Are the days of free premier league football for Virgin Media customers over?
A glance through Twitter and various Virgin and TV related forums reveals a number of posters are concerned that that’s the case.
For years the cableco has offered subscribers of its XL TV package free football, first through deals with Setanta and more recently with ESPN.
But today’s purchase of ESPN by BT will surely bring an end to free matches for Virgin’s customers – if BT feels generous enough to subsidise the channels it’ll surely do so for its own BT Vision (and later this year, YouView from BT) customers, not a rival’s.
Does today’s news reduce the perceived value of Virgin Media’s XL package?
How many subscribers pay the £8 difference between the L and the XL package just for ESPN’s content? And how many might think about dropping down a tier to subsidise the cost of adding a BT Sports bundle to their Virgin account?
Most coverage of BT’s foray into sports rights has focused on the BT v Sky battle, but could the UK’s second largest pay TV provider actually be the first casualty of the looming conflict?