The service, which was available on compatible internet connected Freeview HD devices, was pulled over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
A spokesperson for TVPlayer informed a516digital that:
"We have decided that we will no longer be running the service. Despite thousands of viewers, we feel that the running costs do not justify keeping this going. We want to invest more in our main TVPlayer service and launch on to more platforms."
TVPlayer is expected to announce further distribution partners in the coming weeks, where viewers with Freeview will be able to continue to watch TVPlayer channels, plus the new premium service, in the form of an App on compatible devices rather than via channel 241. The service can already be accessed on mobile and tablet apps, via TVPlayer.com and a number of smart TV services including Apple TV.
The closure of Freeview channel 241 marks the final phase of TVPlayer owner Simplestream's withdrawal from the digital terrestrial TV platform, a withdrawal that began in September 2014, when control of VuTV (now closed) and Synapse TV (now majority owned by Vision 24/7) was handed to S&T following a review of their joint-venture enterprises. At the time Simplestream said it wanted to increase its focus on mobile and tablet platforms.
During 2015, Simplestream launched TVPlayer Plus, offering viewers a low-cost monthly add-on service, providing viewers with channels including Gold and Eurosport 1 via an App-based service on smart TVs, dongles and set-top-boxes. Combined with the free TV channels, the presence of a smart TV App has further reduced the need to broadcast a service via Freeview channel 241, which was only able to offer a limited selection of channels compared to the main service.