Here in the UK Kodi-based streaming boxes are incredibly popular, so popular that there have been over two million of the things sold here in the two years prior to September 2017. Media attention also means lots of people are clued into the fact premium content is easily and freely accessible online. That also explains why IPTV usage is on the rise, especially since services offer massive amounts of content for less money than it would take to consume them legitimately.
But that extra popularity means The Man can put its foot down at any minute, and UK-based IPTV provider ACE TV (not to be confused with the pro-Hollywood Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment) is calling it a day.
Back in December ACE TV announced that legal pressures meant that it wouldn't be offering new subscriptions, including trials, but insisted that the service itself would continue for anyone who was able to resubscribe quickly enough. Shortly afterwards ACE TV suffered from the aggressive blocking tactics employed by UEFA and the English Premier League, forcing it to give up streaming football games in order to "rebuild the bypass process" and ensure streams didn't go dark mid-game.
Now, though, the company has shuttered for good, which it announced to subscribers on 29th March via email:
“We recently announced that Ace was no longer accepting renewals or offering new reseller credits but planned to support existing subscription. Due to mounting legal pressure in the UK we have been forced to change our plans and we are now announcing that Ace will close down at the end of March.
This means that from April 1st onwards the Ace service will no longer work.”
As it turned out it wasn't some pre-announced April Fool's prank, the service really did shut down for good on 1st April and has stayed that way. Naturally subscribers and subscription resellers aren't best pleased, having given ACE TV their money in advance, but it's not exactly a sympathetic situation for them.
Premium IPTV services get shut down all the time, and if you already gave them your money there's literally nothing that can be done. They are illegal services, after all, and if you're investing your money in criminal activity there's a good chance the law will come along and ruin everything - leaving you out of pocket.
While there are rumours ACE may return under a new name, subscribers still have plenty of options available to them. IPTV services aren't exactly rare, and while the authorities and rights holders are constantly working to have them shut down there will always be a ready supply waiting to take on new subscribers. The subscribers just have to be willing to sign up to something new and just hope the long arm of the law doesn't shut this one down and leave them out of pocket yet again. [TorrentFreak]