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BREAKING NEWS: New deals reached Sky Basic channels to return to Virgin Media.

# 4 November 2008, 15:29 by Cable Forum

Virgin Media and Sky end feudVirgin Media have released Breaking news this afternoon, following successful negotiations with BSkyB, they have together agreed two new channel carriage deals. From the announcement:- The first agreement will see the return, on 13 November, of Sky’s Basic channels – including Sky1, Sky2, Sky3, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 – to Virgin Media’s cable TV service. The second agreement provides for the continued carriage of Virgin Media TV’s basic channels – Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin 1 – as part of Sky’s retailed channel line-up on satellite. Both deals will run concurrently until 12 June 2011.

The fact that an agreement has now been reached – after nearly 18 months, will see Sky and Virgin Media cancel all court proceedings against each other relating to the carriage of their respective basic channels.

Despite the two sides shaking hands and deciding enough is enough, what has not been disclosed is how much Virgin Media has finally agreed to pay for the new carriage of rights to carry Sky’s basic channels. Additionally, the agreements include fixed annual carriage fees for the channels with both channel suppliers able to secure additional capped payments if their channels meet certain performance-related targets.

Virgin Media customers on the ‘M’ TV package will see the following Sky channels return:-

  • Sky3
  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News

Customers on Virgin Media’s ‘L’ TV Package will get:

  • Sky1
  • Sky2
  • Sky3
  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News

Customers on Virgin Media’s ‘XL’ TV Package will get:-

  • Sky1
  • Sky2
  • Sky3
  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News
  • Sky Arts 1
  • Sky Arts 2
  • Sky Real Lives
  • Sky Real Lives 2

Commenting on the agreements, Virgin Media’s CEO, Neil Berkett, said:

“We are pleased to bring our carriage negotiations with Sky to a successful close. 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. We are also pleased to secure Sky’s continued carriage of the VMTV channels until June 2011.”

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s CEO, added:

“This is great news for Sky and Virgin Media customers alike. We want our channels to be enjoyed by as many people as possible so we’re delighted to secure their return to the Virgin Media platform.”

We asked Virgin Media to provide the channel numbers below is the following list:-

The new channel numbers for Sky channels from 13th November are as follows:

  • Sky1 will be on channel 121
  • Sky2 will be on channel 122
  • Sky3 will be on channel 123
  • Sky News will be on channel 602
  • Sky Sports News will be on 517
  • Sky Real Lives will be on 281
  • Sky Real Lives 2 will be on 282
  • Sky Arts will be on 284
  • Sky Arts 2 will be on 285

This will also result in the renumbering of some channels on 13th November:

  • Virgin Central will move to 118
  • Virgin1 will move to 119
  • Virgin1 +1 will move to 120

And also one change on 11th November:

  • Men and Motors will move to 280

For analogue customers; Sky1 and Sky News will be available in some areas including Londonderry, Milton Keynes and Westminster.

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