Sky buys TV channels from Virgin in £160m deal

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB today acquired television channels Living and Bravo as part of a £160 million deal with rival Virgin Media.

The purchase of Virgin Media Television (VMtv) also involves Challenge, Challenge Jackpot and Virgin1, which will be rebranded.



As well as expanding its range of basic pay TV channels, Sky said the deal eliminated the carriage fees it currently pays for distributing Virgin channels on its platform.



Virgin Media said the deal had generated substantial value and would allow it to offer its cable customers an enhanced range of Sky services, including HD channels and on-demand content.











Today's sale agreement will see Sky pay £105 million on completion of the deal and the remainder following regulatory approval.



BSkyB and Virgin clashed in 2007 in a legal battle over how much they would pay each other to host their "own-brand" channels.



Before today's deal, BSkyB had previously argued in court that Virgin's channels were almost worthless to its subscribers.



Virgin said its seven channels - which span pay and free-to-air television - reach more than 24 million adult viewers every month.



This move means distribution of Sky's basic channel line-up, including Sky1 and Sky Arts, on Virgin Media's cable TV service is now secured.



Virgin Media said the sale would allow it to focus on providing subscribers with "super-fast" cable TV and broadband provision.



Neil Berkett, Virgin Media chief executive, said: "The sale of our channels business has generated substantial value.



"Together with the new commercial agreements we've announced today, it 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."



Under the deal, Virgin Media has agreed for the first time to offer customers Sky's basic HD channels, Sky Sports HD1 and Sky Sports HD2, and all Sky Movies HD channels.



It will also make Sky's basic and premium channels available to subscribers through its on-demand TV service.



BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: "VMtv is an attractive investment opportunity which complements our existing content business and delivers strategic and financial benefits.



"We are pleased that, through commercial negotiation, we have been able to ensure wide distribution of our channels to a growing pay TV universe."



The firm launched Virgin1 in October 2007 although channels such as Living and Bravo came from the former ntl/Telewest business. This in turn merged with Virgin Mobile in 2007 and was then rebranded as Virgin Media.



The Living channel is described as the "ultimate entertainment destination in pay television, full of guilty pleasures and trashy glamour", while Virgin1 is described as being "intelligent tabloid TV at its best" and hosts shows such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.



Virgin Media also offers customers broadband and telephone services alongside TV channels.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans is the favourite to replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing