Feeds

Sky goes dark for Virgin Media

Channels switch off at midnight tonight

The essential guide to IT transformation

Sky and Virgin Media have failed to reach an agreement on renewing the contract under which Sky channels have been available to Virgin Media (the supplier formally known as NTL) customers, resulting in those channels no longer being available from midnight tonight.

Virgin Media are claiming that Sky has upped the price massively, to which Sky respond that this is because they've added more channels to the mix, and Virgin say they don't want those channels: so the deadlock is reached.

Customers of (almost) all pay TV services are familiar with bouquet- purchasing: where a bundle of channels must be bought to get the one or two you actually want. In effect, Sky is scaling up this idea to apply to an entire network. If Virgin Media want Sky 1 then it must also pay for Sky Three and Sky Arts.

Sky says it is still open to negotiations, but it will be interesting to see how quickly it starts advertising the fact the Sky 1 is no longer available on Virgin Media. According to industry scuttlebutt, such an advertising campaign is already planned and prepared, which would belie Sky's claim.

This isn't the first time Sky have been accused of overcharging to drive a competitor out of business: ITV Digital made such complaints shortly before its demise. But with exclusive deals for a great deal of popular content Sky is in a seller's market.

The Sky-Virgin spat is good news for BT Vision and Orange, which today announced that their IPTV service will be available in the UK later this year. Such services are licensing content - TV shows such as 6 Feet Under and 24, direct from producers, and can show it without going cap-in-hand to Sky. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.