ITVX
Logo of ITVX from 2022 onwards
Screenshot
ITVX homepage as of December 2022
Type of site
OTT streaming platform
Available inEnglish
Area servedUnited Kingdom except northern and central Scotland (ITV1 programming)
United Kingdom (ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, FAST channels, and licensed programming)
ParentITV Consumer Limited (ITV plc)
URLwww.itv.com/watch Edit this at Wikidata
Launched
  • 5 December 2008; 15 years ago (5 December 2008) as ITV Player
  • 23 November 2015; 8 years ago (23 November 2015) as ITV Hub
  • 17 November 2022; 14 months ago (17 November 2022) as ITVX

ITVX (formerly ITV Hub) is a British ad-supported video-on-demand streaming service operated by ITV. The service offers original content from the broadcaster, as well as some exclusive and licensed programming.[1]

ITV Hub had at least 30 million registered users.[2]

History

2009–2018

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ITV Player logo used until 22 November 2015

The ITV Player was originally a website before being extended to television and other platforms.[citation needed] Initially, the website version used Microsoft Silverlight, as opposed to Adobe Flash (used by BBC iPlayer and Channel 4's 4oD) and Windows Media Video. ITV adopted Flash for its player on 15 September 2009.[3]

In November 2009, ITV Player was given a revamp, improving navigation, as well as making the site more visually appealing. The service was free to use, and it was funded by pre-, mid-, and post-roll adverts.[citation needed] Previously, users have been able to use ad-blocking software to skip the adverts shown. In mid 2010, the ITV website was upgraded to detect ad-blocking software.[citation needed] Video is sent at multiple-bit rates and uses adaptive technology in the player to best determine the rate based on the user's connection. ITV Hub used HTML5 Media Source Extensions with Encrypted Media Extensions to deliver video.[citation needed]

In Summer 2011, ITV Player incorporated subtitles and CITV programming.[citation needed] The redesigned website version was launched on 22 August 2011 with upgraded search features, and a new Flash-based video player designed improve playback reliability.[citation needed]

In January 2012, the site was due to be overhauled to offer paid-for content in addition to the existing free 30-day catch-up,[4] however, this was delayed until 29 October 2012.[5]

Content that has only aired on the main ITV channel (rather than also on ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, or CITV) is only available to viewers located in ITV plc regions (England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and on UTV in Northern Ireland).[citation needed] If the same programme was also broadcast in central and northern Scotland, then users located in those areas may be able to view it on the STV Player.[citation needed] The ITV Hub website attempts to detect user location automatically, using that provided by the ISP.[citation needed] On 6 June 2016, ITV Hub replaced the UTV Player service in Northern Ireland, following the latter's sale to ITV plc in February 2016.[citation needed]

From 6 March 2018, Domino's Pizza became the platform's first ever sponsor.[6][7]

2022–present

In March 2022, ITV announced that its new ITVX[8] streaming platform – an integrated advertising and subscription funded platform for the UK market which will take over from catch-up service ITV Hub – would also include access to BritBox for British consumers.[9][10] The BBC decided to sell their share in BritBox UK to ITV, but still will remain a content provider to the service.[11]

The service was rolled out on 17 November 2022, before it officially launched on 8 December. ITVX is positioned as a direct competitor to the BBC iPlayer and the Channel 4 VOD service, featuring more exclusive programming, the incorporation of BritBox, and a selection of FAST channels.[12][13][14][15][16]

On 28 February 2022 it was confirmed that itvx premium users would have access to Studiocanal Presents, witch lunch in the spring of that year, ITV’s Director of Content Partnerships, Streaming, Laura Franses commented: ‘We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Studiocanal Presents. This fantastic collection of films and television series is the perfect addition to ITVX Premium, where subscribers can browse quality content ad-free to their hearts’ content.’[17]

On 10 March 2023, it was confirmed that ITVX would become the new home of CITV content, with the launch of a dedicated hub called "ITVX Kids" from 22 July 2023.[18][19][20]

List of FAST channels

Current FAST channels

FAST channels featured on the service include:[21]

Name About
The Chase Airs episodes from the UK version of the show.
Comedy 24/7 Airs various comedy programs.
Crime Drama Airs various ITV crime dramas.
ITV Signed Airs programmes with in-vision signing.
ITVX Kids Airs kids' shows from ITVX's catalogue.
LEGO® Universe Airs various LEGO-themed kids' shows.
Love Island Airs episodes from the UK version of the show.
Movies 24/7 Airs a mixture of ITV-owned and independent movies.
Midsomer Murders Airs episodes from the series.
The Only Way is Essex TV Airs episodes from the series.
Reality 24/7 Airs various reality shows.
Vera Airs episodes from the series.
World of Morse Airs episodes of the Inspector Morse franchise.

