TVPlayer, the streaming service that aggregates a number of live and on-demand free and premium channels, is losing two of its Freeview cornerstone offerings: all of ITV’s channels and all of Channel 4’s channels.
The announcement was made this week, “in response to subscriber viewing habits changing”, with the removal being followed by the addition of some on-demand content.
Some of TVPlayer’s users took to social media to protest against the change, saying they used to rely on the service for their over-the-air channel consumption (see ahead for a few suggested alternatives).
TVPlayer is an online-only streaming service that’s been around since 2014 (and acquired in 2019 by Alchimie, an international media company), and is available on a long list of streaming devices – from the Amazon Fire TV, to mobile phones and Smart TVs.
TVPlayer provides a range of both live and on-demand channels and programmes, with a free tier and a paid tier that includes premium channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and National Geographic.
Among its live, free channels TVPlayer includes several Freeview channels, such as BBC, Channel 5, and – until now – ITV and Channel 4.
While many of those channels also have their own dedicated streaming app (with a few caveats), people found it convenient to have several live channels in one place, instead of having to jump around between separate apps.
ITV And Channel 4 Leaving The Service
This week, TVPlayer published an announcement on its site, explaining that TVPlayer is “evolving”, with its lineup of channels changing.
Therefore, starting today (July 1), all ITV channels (ITV / ITV2 / ITV3 / ITV4 / ITVBe and CITV) are no longer available on TVPlayer.
By the end of July, all Channel 4 channels (Channel 4 / Film4 / More4 / 4Seven) will no longer be available on TVPlayer.
“We have reluctantly taken the decision to remove these free channels”, TVPlayer’s update says, “in order to improve and expand upon our Premium service.
“We realise that this is disappointing to many TVPlayer users and we are sorry for the inconvenience.”
It’s also worth mentioning that the Fox channel is no longer available on TVPlayer, starting this week – though this was due to Fox shutting down its UK operations, and not related directly to TVPlayer.
Some of TVPlayer’s users took to Twitter to voice their disappointment.
No ITV and Channel 4? You had all the PSBs in one place. That’s over, and it’s super sad
— Skye (@SkyeHigh) June 30, 2021
Literally the only reason why I have tvplayer is for CH4 as they don’t have live tv on their app on my smart tv and your taking it away with ITV as well. Therefore there is no point me having your service any longer. Not that it was much good in the first place
— Mark Bleach (@BlastItBle8chy) June 30, 2021
Plus, with the recent crash of ITV Hub during a Euro2020 match, some have newly discovered TVPlayer – but will now no longer be able to watch ITV on the service.
@tvplayer Please read through these tweets from the last few days. Countless people have been discovering your service to watch the football because ITV's own app repeatedly let them down.https://t.co/MFJXqVHugh
At a stroke you have currently lost *all* of these new users.
— Hughster (@hughster) June 30, 2021
TVPlayer were unavailable for comment.
While there’s no single app that can replace TVPlayer’s Freeview streaming’s functionality, there are a few workarounds for people who can’t use an aerial (or want to watch on the go).
First, there’s the Freeview Play mobile app: while, unfortunately, it doesn’t have any standalone streaming capabilities, the app lets you see the Freeview TV guide all in one place, letting you jump, somewhat easily, between the different standalone channel apps that are already installed on your phone.
Then there are the channels’ own streaming apps: there’s BBC iPlayer, for all the BBC channels, ITV Hub for ITV’s channels, All4 for Channel 4’s channels, and My5 for channel 5.
These apps are available on most streaming platforms, though the All4 version that runs on Smart TVs has no Live TV functionality, unfortunately, so you can only watch content on-demand.
Other versions of the All4 app (such as for Roku or Fire TV) do have a Live TV stream.
We inquired with Channel 4 regarding the live Smart TV issue, and will update this article accordingly.