Friday, February 23, 2007

Non-premium Sky Channels may disappear from Virgin Media

A row between UK broadcast rivals Virgin Media and BSkyB has escalated, leading to the likely disappearance of some non-premium Sky Channels from Virgin’s platform. On its website, Virgin Media says that Sky’s non-premium channels, like Sky One and Sky News may be disappearing from Virgin Media’s service at the end of the month. However, premium services Sky Sports and Sky Movies are not affected.
Virgin Media claims that Sky is asking for an an increase in payments for its non-premium services that bears no relation to the channels’ market value. Virgin Media say it has has refused to accept this increase, since it would mean absorbing significant costs, and passing the increase on to its customers. The company believes the real reason for Sky’s decision is that it’s trying to force viewers to leave Virgin Media and get a Sky subscription to watch the full range of Sky channels.
Sky insists that it is not ‘pullling the channels’ off Virgin Media, but the current contract runs out at the end of February and Virgin Media has chosen not to sign the new one. Sky says it is “disappointed” at what Virgin Media has said in public, and that discussions are still going on.
Virgin Media
(Source: R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)