Information on internet protocol TV

Have you recently seen a message on your TV telling you that programmes on the channel you've chosen to watch are delivered by the internet? This page tells you why and what you need to bear in mind when you watch these channels.

Almost all channels you can watch on your TV set are broadcast into your home either by digital TV (Freeview), cable or satellite. But if you've got a 'smart' TV you'll also be able to access some TV channels delivered by the internet. It's called IPTV or internet protocol TV.

Ofcom is responsible for most of the broadcast TV channels you can watch on your TV. The channels must meet Ofcom's comprehensive rules to make sure that - for example - children are protected from unsuitable content, the watershed is observed, and audiences are appropriately protected from harmful and offensive material.

Some channels on your TV are regulated by another country in the European Union (EU). They have to comply with that country's standards - but there are shared minimum rules on TV content standards across Europe and the UK.

But IPTV channels delivered on your TV set by the internet don't have to comply with these rules unless they also appear on an Ofcom regulated EPG. A small number of services that appear on an Ofcom regulated EPG are not television channels themselves, but click through services which take you away from the regulated EPG and onto the internet. You can access IPTV channels in this way. The channels that are accessed in this way might not be regulated by Ofcom and may not be regulated by another EU country. That means you could see programmes and advertising you wouldn't usually expect to see on your TV - for example, content that's unsuitable for children before the watershed at 9pm. So we advise you to be cautious and also to consider whether any children in your home could access these channels.

If you've seen something on an internet TV channel that has concerned you, you can email the details to

You can find out more about the rules in the Broadcasting Code.