Live TV streaming service TVCatchup appears to have taken its last commercial break, as the service has crashed to a halt, two years after an EU copyright ruling in 2017 that delivered a blow to the site.
TVCatchup first appeared in the UK back in 2007, and eventually became a live streaming service (with a short delay) that offered channels from the BBC, ITV and many other broadcasters.
Understandably, this attracted legal trouble, and indeed TVCatchup was mired in legal brawls for most of its lifespan, with the 2017 European Court of Justice ruling coming at the end of a several year legal fight that went through both the UK and EU courts.
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TVCatchup claimed that it was operating legally, but the ECJ said this was not the case, as it could not rely on the loophole it was using centred on the development of cable infrastructure. As a result, when TVCatchup was streaming copyrighted content, which is the site’s entire purpose, it was essentially sending an unlicensed broadcast to the public, which is a big no-no.
However, the company behind TVCatchup, entitled TVCatchup Limited, was dissolved in October 2016. As a result, the site continued to operate without much in the way of change through both the website and apps available on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App store.
TVCatchup’s website is now down, while recently the service had started to notably degrade. While fiddling with the URL can get you access to the website, no channels are currently available.
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It’s been over a month since the last tweet from the TVCatchup twitter account, and even longer since the last tweet to a customer, offering some particularly sassy advice.
Taking all of this together, it seems like this could be TVCatchup’s fade-to-black moment.
Still, much like the end of some of the very best TV shows, TVCatchup has inspired those around it,and it’s leaving the world a little better than it found it. For a start, there are now plenty of catch-up services to let you keep up with TV, with offerings from BBC, ITV and Channel 4 making it easy to keep up with your favourite shows.
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