Now, though TVCatchUp has not yet taken down those three channels, Zattoo has, leaving it with none of the main UK channels.
Zattoo countries VP Niklas Brambring tells paidContent:UK: “We have not been in legal disputes with these stations but indeed they asked us to remove the channels. We had offered all stations to enter into negotiations but did not get the chance to talk.”
The move means people who had been using Zattoo‘s application or its website to watch ITV’s World Cup matches must now visit ITV.com, whose own ITV Live real-time viewing beta was beset by some early connectivity teething troubles for some users.
There are two loopholes for football fans, however – the Scottish and Northern Irish Channel 3 franchisees STV and UTV, which carry ITV material including the World Cup, are each still carried by Zattoo.
The Zattoo application failed to load properly for me when run in the UK today.
Zattoo won’t shed too many tears. The UK has become fairly low priority for the Zurich-based service, which had claimed to be operating legally by re-transmitting UK public service channels as a qualifying service under section 73 of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act.
Brambring said: “We do operate on a legal base which has been confirmed by Queens Council Peter Prescott. However the stations have not accepted it. Since the UK is not among our core markets and a law suit would come with severe time and monetary cost, we chose to avoid it.
“Unfortunately, the result is a smaller choice for users and a strengthening of platforms who unlike us do not operate with a cooperative model.”
Zattoo has effectively been squeezed out by broadcasters choosing to favour simulcasting with video ads on their own sites over open aggregation to third parties. With only S4C, STV and UTV now the main UK channels carried by Zattoo, it’s now focusing on striking formal carriage deals back on the continent.