Feeds

Sky channels return to cable

Virgin Media drops legal handbag

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A contract feud between Virgin Media and Sky has ended today with a new deal that will see the return of Sky's basic channels to cable.

The agreement begins on November 13 and will run until June 2011.

Negotiations between the pair acrimoniously collapsed in March 2007, when Virgin Media customers trying to watch Sky One were greeted with the message: "Thanks to Sky, the Sky One channel is no longer available. They've picked up their ball and gone home. Foul play? We think so."

Without Sky One, thousands of customers deserted cable.

Virgin Media argued that Sky had massively and unfairly increased is charges for its basic package, which also includes Sky News. The row escalated, and Virgin Media applied to sue Sky under competition rules in the High Court.

Today's deal puts a stop to the legal handbags. Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: "I believe this agreement represents a fair deal and is the right thing for our customers. We recognise the quality and popularity of Sky's channels and look forward to welcoming them back to Virgin Media's TV service."

At the time of the original channel contract dispute, Virgin Media and Sky were also fighting over ITV. James Murdoch had put the kybosh on Richard Branson's proposed takeover of ITV by secretly buying up a large stake in the terrestrial broadcaster.

The withdrawal of Sky One from cable and ITV takeover block were widely interpreted as strategic victories for Sky. They were swiftly followed by the departure of then-Virgin Media boss Steve Burch "for family and personal reasons".

Competition authorities have since ordered Sky to slash its stake in ITV by more than half, however, which Rupert Murdoch has protested is a "huge injustice". ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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?