BitTorrent Live, a virtual MVPD that leans on the BitTorrent’s P2P platform, is shutting down in the “coming weeks,” Variety reported this week.
BitTorrent was not immediately available for comment, but an industry source confirmed that the team tied to the BitTorrent Live product has been let go. Variety said most of the 10-person team was expected to leave the company by the end of the week, and that the decision to fold the service stems from BitTorrent's inability to raise money to spin Live into a separate company.
BitTorrent Live was introduced in May 2016 in concert with the INTX show in Boston. The NCTA announced last fall that it was sunsetting the annual confab.
At last check, BitTorrent Live offers 15 free channels, including CGTN, Clubbing TV, FilmBox Arthouse, QVC, and Nasa TV UHD and Eleven Sports, and sells a couple of add-on news-focused packages that sell for $5 per month and $2 per month, respectively. It also offers Deutsche Welle (DW) for $5 per month.
BitTorrent Live arrived on the scene amid a swarm of virtual MVPDs that now includes Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, and fuboTV, a group that will soon be joined by Hulu.
BitTorrent Live was different in that it uses P2P, a technology that the company insisted would help it deliver live OTT services with broadcast-level scale and sidestep some of the issues that have troubled other live streaming services.
BitTorrent Live added support for Android devices in January, complementing access on iOS devices, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV boxes, and browsers for Macs.