LONDON: Virgin Media has launched a video-on-demand service, Virgin Central, providing subscribers with 24/7 access to a range of popular TV programmes.

The company - the result of a merger between Sir Richard's Branson's ubiquitous brand and cable TV provider NTL - says the new offering will allow viewers to watch the shows via their TV set at any time.

In launching the service, Virgin is pre-empting a similar strike by arch-rival BSkyB, whose Sky Anytime is presently available only via a personal computer.

The two businesses are currently negotiating continued availability of the popular Sky One channel on the Virgin Media platform. They fell out in a major way late last year when BSkyB bought a significant and spoiling share in the UK's biggest commercial broadcaster ITV, while NTL was trying to negotiate a merger.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff