Sky calls for consumer support in Virgin Media tussle

BSkyB has launched an advertising campaign urging cable customers to encourage Virgin Media to carry its channels. It follows a breakdown in negotiations between the satellite broadcaster and its cable rival.

The campaign will run across Sky channels and encourage viewers to contact Virgin Media, which rebranded from NTL-Telewest last week, directly.

A Sky spokesman says: “We want our basic channels to remain available to NTL-Virgin customers and we’re working towards a new agreement that will keep them on air.

“We want to avoid disruption for customers who enjoy these channels but, ultimately, it is NTL-Virgin’s choice. We’d urge cable customers who feel strongly about this situation to tell Virgin what they think.”

It follows reports that relations between Sky and Virgin Media have hit an all-time low over Sky’s carriage deal with Virgin. Under the previous deal Sky paid Flextech (which has been rebranded Virgin Media Television) just under 40p per subscriber a month for Living TV, Bravo, Challenge and Trouble, although under new agreements this could be reduced to less than 10p per subscriber. Sky is also understood to be preparing to pull its basic channels unless it gets “a respectable price” per subscriber from Virgin.

The spokesman says discussions “are continuing” over a new agreement for distribution of Sky’s basic channel portfolio to TV viewers. It says last week’s announcement that Sky’s Freeview channels, including Sky News, would be pulled from the platform, made them “even more valuable” to the cable company. It adds that it is offering a larger package of channels than is currently available.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here