Seasonal

Name About
Big Brother Live Stream Airs a daily live stream of the house. Aired during the 2023 series and will return for the 2024 series of Celebrity Big Brother.
Black Voices Airs various Black-themed programs. Aired during Black History Month.
Halloween 24/7 Airs various Halloween-themed programs and films. Aired during October.
Xmas Movies Airs Christmas movies from Hallmark Channel.

Former FAST channels

Name About
Award Winning Movies Airs indie/modern movies mostly sourced from independent distributors.
Back to the 90s Airs programmes from the 1990s.
Blast from the Past Airs various classic shows mostly sourced from ITV-owned catalogues.
Classic Comedy Airs comedy shows mostly sourced from Fremantle's Thames catalogue.

Was originally known as ITV Classics.

Classic Movies Airs movies mostly sourced from the ITV-owned ITC and Rank catalogues.
Hell's Kitchen Airs episodes from the US version of the series.
ITV Classics Airs various classic shows mostly sourced from ITV-owned catalogues.
Love Island International Airs episodes from other English-language versions of the franchise.
Loved Up Airs dating/love-focused reality shows and dramas.
Massive Laughs Airs comedy programs such as panel shows.
Out of this World Airs sci-fi/supernatural programs mostly sourced from the ITV-owned ITC catalogue.
Period Dramas Airs various period dramas.
Pride Airs programs featuring LGBTQ+ themes.
Quiz Time Airs various game shows.
Rugby World Cup Classics Airs highlights of classic Rugby World Cup matches.
Sail GP Airs Sail GP races.
Saturday Night, Every Night Airs light-hearted entertainment, reality and game-show programs.
The Real Housewives UK Airs episodes of The Real Housewives of Cheshire and Jersey.
True Crime International Airs Crime documentaries.
Ultimate Ant & Dec Airs programs hosted by Ant & Dec.
Unwind with ITV Airs an infinite loop of Unwind footage.
World Cup Classics Airs World Cup Football matches.

Platforms and apps

Television platforms

Sony Bravia

As of July 2017, ITV Hub was available on YouView-enabled Sony Bravia TVs.[citation needed]

EE TV

In December 2008, ITV Hub was added to BT TV's TV Replay service, the deal was ITV's first with a set-top-box VOD operator.[22] It allows access to popular ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, and ITV4 shows up to 8 days after their transmission, as well as a selection of archive shows.[23]

Freesat

A place for a full version of ITV Player has been reserved on Freesat channel 903.[24] A beta release was made available in December 2010 for Humax receivers, requiring the input of a code.[25] The beta was made public on 26 July 2011, with support expected to be extended beyond Humax devices.[26][27] On 31 July 2012, an update was released for Manhattan receivers which included support for ITV Player.[28] In November 2012, both EchoStar and Samsung receivers also received ITV Player support.[29][30] Although the ITV Hub Player app is available to viewers around the UK on multiple platforms, it is not available to Freesat viewers using second generation Freesat receivers if their regional variation is set using postcodes starting DG or TD. It is unclear why this contradiction exists.[31]

Now TV & Roku

On 29 January 2014, it was announced that ITV Player woulds be available on Sky's Now TV box.[32] It was later made available on the NowTV and Roku devices on 11 June 2014.[33]

Sky

On 30 January 2012, it was announced that ITV Player would be added to Sky's On Demand service the following day.[34] ITV Player initially only offered archive content, with catch-up programming becoming available on 26 September.

ITV Player Beta as displayed by Freesat

Samsung Smart TV and Blu-ray players

On 6 July 2012, it was announced that ITV Player had been made available on Samsung's Smart TVs and Blu-ray players through their Samsung Smart TV service, for 2011 and later devices.[35]

As of 8 December 2022, ITVX is only available on Samsung Smart TVs 2016 and above.[36]

Virgin Media

On 8 January 2009, it was announced that ITV Net Player would be added to Virgin Media's digital cable TV service.[37] The deal allows Virgin Media's 3.5 million TV customers to view over 40 hours of programming from ITV, ITV2, ITV3, and ITV4 each week. Popular shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale are all available for seven days after being broadcast as part of Virgin Media's free Catch up TV service. The service began a three-day deployment programme on 24 February 2009. Virgin Media's viewers were able to choose from 500 hours of ITV comedies, documentaries, and dramas, on demand through the TV Choice section, however, the contract to supply archive content ended on 23 February 2013.[38]

