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Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)
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Old 26-12-2018, 20:36   #1
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Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

This is a continuation of the 'Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2018)' thread which you can find here:

https://www.cableforum.uk/board/show...php?t=33705858

1. The old thread has been closed, but will remain for information purposes;
2. I will collate all the information from my various sources and post on Cable Forum;

In addition to that I will be on hand to answer any questions that arise and to provide links to other sources of information as they come up.

Thank you.
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Old 27-12-2018, 07:59   #2
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Many thanks for all your hard work in 2018 and wishing you a great 2019 (with lots of good news).
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Old 27-12-2018, 10:08   #3
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

So, what will 2019 bring that's new to Virgin Media customers? Well, here are some distinct possibilities:

Starzplay
VM have promised we will get this streaming service, which was due to start a few weeks ago, but has been delayed for technical reasons. Hopefully, this will arrive before the spring. It would be good if VM could make this part of a bundle of free SVOD services (along with Hayu) but it might be a stretch to expect that this will happen at this stage, as the monthly charge is £4.99. However, you never know!

Insight
This UHD channel may arrive on the platform this year. This service charges £2.99 per month, so bundling of this channel is perhaps more likely.

Universe 4K
This UHD channel was available only in North America until recently but is now a Prime channel in the UK. Not sure if this would be available with a subscription or pay per view. It's $10 per month in the States.

Disney+
This service may launch towards the end of the year and will contain three strands - Disney, sport and Hulu content. Almost certainly, this will not be part of a bundle, and you will be able to subscribe to the stream(s) you want.

Prime
Set to launch on Virgin earlier this year, it was pulled during the course of negotiations as this was more of a retail operation. At least that's what VM said - many have suspected that it was the competition of the Amazon channels that sent the deal into a nosedive. Nevertheless, I think it is inevitable Prime will launch on Virgin sometime, and this year is now more likely, given it is now available on BT.

Sky Atlantic and Sky UHD content
The VM contract with Sky ends this year, and this may at last signal the launch of Sky Atlantic on Virgin. Sky finally relented and let BT have it for the first time via the Now TV app in negotiations that took place earlier this year and Sky has indicated that the channel will be on all major TV platforms in 2019. The negotiations will almost certainly include Sky's UHD content, so hopefully, that will come to pass as well.

AMC
Not so sure about this one. Viewing figures for AMC are very low, and the BT Sport wholesale deal with VM is up for renegotiation this year. BT must be fairly heavily dependent on Virgin to guarantee this revenue given the cost of the content, and so Virgin may try to wrestle AMC from BT as part of the eventual agreement.

Sky Sports Racing
This channel launches in January.

If we get all of these on VM before the end of 2019, it will have been a very good year!
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Old 27-12-2018, 16:32   #4
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

I was under the impression Sky Sports Racing is just an At The Races rebrand and therefore everyone has it (it was a base pack channel back when Starter was a package).
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Old 27-12-2018, 16:42   #5
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
I was under the impression Sky Sports Racing is just an At The Races rebrand and therefore everyone has it (it was a base pack channel back when Starter was a package).
Sky Sports Racing is just an At The Races rebrand but don't be surprised in time that in order to get it you will have to subscribe to Sky's premium sports channels.
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Old 27-12-2018, 16:59   #6
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by denphone View Post
Sky Sports Racing is just an At The Races rebrand but don't be surprised in time that in order to get it you will have to subscribe to Sky's premium sports channels.
I won't be that surprised. But I always got impression ATR was purposely free to give it the wide reach the race courses involved wanted. I think I read that somewhere once.

I never watch ATR.
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Old 27-12-2018, 17:04   #7
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
I won't be that surprised. But I always got impression ATR was purposely free to give it the wide reach the race courses involved wanted. I think I read that somewhere once.

I never watch ATR.
Most of ATR's best rights currently are foreign racing rights.
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Old 27-12-2018, 20:18   #8
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
I won't be that surprised. But I always got impression ATR was purposely free to give it the wide reach the race courses involved wanted. I think I read that somewhere once.

I never watch ATR.

Nor, do I - no interest whatsoever in Horse Racing, but each to his/her own.
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Old 28-12-2018, 18:11   #9
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Good evening all- so 2019 is the year the BT sport deal comes to an end. Will Virgin Media pull off the impossible and keep it "free" or will BT desperately try to claw more money back? Apparently they're losing a lot with the sport coverage hence why they're stepping back a bit and with a new chief executive i believe. We may not get so lucky anymore.

