Plusnet is closing its YouView based TV service, which combines the standard terrestrial TV service from Freeview with additional premium channels delivered over an internet connection.
The wind down of the service commenced during January, when the service was withdrawn from sale to new customers. During March, a number of channels were removed for existing customers.
The final two stages will happen in October and November. On 1st October (2021), existing customers will no longer be charge for the service. A final switch off date is scheduled for the 1st November, at which point the remaining channels will be switch off, and associated recordings will be lost.
Plusnet TV viewers can continue to use the YouView boxes after the switch off to access Freeview channels, but will no longer have access to technical support.
Although trials began in 2013, Plusnet TV did not launch until 2015, meaning the service has been available for only 6 years. The move comes as parent company BT switches focus away from multi-platform services to the wide scale roll out of fibre broadband. BT had already slimmed down its TV offering, rebuilding it around Sky’s Now (formerly Now TV) platform.
The Amazon Prime Video app is to be added to the latest generation of Freesat boxes, providing another way for Prime Video customers to access the service. New customers will be able to sign-up via the app, and receive a 30 day free trial. The addition will enhance the hybrid offering, which includes a large selection of free-to-air channels delivered via satellite.
Sky and Amazon have also unveiled a new partnership, which will see Prime Video added to Sky and Now TV devices across Europe, including the UK and Ireland. In a return move, Now TV will be added to selected Fire TV devices and Smart TVs.
This means that Sky customers will be able to access all Premier League football matches shown live via their Sky Q box, with matches from BT Sport, Prime Video, and Sky Sports all being available via the platform. However, to do this a subscription will be required to all three services, which may be a costly exercise.
Sky’s Now TV app, which allows users access Sky content with out a contract, is now available on Sony Bravia TVs, powered by Google’s Android TV operating system.
Compatible TVs are from 2016 onwards, and the full list is available from industry website Advanced Television. If you are unsure if your TV is compatible, consult your manual, or contact the manufacturer or retailer.
Users can download the app via the Google Play store.
Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature are due to launch this spring, and will be joined by Sky History and Sky History 2.
Sky History is part of a joint venture between A+E Networks UK and Sky, and will be a rebrand of the current History channel. Both Sky History and Sky History 2 will be available on Sky’s Now TV streaming platform, as well as Virgin Media, BT TV and TalkTalk TV.
The changes are also due to take place this spring, with both channels to continue being operated and managed by A+E Networks UK.
Here is a summary of some changes which are taking place on online streaming services.
Freesports is joining the STV Player service, and will be available as a 24 hour online stream. For next 3 years, STV will be the exclusive advertising sales agent for Premier Sports’ online subscription services.
Now TV are implementing price increases this month. Most passes are affected, with the Sky Sports Day Pass rising by £1 to £9.99.
The sports streaming and on-demand service Eurosport Player is to arrive on Amzon Fire devices, as part of a collboration between Amazon and the channel’s owner Discovery. Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo Show devices will be able to access the service across Europe.
Amazon’s Prime streaming service crashed yesterday, affecting access to the US Open tennis competition. Services were restored by early evening.