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Tiscali TV reaches for Sky channels

Murdoch pulls a moonie at Virgin

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Sky has agreed to supply Tiscali's TV service with the same package of channels it took away from Virgin Media in a dispute over charges earlier this year.

The deal for the satellite broadcaster's "Basics" package will make Sky One shows such as Lost and 24 available to Tiscali's 50,000 TV customers. The ISP bought south east-only IPTV network HomeChoice in 2006, and plans to roll-out to the rest of the country in the third quarter this year.

Although a coup for Tiscali's triple-play ambitions, the move will be widely interpreted, from Sky's side, as two fingers directed at its mass-market rival Virgin Media. The relationship between the two soured soon after Sky crashed into the broadband market.

Sky withdrew its channels from Virgin, which provoked consternation from the cable firm's three million-plus TV customers, taking a toll on subscriber numbers. In a recent update bosses claimed to have weathered the storm, however.

The Tiscali deal was "first revealed" by The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns, er, Sky. Awesome scoop.®

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