Its a shame really as BT sport was an excellent channel but you sense the wheels are coming off slightly even though its sadly kept the champions league coverage rather than it reverting to the superior sky.

As for Sky Atlantic finally...i bet it'll be some sort of "vm customers get 10% off now tv but you need to watch it via your laptop or smart tv" rubbish. I have a horrible feeling sky will do a uktv move and leave the deal to the last minute as cheap skate virgin attempt to pay bottom dollar whilst inevitably sending out the "we dont like to raise bills" generic letter.

As for AMC i can see BT refusing to give that even if virgin renew the BT channels as a sort of "hey you cant get everything off us" sort of attitude

2019 shapes up with Sky the front runner, BT cooling down with purchasing rights but still the commanding second place and virgin media continuing to be cheap skates who are bullied in negotiations after going in with a low ball offer and leaving it to the last minute.

Mystic Vince hopes to be proven wrong.

Hope you all have a great new year to you wonderful people
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Old 28-12-2018, 18:28   #10
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

A new agreement for BT Sport was made in the summer:
https://www.virginmedia.com/corporat...in-4k-uhd.html

So it looks unlikely AMC will arrive at the moment.
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Old 28-12-2018, 20:27   #11
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Where is the source for this “uncertainty” over BT Sport wholesale deal? I’ve seen it repeated a few times but can’t find where it originated.

The Virgin/BT deal was a good deal when it started for both, a good deal when BT got ambitious (Champions League period to date), and there’s really no indication as to why it’d be a bad deal now they are retreating into their shell somewhat.

If they were unlikely to pick up many direct subs in the 2016-2019 period with maximum rights I’d guess the chances aren’t high as the quality of their Premiership games drops (arguably) from next season, SPFL goes from 2020 and who knows about the Champions League from 2021. If anything the stable revenue stream in their period of transition will be a good thing, not a bad one.

Last edited by jfman; 28-12-2018 at 20:42.
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Old 29-12-2018, 09:18   #12
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inactive Digital View Post
A new agreement for BT Sport was made in the summer:
https://www.virginmedia.com/corporat...in-4k-uhd.html

So it looks unlikely AMC will arrive at the moment.
Thanks, ID. I missed the fact that a multi-year deal was done last summer. For some reason, I thought the 4K channel was a one-off agreement until the existing deal ended.

I agree, therefore, AMC seems to be out of reach for the time being.

---------- Post added at 10:18 ---------- Previous post was at 10:16 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfman View Post
Where is the source for this “uncertainty” over BT Sport wholesale deal? I’ve seen it repeated a few times but can’t find where it originated.

The Virgin/BT deal was a good deal when it started for both, a good deal when BT got ambitious (Champions League period to date), and there’s really no indication as to why it’d be a bad deal now they are retreating into their shell somewhat.

If they were unlikely to pick up many direct subs in the 2016-2019 period with maximum rights I’d guess the chances aren’t high as the quality of their Premiership games drops (arguably) from next season, SPFL goes from 2020 and who knows about the Champions League from 2021. If anything the stable revenue stream in their period of transition will be a good thing, not a bad one.
I think the deal has advantages for both BT and Virgin Media. We are safe for now.
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:16   #13
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheekyangus View Post
I won't be that surprised. But I always got impression ATR was purposely free to give it the wide reach the race courses involved wanted. I think I read that somewhere once.

I never watch ATR.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/ra...utbid-ITV.html

Quote:
ATR chief executive Matthew Imi, who said the new channel will have access to 14million homes via the Sky and Virgin platforms, added: 'There has been a portrayal of our relationship with ITV being somehow adversarial. That could not be further from the truth.
'We both have a common objective to grow the sport and generate new audiences. We should be working together to achieve that and that is the intention.'
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:46   #14
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

ITV would do well to take no notice of what Sky have said about racing rights. They aren't to be trusted as a company after renaging on previous promises e.g. saying that they would never charge for non premium channels and other sly underneath behaviour e.g. coming to a deal with VM for their full portfolio and then launching Sky Atlantic.
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Old 30-12-2018, 11:42   #15
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Re: Coming Soon to Virgin TV (2019)

I noticed that the Worldbox service has a message that it will be closing. I may have missed this in the last thread, but does anyone know if these channels will be made available on the EPG instead? Seems a big chunk of channels to drop.
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