Several years ago, there were only a handful of available streaming services in the UK– but that situation is changing. An increasing number of players have entered the UK streaming service market. As a result, there are now more ways to watch TV shows and movies over the internet than ever before. Keep reading for a complete list of streaming services that are available in the UK.
Live TV Streaming Services
While many of the services listed below do offer some on-demand content, their primary focus is on live TV.
With more than 80 live channels, TV Player is one of the best ways to stream live TV if you live in the UK. iTV, BBC, Channel 4, Comedy Central, MTV, History, Spike and Discovery are just a few of the great channels that are available through TV Player. Some on-demand content is present as well in the form of catch-up TV. Catch-up TV lets you stay current with all your favorite shows, but episodes are only available for a limited period of time. The free version of TV Player gives you access to BBC, iTV and similar free channels that you can tune into with a TV antenna. If you want more entertainment, you can get TV Player Premium for £7/month. It has 70+ channels. Another subscription called TV Player Premium+ has 80+ channels and costs just £9/month.
Pluto TV is one of the best free, ad-supported live TV services in the US. It launched in the UK last year and recently debuted two UK scripted channels. If you don’t want to spend money on entertainment and you don’t mind watching occasional advertisements, Pluto TV might be worth checking out.
Eurosport Player is a sports-centric streaming service that broadcasts around 15 or so live sports channels. If you’re a fan of sports like football, cricket, badminton, cycling and skiing, it may be worth checking out. The annual subscription costs just £60. There’s also a day pass, which is convenient if you already subscribe to one or more streaming services and you don’t want to pay for another.
On-Demand Streaming Services
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is the best streaming service that you might not even know you have. All Amazon Prime subscribers can access it free of charge. The fee for non-subscribers is only £8/month. One of the biggest benefits of Prime Video is Amazon Originals. The growing number of titles that have been produced by Amazon include American Gods, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon has scored exclusive deals to stream Vikings and several other popular shows, as well.
If you like independent, arthouse and classic films, it’s hard to find a better on-demand service than Mubi. Titles are available for 30 days, after which they expire and are replaced. This means that there’s always something new to watch. The streaming services’ partners include The Criterion Collection, Celluloid Dreams and the UK-based fashion and trends magazine Dazed and Confused. Subscribing costs only £8/month after the free trial.
All 4 is a free streaming service that lets you stay current with all your favorite Channel 4 shows. In addition to catch-up TV, the service also gives you access to box sets of many popular shows. While most of the content is on-demand, some live feeds of various Channel 4 channels are available through the All 4 app.
BBC iPlayer is similar to All 4, only it hosts BBC-produced shows. It’s totally free to use and many streamable TV show episodes can also be downloaded. This feature is convenient because episodes typically vanish from the platform after 30 days or so.
iTV Player is yet another app that every UK-based cord-cutter should get. Like All 4 and BBC iPlayer, it’s totally free to use. If you want to avoid watching ads and gain the ability to download content, you can subscribe to iTV Hub+ for just £4/month.
4Seven is a free catch-up TV app that lets you stay current with shows produced by Channel 4. Shows available through this service include Puppy School, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Coast vs. Country and more.
My 5 adds yet another way to replace your cable TV service. Hundreds of hours of on-demand content from Channel 5 are available, all for free. The Oath, Hannibal and Central Park Five are just a few of the many titles that you can watch through this service.
If you’re in the mood to watch a new movie, you may want to start with Rakuten TV. Titles often appear on Rakuten first before they make their way to other on-demand streaming services. There are no subscriptions or commitments to consider. Just find the movie you want to watch, buy it and enjoy.
Fans of reality TV will definitely want to check out Hayu– an international streaming service that specializes in American reality content. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Top Chef and Jersey Shore are just a few of the shows you can watch through this service. It costs £5/month after the 30-day free trial ends.
Additional on-demand streaming services
- Sky Go. If you’re a current Sky subscriber and you’re not ready to cut the cord, you can stream movies via Sky Go.
- DisneyLife. This kids-oriented service has not only movies, but also music and e-books.
- iTunes. Apple’s on-demand streaming service is also available in the UK. It’s a great place to stream new movies and TV shows.
- Google Play. Google’s on-demand service is similar to iTunes, only more convenient for fans of Android and other Google devices.
- BT TV. BT is primarily a cable/internet service, but it also has its own streaming service: BT TV.
- Viewster. Viewster is a free, ad-supported on-demand service. It’s not available now, but it might be worth checking out after it comes back.
Hybrid Live and On-Demand Streaming Services
We’ve saved perhaps the best streaming service for last. With a wide range of flexible subscriptions that can give you access to not only on-demand box sets but also sports channels and other live streams, Now TV offers a complete TV entertainment package. It’s Sky’s answer to Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other similar cord-cutting services. Sky has locked down the exclusive rights to stream Game of Thrones, Westworld and lots of popular TV shows and movies. There are no commitments and prices start as low as just £4/month. The Sky Sports subscription costs £34/month, but if all you want to do is watch a game or two you may want to get the £9 day pass instead.
If you find Sky’s Now TV to be too expensive, you may want to give TalkTalk TV a look. Like Now TV, a range of subscription options are available. Prices start at £21/month. A wide range of on-demand content and over 80 live channels are available.
Alex Munkachy is a freelance writer, game developer and hobby robotics enthusiast. You can find his blog about robotics news and reviews at robotfanatics.com.