TVCatchup, the live television streaming service, has lost a High Court ruling against three major UK broadcasters and has been ordered to remove 21 channels owned by ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
TVCatchup’s service is available to registered users via its website, and also as a mobile app on Android and iOS. The popularity of this service is representative of how consumer demand is changing, with many users now looking to watch broadcast television and on-demand video on the move, streamed to either a laptop or second screen device.
According to DigitalSpy, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5’s flagship channels will remain on TVCatchup’s service due to section 73 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, however digital channels (including ITV2, E4 and 5*) have been removed. Users trying to access these channels via TVCatchup will be automatically redirected to the broadcasters’ own live streams.
This is not the first time TVCatchup has found itself in hot water. The ECJ (the highest court in the EU) passed a ruling earlier this year against companies that retransmit free-to-air television programmes over the internet. TVCatchup forces users to sit through a battery of ads before they can access a live stream. Many broadcasters have argued that third parties (e.g. TVCatchup) should not be profiting from this activity.