Virgin Media Loses Basic Sky Channels

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Reaction from http://www.DigitalChoices.co.uk: the basic Sky channels stopped airing on Virgin Media (formerly ntl:Telewest) at midnight on February 28th after weeks of talks between the two companies failed to find a better solution.

The basic Sky channels stopped airing on Virgin Media (formerly ntl:Telewest) at midnight on February 28th after weeks of talks between the two companies failed to find a better solution.

According to Virgin Media, Sky had demanded double the previous fees for these channels, despite a 20 percent decline in performance of the programming (according to Virgin Media).

What does this mean for Virgin Media customers?

If you've just signed up for Virgin Media or you're a former ntl:Telewest subscriber, you'll no longer receive the basic Sky channels: including Sky One, Sky Two, Sky Three and Sky News.

The Sky Sports and Sky Movies subscription channels are unaffected.

Chris Eagle, Commercial Manager at http://www.DigitalChoices.co.uk, says: "In the short term, this is bad news for Virgin Media customers, particularly those who signed up recently for big shows like Lost and are still bound by a 12-month contract. But Virgin Media is planning replacements for these channels which could be even better."

I'm with Virgin Media - should I switch to Sky?

Unless you're really fussed about particular Sky programmes or channels, don't make any rash decisions right now. Virgin Media is using the money saved to acquire the rights to some major shows over the next 12 months, and will be more than doubling the amount of programming available on demand.

And bear in mind if you are a Virgin Media customer you risk losing your broadband connection if you choose to switch to a Sky bundle, and may have to pay £120 to reactivate BT line get broadband services.

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Michael Phillips
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