Viaplay’s UK Exit: Roku App To Shut Down Next Month

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Viaplay’s presence in the UK is diminishing, piece by piece: The latest blow comes as the streaming service announces the discontinuation of its app on Roku devices by February 2024.

This move is a follow-up to Viaplay’s broader strategy to withdraw from the UK market, a decision driven by financial challenges and a shift in focus towards other regions.

The closure on Roku devices, especially so soon after its launch there, is a stark reminder of Viaplay’s plans to leave the UK altogether soon – with Premier Sports set to take over some of the operations.

Here’s everything you need to know – including details about Viaplay’s payment refunds.

Viaplay’s UK Journey Coming To An End

Viaplay’s road in the UK has been somewhat confusing.

Viaplay US official

Initially entering the market with high hopes, the service aimed to blend live sports, including those inherited from Premier Sports, with original Nordic dramas and films, through three separate pricing tiers:

  • The Films & Series plan costs £3.99/month (after a free 7-day trial)
  • Viaplay Total costs £14.99/month
  • Viaplay Total Annual is £9.99/month (a saving of 20%), but you have to sign up for 12 months.

However, the streaming service faced significant hurdles. In July 2023, Viaplay announced its decision to exit the UK market, citing financial difficulties and a strategic shift towards the Nordics and the Netherlands.

This decision followed a notable drop in net income in the first half of 2023, starkly contrasting with the positive figures from the previous year.

In an intriguing twist, Premier Sports is set to make a comeback in the UK market in early 2024. This re-emergence signifies a full-circle moment, as Viaplay had initially acquired Premier Sports in 2022.

Viaplay Premier Sports collage

With Viaplay’s exit, Premier Sports is reclaiming its position and planning to relaunch its channels and introduce an enhanced standalone streaming service.

However, it’s unclear when that will happen – and how existing subscribers will be switched over. The upcoming closure of the service on Roku devices, may be a hint of things to come.

Viaplay Leaving Roku Devices

The closure of Viaplay on Roku may come as a surprise to those who didn’t follow the news, especially considering that the service had only launched on Roku devices in April 2023.

Viaplay on Roku TV mockup

With Roku being one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world (it’s not as big in the UK, but it’s still substantial), the removal of Viaplay is a fundamental change.

In recent days, owners of Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs have started seeing an on-screen message on the Viaplay Roku app – saying, “Viaplay via Roku is closing on February 29”.

Viaplay Roku shutting down TV screenshot

For subscribers who joined or renewed their subscription through Roku, this means an automatic cancellation of their current subscription plans.

For those with a monthly subscription, the service termination is tied to their billing cycle – starting from today, January 29.

For instance, if a user’s subscription typically renews on the 15th of each month, they will lose access to the Viaplay platform via Roku on February 15, 2024. 

Annual subscribers face a different scenario. Their subscriptions will be terminated on February 29, 2024, irrespective of their original renewal date.

Viaplay has committed to issuing refunds for the remaining days of their annual subscription, calculated based on the individual billing dates.

This refund process will be automatic and should be reflected in the user’s payment method within a few banking days.

Viaplay on TV
Photo: Deposit Photos

Viaplay ensures that user login and account information will remain accessible on their primary website, – but watching via the Roku app will no longer be possible (even if you subscribe via other means).

Viaplay also outlines alternative ways for subscribers to continue enjoying their content – at least until the final shutdown at some point this year.

While Roku will no longer be an option, Viaplay remains available on several other platforms (for now) – These include pay-TV services like Sky and Virgin Media, Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, as well as on Samsung devices.

Additionally, streaming via the web and through iOS and Android apps is still possible, offering a range of options for users to transition from Roku.

The First Step Towards Viaplay’s UK Demise?

Adding to Viaplay’s challenges in the UK, the company recently shut down Viaplay Xtra, the free channel formerly known as FreeSports, which was available at no extra cost on Sky and Virgin Media.

This closure, occurring just last week, was another step towards Viaplay’s upcoming closure.

With Viaplay leaving Roku devices, it remains to be seen how the switchover to Premier Sports will occur – and in any case, it seems Viaplay’s drama content (as opposed to the sports content) will be leaving the UK altogether at some point.

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