Virgin Media Contemplates Loss of BSkyB Channels

26 February 2007

LONDON: Talks between increasingly bitter UK rivals BSkyB and Virgin Media have failed to come up with acceptable financial terms for the satellite broadcaster to continue supplying its basic channels to the cable TV provider (formerly known as NTL).

Consequently, BSkyB says it will pull its channels from Virgin Media's platform at the end of the month.

The latter's ceo, Steve Burch, still hopes to resolve the spat, although he claims Sky has said it will not come to the table again.

Meantime, a Sky spokesman said: "We have an agreement that Virgin Media can distribute those channels until the end of the month. Virgin cannot distribute from March 1 if there is no agreement so, sadly for our customers, those channels would not be available."

The dispute is a sequel to last year's major fall-out when the News Corporation-controlled satellite TV monopoly bought a significant and spoiling stake in the UK's largest commercial broadcaster ITV whilst it was in mid-merger discussions with NTL.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff