Pay-TV firms Sky and Virgin Media have confirmed a major new deal which sees the satellite broadcaster take control of Virgin’s channels, including Living and Bravo, and the Cable giant gain access to Sky’s HD channel portfolio.
Sky is paying £105 million for Virgin Media Television with a further potential payout of £55 upon regulatory approval, channels covered by the deal include LIVING, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot, Bravo and Virgin1 which will be rebranded.
In parallel the two companies have agreed that Virgin will be able to carry “any of Sky’s basic HD channels” as well as Sky Sports HD 1 and Sky Sports HD 2, the Sky HD Movie channels and red button interactive sports coverage.
In addition Virgin will have option to deliver “selected standard definition” content over the web and on-demand content from Sky’s basic and premium channels, including the former Virgin Media Television channels.
Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, said the two deals “will allow us to focus more closely on our strategy of exploiting Virgin Media’s super-fast connectivity to offer our customers a range of the very best content through a highly versatile next generation entertainment application.”
Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said buying Virgin’s channel business was “an attractive investment opportunity which complements our existing content business” and said he was “pleased that, through commercial negotiation, we have been able to ensure wide distribution of our channels to a growing pay TV universe.”