Which UK streaming services worked while I was in France – some actual science

Abroad in the EU

As I reported last Monday, the new EU streaming media regulations came into effect at the start of April. These require paid-for streaming services to continue to provide access to people who are temporarily away from their home member states in other EU member states. In other words, if you’re away from your home in the UK on holiday or on business for less than 30 days, you should still be able to watch Netflix in France, Germany, et al.

The operative words there are ‘paid for’ and ‘should’, since free services don’t have to comply with these regulations and as with any new regulations, there are usually teething troubles. So I decided to do some actual science to work out which ones worked and which ones didn’t.


To test a whole bunch of both free and paid-for streaming services last week while I was in France, to see whether there were some unexpected failures or even unexpectedly generous free services.


I ran the tests on an iPad and a Roku Streaming Stick with the correct UK streaming apps/channels installed and pre-configured. Internet access using UK cellular roaming and a French MiFi gadget using a French SIM were both tested.


Worked first time, every time

  • Now TV
  • Sky Go
  • Netflix

Didn’t work at first, but then started working for some reason

  • Amazon Video

Worked once and then never worked again

  • iPlayer
  • iPlayer Radio

Didn’t work not ever

  • All 4
  • ITV Hub
  • My5


So that means pretty much everything was as expected – everyone’s in compliance and everyone who doesn’t have to comply isn’t bothering to.

Further research

Let everyone know in the comments below if there are other services you’d like me to try the next time I’m away, or if you’ve had greater/less success on your own travels with the same or other services.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.