Lovers Tiff (BSkyB vs Virgin Media)

What is going on.  BSkyB and the newly created Virgin Media (formerly NTL, Telewest & Virgin Mobile) are fighting over Sky’s Basic Channels.  exNTL & Telewest customers used to get Sky One, Sky Two, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Travel and Sky Travel Extra, but as off Midnight last night that stopped.

It looks like it’s all about cost, and Sky wants to charge Virgin Media 90p  for it’s channels (In addition, Sky has offered Sky Arts (formerly Artsworld), Sky Three, Sky Travel+1 and Sky Travel Shop)

Virgin Media are saying that Sky had demanded that the fees for these channels be nearly doubled, despite the fact that the popularity of their basic channels has declined by 20 per cent in the last three years … The money saved due to Sky’s withdrawal of its basic channels will be used to build on a series of major programming acquisitions over recent months. This includes a wide range of hit movies and shows, ranging from The Sopranos and Nip/Tuck to Lost and the OC

So the question is, do Virgin Media customers get a discount now they have lost the Sky Basic Channels?  You should!

Its interesting Virgin Media stock is up on Nasdaq, while BSkyB went down and is now on the up again ..


This is what they both have to say:

Sky basic channels carriage on Virgin Media <http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=104016&p=irol-newsArticle_Print&ID=966886&highlight=>

Jeremy Darroch, CFO said: ‘We are disappointed that Virgin Media appear to have walked away from negotiations. Sky offered more channels to Virgin Media than ever before. We have invested in developing our channel offering and sought a fair price which reflects that fact. With three days still to go before the deadline, we hope that Virgin Media will focus on getting a deal done rather than on their PR offensive.’

Sky Rejects All Virgin Media Efforts to Find a Solution and Withdraws its Basic Channels <http://pressoffice.virginmedia.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=205406&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=968799&highlight=>

LONDON, March 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sky’s basic channels stopped airing on Virgin Media at midnight on the 28th of February following Sky’s failure to renew its carriage agreement. Sky had demanded that the fees for these channels be nearly doubled, despite the fact that the popularity of their basic channels has declined by 20 per cent in the last three years.

Sky Tries to Double Price of Under-Performing Basic Channels <http://pressoffice.virginmedia.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=205406&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=966509&highlight=>

As Virgin Media Builds Market Leading Portfolio of Programming, Sky Tries to Stifle Competition by Engineering Withdrawal of Basic Channels From Competitor’s Service

 

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