BT and ITV stop viewers skipping the adverts in the latest set of restrictions imposed on viewers.
- The change affects viewers who have upgraded to receive TV services via the internet.
- And subscribing to ITVX Premium won’t get viewers around the restrictions.
Subscribers to BT’s TV service can no longer skip the ads on any ITV channel if they’ve switched to internet mode. Internet mode is available for the TV Box Pro and TV Box Mini.
BT’s help page advises that when viewers watch live and recorded ITV shows in internet mode, the ability to skip ads is now removed. Viewers can still pause, fast forward and rewind shows they’ve recorded, but the functions are disabled during ad breaks.
The change brings the service in line with ITVX. However, while an ITVX Premium subscription does unlock ad-free access to on-demand content (except where ITV is contractually obligated to carry ads), it won’t enable BT TV users to rewind or fast forward through ads that feature on live and recorded ITV programmes. Live programmes include those where you’ve paused live TV and are catching up with the live broadcast.
Viewers still receiving ITV channels via aerial (and as a result only receiving SD versions of ITV’s spin-off channels) are not affected.
▶ ITV via BT (EE) TV
|Aerial mode||Internet mode|
|👍 ITV1 in HD|
👍 Record, fast forward & rewind as normal
|👍 All ITV channels in HD|
|👎 Other channels SD only||👎 Ad-skipping restrictions on live TV & recordings|
The restrictions are the latest in a series of interventions by platform operators and broadcasters to restrict how viewers consume content. For example, Sky ruffled feathers when it started to charge viewers £5 for the ability to skip adverts on its internet-based TV platforms. Meanwhile, Virgin Media won’t let you use its Stream product if you’re not on its home broadband service. This means that despite its portable size, you can’t take it with you on holiday, for example.
Anyone thinking of upgrading from either BT’s aerial-based service or Sky’s satellite service may want to consider all features carefully before moving.
- BT TV is currently in the process of becoming EE TV, as BT casts off most consumer services to its subsidiary.