YouView

ITV Player was one of four services available at the launch of YouView in July 2012. At launch, the ITV Player app contained options to resume watching recent programmes and browse by channel, day, and A-to-Z, but lacked integrated search and contained non-skippable adverts.[39] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player on YouView.[40]

Game consoles

PlayStation 3

ITV Player was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network[41] utilising the web-browser to distribute content rather than an app. It was free and ad-funded with pre-, mid-, and post-roll video ads being sold and served by ITV. Under the terms of the deal with Sony, STV, UTV and Channel Television were able to add their own equivalent services so they were also accessible from the PS3 platform on a similar basis to ITV Player.[citation needed] As of 23 November 2015 the service is no longer available on the PS3.[citation needed]

Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X

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ITV Hub was launched for Xbox One on Friday 10 February 2017, this was made possible by a new Universal Windows Platform app which integrates with Windows 10 and Xbox One. The STV Player app run by STV, who currently hold the ITV licence for Scotland, has been launched on Xbox 360. The STV Player app contains much of the content found on ITV Player and requires a Scottish postcode to be entered prior to use. ITV Hub was launched on Xbox Series S/X on 10 November 2020.

Mobile platforms

ITV Player as displayed on iOS (as of January 2013)

On 11 May 2011, ITV chief executive Adam Crozier announced that a dedicated ITV Player application would be released on a "wide range of mobiles and tablets" during 2011.[42] The app features programming from ITV, ITV2, ITV3, and ITV4 for up to seven days after broadcast. However, content is only available to view in the UK and ITV programming is blocked in the STV and UTV regions. A Wi-Fi connection is also required. The mobile apps were developed by digital agency Candyspace.[43] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player across all mobile platforms.[40]

Android devices

An application for devices running Google's Android operating system was released on 20 June 2011.[44] The app requires Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher and Adobe AIR. Each show is broken up to feature non-skippable advertising breaks. Users are forced to register an email address to use the app to allow ITV to "keep you informed about improvements and other exciting developments at ITV."[45] On 14 January 2013, ITV Player 2.0 was released adding support for Android 3.x Gingerbread to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a re-engineered user interface.[46]

Adobe ceased support for Flash on Android in 2011, which caused ITV Player to be incompatible with devices on that operating system. A new app was trialled, but was only available on Samsung products and received poor reviews on Google Play Store.[citation needed] Upon the release of the app on 9 May 2013, Samsung entered into an exclusivity agreement with ITV, with the ITV Player app available exclusively on Samsung devices until 31 August. ITV's online product director, James Micklethwait, cited "fragmentation of the Android ecosystem" as the motive behind the deal.[47]

This app is currently not availble on the google play store as of Jan 2024.[48][49]

iOS devices

An application for Apple's iOS (iOS 4.3 or later) operating system and either the iPad, iPhone (3GS or later), and iPod Touch (3rd generation or later), was launched on 1 July 2011.[50][51]

In June 2013, the iOS app was updated to add a trial premium section, allowing subscribers to watch catch-up content without advertising, as well as pay to view live streams of ITV3 and ITV4.[52] Early reviews of the updated app on the App Store were generally negative, with users commenting that the subscription option provided poor value for money.[53]

As of Jan 2024, the ITVX app is available on the UK Apple App store. It is ranked #7 in entertainment apps with generally excellent reviews.[54]

Windows Phone

As of May 2014, the ITV Player has been released for Windows Phone which is just like the Android and iOS versions.[55] However, the STV Player app run by STV, who currently hold the ITV licence for Scotland, has been launched on Windows Phone. Users of the STV Player can input their postcode to verify they live in Scotland, thus allowing users who are visiting other regions of the UK, to use the app and view content.[citation needed] The STV Player app contains much of the content found on ITV Player.[citation needed] As of January 2020, the ITV Hub is not supported on Windows Phone.[citation needed] The UWP app can only be installed on the Xbox One and videos cannot be played through Microsoft Edge whether you're in mobile or desktop view.[citation needed]

Streaming platforms

Amazon Prime Video

ITV Hub+ as displayed on Prime Video (as of July 2022)

ITV offers most of its programming as part of ITV Catch Up subscription channel on the Prime Video platform.[56][57]

See also

References

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