Back in 2007, a new online service appeared in the UK. Originally touted as a personal DVR service, TVCatchup quickly gained traction.
Later, however, TVCatchup became an almost live (there was a short delay) streaming service, offering many channels to the public, including those offered by the BBC, ITV, and other broadcasters.
But trouble was never far away for the popular service. Following a legal battle with broadcasters that stretched back more than seven years and traversed UK and EU Courts, in 2017 the European Court of Justice delivered a considerable blow.
The ECJ said that the platform, which claimed to operate legally when it streamed TV content broadcasted by ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, could not rely on legislation that was designed to assist in the development of cable infrastructure decades ago.
That meant that when TVCatchup streamed copyrighted content without permission, that amounted to an unlicensed communication to the public. However, a year earlier TVCatchup Limited had already been dissolved, as confirmed by an October 2016 filing at Companies House.
Many expected the service to immediately shut down but TVCatchup continued via its website and apps downloadable from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. That changed recently when the service appeared to drastically degrade with no announcement from those in charge.
The TVCatchup website currently displays a “Whoops, looks like something went wrong” message but it can still be accessed by adding “8080” to its URL. However, anyone clicking any of the links will be disappointed, as no channels are forthcoming. The same goes for both Apple and Android apps.