Feeds

Sky channels return to cable

Virgin Media drops legal handbag

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.