.
But placing advert breaks on premium on-demand content, when you’re paying to have them removed – is less… expected, especially when there are often 3-4 advert breaks on each show.
What Is ITVX Premium?
ITVX, is first and foremost a free-to-watch (with adverts) service that’s replacing the long-running ITV Hub app, and is meant to be a full-fledged streaming destination.
In addition to 10,000+ hours of on-demand content, you can also stream all of ITV’s live channels via the app, as well as several “themed” ad-supported live channels that are dedicated to a single series or theme (but not on Freeview Play devices and TVs).
ITVX is available on most of the streaming devices and Smart TVs sold in the UK (except for several older boxes and TVs), as well as on Virgin Media’s TV boxes, Sky Glass, Sky Stream – and, at some point in the near future – Sky Q (which never had an ITV Hub app).
In addition to the free tier, ITVX has an optional Premium tier that removes
all most of the adverts and gives you access to all most of the content from BritBox.
As we previously reported, BritBox no longer offers standalone subscriptions to new subscribers, and is instead sending people to ITVX’s Premium tier.
ITVX Premium costs £5.99/month or £59.99/year.
Why Am I Still Seeing Ads On ITVX Premium?
As mentioned, some programmes on ITVX Premium have unskippable advert breaks even on Premium – due to licensing restrictions.
When you start watching a title that has adverts on Premium, you’ll get a written apology on screen – “We’re sorry, due to licensing restrictions this programme will contain ads.”
“Licensing Restrictions” are often directly or indirectly related to money, and the amount that license holders demand for the show – with and without adverts.
But curiously, at the moment at least – the adverts on ITVX’s no-adverts tier are mostly for ITVX’s contet – so you sometimes have to stop watching the show/film, for an in-house ITVX promo.
ITVX is not alone in this – the popular US streaming service Hulu used to show adverts on a select few shows, even on its No-Ads tier, due to older licensing agreements. As of this writing, however, Hulu only has one show left that still adheres to those old agreements – Grey’s Anatomy.
But their more expensive ad-free tiers are – as the name suggests – totally ad-free.
Discovery+, on the other hand, added adverts to all of its paid tiers.
Which ITVX Premium Titles Have Adverts?
ITV was unable to give us a complete list of the shows and films that have adverts on ITVX Premium.
However, it seems these are primarily US TV shows and films, from ITVX’s deals with Warner Bros and other American production companies.
By browsing and testing, I was able to construct a non-comprehensive list of TV shows that currently include adverts (on ITVX Premium) –
- One Tree Hill
- Family Guy
- All American
- Two And A Half Men
- American Dad
- The OC
- Bob’s Burgers
- Hart of Dixie
- The Sex Lives of College Girls
- The Carrie Diaries
- The 100
- The Lying Game
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Veronica Mars
As for films, the list of titles with adverts includes:
- Despicable Me 1-2-3
- Wonder Woman
- The Other Guys
- Conan The Barbarian
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- 9 to 5
- Reservoir Dogs
- An American Werewolf in London
- Saw 1-2-3-4-5-6
- The Blair Witch Project
- Back To The Future 1-2-3
Starting next month, ITVX will also be adding iconic TV shows from Paramount – such as Everybody Hates Chris, Freaks and Geeks and more – and it remains to be seen whether those will include adverts (on the Premium tier) as well.
Lastly, if you just joined ITVX Premium and you’re still seeing adverts on ALL the content, ITV says that “on occasion, it can take up to 24 hours for the subscription to be recognised automatically by other devices.”
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