Virgin Media in Big Brother talks


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May 24, 2005
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Virgin Media in Big Brother talks

Virgin Media is in secret talks with Channel 4 to sponsor Big Brother, can reveal.

If the two companies reach a deal, Virgin Media could gain exclusive access to video-on-demand content, giving it an advantage in its battle with BSkyB for subscribers.

The negotiations come after Carphone Warehouse dropped its sponsorship - said to be worth £3m annually - earlier this month after Celebrity Big Brother became engulfed in an international storm over alleged racist bullying.

The retailer abruptly pulled its sponsorship idents midway through the programme's run in an unprecendented move in January after contestant Shilpa Shetty endured taunts from other contestants including Jade Goody. At the time Channel 4 denied racist incidents had occurred.

Virgin Media is locked in a fractious battle with BSkyB after Sky removed its basic channels from Virgin in a row over carriage payments.

Its massive marketing campaign following its rebranding last month from NTL-Telewest included an advertising campaign featuring Uma Thurman.

The Big Brother sponsorship package includes branding and advertising opportunities across TV, video-on-demand, online, radio and mobile.

If the deal goes ahead Virgin could also gain exclusive content from the Big Brother house for its mobile phone customers, boosting its "four-play" offering of cable TV, broadband, mobile phone and telephone landline.

Carphone Warehouse was contracted to sponsor this summer's Big Brother series, but the phone retailer and broadband provider pulled out of sponsoring the show altogether.

"We have concluded that the huge publicity around the show and our involvement within that means it is now time to look for an alternative," Carphone Warehouse said in a statement.

The terms of the contract termination were not disclosed.

"Channel 4 is currently in talks with a number of high profile brands regarding sponsorship of the eighth series of Big Brother," said a Channel 4 spokeswoman earlier this month after Carphone Warehouse dropped its sponsorship.

"The show remains the original and most talked about reality television show and its ability to reach young people in large numbers is unique and one of extreme value to brands wishing to target this valuable audience."

Stephen Brook
Thursday March 15, 2007
© Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
What happened to the rumours of the last series being the end

of a truly bag'o'shite reality programme
the talks cant be that secrete if we know about it lol... but i think its a good idea as long as Vm stay rich we they leave us alone
Big Bother is a programme for haters and nonces, imo

I feel it promotes hate and intolerance, and portrays it as acceptable and even expected behaviour in society.

How sad is it that so many get so much entertainment out of a bunch of people making one or two other housemates lives a living hell.. to which then an actual vote of societys approval takes place.... when did the UK turn into Nonceland?
they can pay upto £3 million to sponsor big brother, which nothink but the chavs of this world watch.
they should bite and bullet and give us SKY 1 back

thats a pis* take that is
if they get big brother but leave us without sky 1 then i will cancel my tv with virgin.

bb is crap and just got worse as time went by.
Virgin dont care whether its crap or not. I'll bet anyone that no matter what they think, they will be watching big brother next time it comes on, "just to see how crap it is". It will get the audience, nobody can deny that and that what broadcasters want.
the problem will be that by the next time big brothers on virgin media will have no viewers left even if they get BB they have lost 24, simpsons, dream team and many more Sky 1 programs, that have the same size of fan base, i believe virgin media on the way out
bb what aload of crap why would anybody want to sit in a house watching someone else in a house total madness virgin media need to get there act together and invest in something worth watching at least see what is available for 2007 season before sly get there grubby hands on it first :grab: