VirginMedia vs BSkyB

The future is looking uncertain for our cable TV channels at the moment. We currently have our TV with VirginMedia (used to be NTL) who have been in negotiation with BSkyB for renewal of their contract of carriage for Sky’s basic channels including Sky One, Sky Two and Sky News.

However, it would appear that Sky are demanding a fee for these channels double the previous agreement. During the middle of the discussions, Sky chose to transmit a series of promotions claiming that the channels were about to disappear from Virgin Media’s network, so it doesn’t look like they were serious about any form of agreement.

This is happening at the same time as Sky are promoting how much cheaper they are than any other provider, launching their own broadband service at about a 1/3 of the cost of anything else in the market and withdrawing four channels from the Freeview network to be replaced by subscription channels available via a new set-top box.

It does look like Sky are determined to be the only media provider of any significance in the UK. The channel that will prove to be the decider for us will be Sky One which we watch regularly for programs such as Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis and The Dresden Files.

If we have to move to Sky in order to keep Sky One, then we will have to consider things like getting a BT phone line put back in, changing our wireless network router, moving to the top Broadband package in order to retain the unlimited download that we currently have and changing everywhere that uses our NTL email accounts. All in all, an unnecessary disruption, which will mean that we are bound to loose out somewhere along the way.

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