×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BitTorrent Is Shutting Down Its Live TV Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

San Francisco-based BitTorrent Inc. is set to shut down its P2P-powered live TV streaming service BitTorrent Live in the coming weeks, Variety has learned. Most of the 10-person team behind the live streaming service is expected to leave the company by the end of this week.

The closure of Live comes after BitTorrent unsuccessfully tried to raise money to spin out the service into a separate company.

It’s also just the latest twist in a long corporate drama. Last year, two outside investors took control of BitTorrent, spent millions of dollars on an expensive expansion into the media space and promptly got themselves fired.

BitTorrent has since rehired its former COO Rogelio Choy as its new CEO, and is now looking to focus on its core products. As part of that realignment, the company was looking to turn Live into a separate, venture-funded entity, but raising money for it proved challenging.

Closing down Live also puts an end to one of BitTorrent inventor’s Bram Cohen’s most ambitious projects since the release of the original file sharing client. Cohen began working on BitTorrent Live some nine years ago, spending years on perfecting an underlying P2P architecture that allowed live video streaming without costly content delivery infrastructure, and with minimal latency.

BitTorrent Live underwent a few iterations over the years, and eventually settled on a Sling TV-like model, aiming to sell consumers access to live streams from news and sports TV networks as part of smaller bundles while also offering some core channels for free.

The ultimate goal was to build a virtual pay TV operator, and BitTorrent developed a lot of technology associated with running such a service in-house. There’s no word on what will happen to those technical assets, or what the company aims to do with the underlying P2P-based live streaming protocol.

 

More Digital

  • Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android

    Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android as U.S.-China Tensions Mount

    Google has prevented controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei from accessing the latest versions of the Android mobile phone operating system. The move follows U.S. government attempts to blacklist the Chinese firm. “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” Google sources told news agencies on Sunday. “Huawei will only be able to use [...]

  • JUMP camera

    Google Is Shutting Down Its Jump VR Video Program

    Google will shut down Jump, its cloud-based video stitching service, this summer. The company emailed creators Friday afternoon to tell them that Jump would be shuttered on June 28, and detailed plans for the shut-down on its website as well. In its email, Google justified the closure of Jump with the emergence of new video [...]

  • Relix Live Music Conference

    Relix Live Music Conference Puts Spotlight on Gender Parity, Privacy

    The third annual Relix Live Music Conference took place at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl earlier this week. The two-day confab, which featured panels and Q&As by executives from such companies as Live Nation, Q Prime, SiriusXM, Bowery Presents, Glassnote Music, Shorefire Media and Splice, among many others, offered a fascinating and honest look at the [...]

  • Spotify Tests 'Car Thing' Audio Adapter

    Spotify Starts Testing In-Car Hardware

    Spotify is carefully taking a first step into the consumer hardware space: The company has begun to test a new in-car device that lets users access music and podcasts with voice commands, it revealed in a blog post Friday morning. “Car Thing,” as the device is being called for now, is only being tested in [...]

  • Hannah-Hart-BuzzFeed-Tasty-Edible-History

    BuzzFeed's Tasty Taps Hannah Hart for Food-History Show on Facebook Watch

    YouTube star and food fanatic Hannah Hart is combining her passions for cuisine and history in a new series for BuzzFeed’s Tasty on Facebook Watch. The eight-episode show, “Edible History,” premieres Sunday, May 19, at 8 a.m PT, on BuzzFeed’s Tasty Presents show page on Facebook Watch, with episodes released weekly. In each episode (7-12 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content