Catch Up TV in the UK

Missed a TV show in the last seven days? Use a catch-up TV service. We look at the various catch-up TV options


What is Catch-up TV?

These days, missing a TV programme isn’t a problem – most of the UK’s main broadcasters offer a “catch-up” TV service. These are usually Internet-based, and let you watch TV shows that you may have missed up to seven days ago

Catch Up TV services let you watch shows you’ve missed on a computer, or on your TV.

Catch Up TV Icons

What you need to know

It’s important to note that typically Catch Up TV only lets you watch content that’s been created for the broadcaster… so, for example, with 4oD, you’ll find Hollyoaks and Big Brother, but not an imported show like Friends that’s shown on E4.



BBC iPlayer logoBBC Shows: iPlayer

BBC shows for the last seven days are available free of charge via the BBC iPlayer.

Watch on a computer: Available on Windows, Mac and Linux via

Watch on a TV: BBC content is available on-demand from BT Vision, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV. A small selection is offered by Top Up TV

Also available: BBC iPlayer is also available on mobile phones such as the iPhone, as well as on some games consoles. The iPlayer is available as a dedicated Nintendo Wii channel. iPlayer on Wii

Other info:

  • BBC shows are also available in High Definition via iPlayer.
  • Radio shows are also available from the BBC iPlayer



ITV Player LogoITV Shows : ITV Player

Content from ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV is available on the ITV Player.

Watch on a computer: Content is available to stream for 30 days for free via

Watch on a TV: Recent ITV content is available on-demand from BT Vision and Virgin Media.



4 On Demand LogoChannel 4 : 4 on Demand

4 on Demand, also known as 4oD has our favourite interface of the services – easy to search and with a large catalogue of older Channel 4 shows and series. More on our 4oD Review.

Watch on a computer: Available on Windows, Mac and Linux via

Watch on a TV: 4oD is available on-demand from BT Vision, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV.



Demand Five LogoFive : Demand 5

Catch up with content from Channel 5, 5*, 5 USA and kids TV service Milkshake. Free content, download shows to rent for 14 days from 99p, or HD shows from £1.99, or buy them for keeps.

Watch on a TV: Demand 5 is available on-demand from BT Vision

Watch on a computer: Via


Sky : Sky Go

Sky Go LogoSky TV customers can watch and download programmes from over 30 channels for FREE on a PC, tablet or mobile phone using the Sky Go service. Non-Sky TV customers can subscribe to Sky Go to watch live TV channels and a selection of programmes on demand.
Live TV is available, including Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, G.O.L.D, Eden, MTV, and ESPN.

Watch on a computer: Available on Windows PC on the Sky Go Website

Watch on a TV: A small selection of content is available via Sky Anytime – downloaded automatically to reserved disk space on Sky+ and Sky+HD boxes.

Also available: You can also access the Sky Player via a Microsoft XBox 360 and on an iPhone / iPad.


Digital TV Services offering Catch-up TV

The best way to watch TV is on a TV set, and not on a PC screen – so here’s our round-up of the TV services that offer catch-up TV on your telly.

Catch-up TV on BT Vision
BT Vision: Watch Catch-up TV from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5.


YouView YouView LogoThe new YouView TV service offers access to BBC, ITV, 4oD and Demand 5 on your TV. The service is subscription-free, and offers a clever 7-day backwards EPG for easy access to show that you’ve missed over the past week. A great way of watching catch-up on your telly.

More details on our YouView Explored page – or get a free YouView box: YouView from BT

BT Vision BT Vision LogoBT Vision offers BBC, ITV, 4oD and Demand 5 on your TV. The TV Replay service on BT Vision is included for free as part of TV packages.

More details at or on our BT Vision Basics page

Virgin Media Virgin Media logoVirgin Media offers catch-up TV content from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. It’s free with all TV packages.

More details at or on our Virgin Media page

Sky Sky LogoSadly, no catch-up TV services for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, or Channel 5.

However, If you have a Sky+ or Sky+HD box, there’s a small selection of Sky content downloaded to part of the hard drive as part of their Sky Anytime service, but it’s pretty limited. There are rumours that as Sky’s boxes have an Ethernet socket, they may start a true on-demand service at some point in the future.

More on Sky at or on our Sky page.

TalkTalk TV TalkTalk TV LogoTalkTalk TV (formerly Tiscali TV) offers catch-up TV from BBC, Channel 4 and FX for free. This is delivered via your phone line to a special Tiscali TV set-top box that’s connected to your TV.

Details at or on our TalkTalk TV page

Freeview Freeview LogoNo Catch-up TV service offered as standard, but some TV sets and Freeview boxes offer access to BBC iPlayer.
Freesat Freesat LogoNo Catch-up TV service offered as standard, but some Freesat boxes offer access to BBC iPlayer.


Got a question on UK Catch-up? Ask in our Internet TV forum!


Worth a mention:

  • Blinkbox – Shows and movies to download and keep over the Internet
  • iTunes – Download recent TV shows for your Mac, PC or iPhone
  • Jump TV – TV content from over 60 countries

Other Internet TV services listed on our UK Internet TV page.


Listen to the FrequencyCast UK online radio show
FrequencyCast PodcastPODCAST FEATURE: We featured Catch-Up TV in Show 42 of our online radio show.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.

Listen to Show 42 | What is FrequencyCast? | Add us to iTunes

Some useful links:

BT YouView Current Deal


  • In+order+to+watch+a+catch-up+program+on+my+smart+Loewe+TV+must+I+download+it+in+real-time+or+is+it+really+possible+to+view+on+immediate+demand?+So+far+I+have+failed.+I+am+currently+trying+to+watch+Maigret+but+it+has+been+downloading+over+an+hour!+Suggestions+please.

  • Bob

    Why don’t you use spaces between words?

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