It once provided a comprehensive selection of all major free-to-air channels, plus many premium channels. Now the last big broadcaster has left TVPlayer.
Paramount Global’s services have now left TVPlayer. This includes Channel 5, 5Select, 5Star, 5USA, MTV, Comedy Central and Comedy Central Extra.
TVPlayer was sold to French firm Alchemie in 2019, who bought the service to expand its subscription video-on-demand library.
Since then, channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Discovery and A+E Networks have departed from the platform.
At the time of publication, the sign-up page for TVPlayer continues to show tiles featuring programmes from the now departed channels.
TVPlayer fully launched in 2014 following a soft launch just before Christmas 2013. It briefly became the biggest legal provider of free-to-air TV channels online. Unlike other similar online services, the platform had full consent of the participating broadcasters. It later branched out into providing a package of premium channels.
But pay TV operators soon enhanced their services, offering broadcasters comprehensive carriage agreements that included online and mobile availability. Free-to-air broadcasters opted to bring their online and mobile streaming in-house, with viewers forced to access live streams through their respective apps. This gave them greater control over data and analytics.
At the same time new free, ad-supported streaming platforms like Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV have won over numerous broadcasters, leaving TVPlayer in the shade.
What’s still left?
Not much. TVPlayer continues to be home to some niche on-demand channels, including The Big Issue TV. Free channels include Euronews, France 24 and Law & Crime.
In a statement posted on its support pages, TVPlayer said: “We regularly evaluate our channel lineup, and as part of our most recent evaluation, we have decided not to keep these channels.
“In order to enhance and broaden our Premium service, we made the challenging choice to remove these channels. We will be adding new exciting on-demand channels with incredible content that has been curated with your interests in mind.
We understand that this is disappointing for many TVPlayer users, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Iain Hatton, features writer, RXTV