Are you developing an app or website to help people find content airing on live TV? Do you want to enhance your project with content availability notifications or other streaming-aware features? We had similar questions when we looked for live TV APIs. As part of Flixed’s mission to make cord-cutting easier, we’ve relied on APIs like these to help us build unique data services like our Local TV Guides. You can learn more about our live TV APIs here, but read on to see the 8 live TV APIs we found in our research.
Live TV APIs for Triple-A Developers
If you plan to serve up live TV information to millions of users and you have the budget to match, then you’ll want to look at the Internet Video Archive and Gracenote.
Internet Video Archive started out distributing content for video rental chains to play in their stores. Today, IVA has become an internet and mobile-centric service for distributing trailers, related media, and content metadata. Its clients include a who’s-who of major media companies including Amazon, DISH Networks, and Comcast.
You can choose from a dozen APIs that offer different kinds of metadata, media content or integrations with services like Metacritic and Fandango. IVA offers a range of pricing plans for its various APIs. If you want a live TV API, then consider the TV Grid Online API. This plan starts at $1,500 per month, not including usage fees.
Gracenote started out in the 1990s as a crowdsourced catalog of compact discs. It went through a series of buyouts and is now owned by media research firm Nielsen. Gracenote offers APIs for their comprehensive video, audio and sports databases.
The Gracenote Global Video Data service provides access to global data on TV, movies and on-demand content. The TV Listing service supports 85 countries with 21-day windows in the US and Canada and up to 14 days in the rest of the world. You can also pull content information, reviews and related media. Contact Gracenote for pricing.
Live TV APIs for Mid-range Developers
If you aren’t working at a scale that justifies the premier pricing, but you need reliable data and support, take a look at these live TV API providers.
Since the late 1990s, the team at TV Media has been compiling programming and related live TV content. They’ve evolved over the past quarter-century right along the industry to cover broadcast, cable, and over-the-top streaming sources. TV Media’s customers include newspapers, TV stations and the hospitality industry.
The TV Listing API provides content information and 14 days of live TV listings for TV providers in the United States and Canada. Monthly commercial pricing starts at $100 for 1,000 calls and a 5-day EPG (electronic program guide) window. TV Media’s all-you-can-eat Pro Plan starts at $750 for 20,000 calls per month and the full EPG.
TitanTV is a metadata distribution service that supports the broadcast and cable industry. It also operates the public-facing TitanTV.com programming guide and the AntennaWeb.org website. The company’s Guide Services API provides EPG and related data to more than 1,000 TV station websites. Contact TitanTV for pricing.
Live TV APIs for Small Projects and Personal Use
If you are working on a small app or a personal project, you won’t want to commit to expensive monthly subscriptions. Several companies, including ones we’ve already discussed, offer free access to their live TV APIs.
IVA offers the Entertainment Data Hub through RapidAPI. You don’t get an EPG but you do get metadata and availability information for TV shows and movies. The free tier lets you make 1,000 calls per month. For a $10 monthly charge, you get 15,000 calls per month.
TV Media’s free tier gives you 24-hour EPG, 50 calls per month and a limited set of metadata.
TV Maze is a community-generated programming guide built by volunteers around the world. The free, public TV Maze API provides scheduling information, content metadata and images. Your app can make at least 20 calls every 10 seconds per IP address. If you need more, you can contact TV Maze about their Enterprise API.
If you’re just getting started, you might not need to deal with some of the complexities that come with constantly-updated metadata. The epguides content search site lets you download their database. The CSV file is a snapshot of the content epguides has gotten from TV Maze. (TV Maze is CC-BYSA so it’s OK)