Virgin Media - Sky court threat approaching deadline


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Mar 4, 2005
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North West
Taken from another site.

The deadline which saw Virgin Media last month threaten to take their rival BSkyb to court, has almost expired without any signs of a deal being reached. On March 5th, Virgin Media issued a 30 day deadline for the dispute to be settled. Sky pulled its basic channels from the Virgin Media network at the end of February. Both Virgin Media and Sky had earlier failed to reach an agreement over cost of carriage fees. Sky had doubled its asking price for its basic channels, such as Sky One and Sky News.

Virgin Media had refused to pay Sky’s asking price to renew their contract with them to carry their basic channels. The old contract had expired on February 28th 2007 and Sky then removed its basic channels from the cable groups network.

Virgin Media, in a last ditch attempt to settle the dispute called for arbitration (An independent third party that would review and solve the entire dispute) but Sky had rejected the proposal.

Virgin Media is still said to be determined to take its satellite rival BSkyB to court, but it is likely there will be no action before the end of the week. The deadline ends midnight tomorrow night.

he cable group wants to pay a reasonable fee for the carriage of Sky’s basic channels, but if the dispute remains unresolved, Virgin intend to seek damages, for which they claim Sky is guilty of stifling competition and abuse of market dominance.

BSkyb, doesn’t just have Virgin Media’s court threat to contend with at the moment. Right now, investigations are to take place by three different regulators, The Office of Fair Trading, Ofcom and the Department of Trade and Industry. They are investigating Sky’s purchase of 17.9% stake in ITV, which blocked Virgin Media (ntl:Telewest, as it was known then) from acquiring the channel late last year.
virgin should stop wasting time and money on getting back the channels. I ain't missed the channels one bit. I am sure others havn't to.
yeah me too and as far as lost and 24 are concerned most people dl them anyway so who cares...........
I'm not missing the channels but i'm not happy they don't have enough money for sky 1 but they have enough to sponsor big brother.
I would rather have sky 1
I'm not missing the channels but i'm not happy they don't have enough money for sky 1 but they have enough to sponsor big brother.
I would rather have sky 1

They have plenty of money, but don't want to be forced to pay over the odds for basic Sky channels.
I'm not missing the channels but i'm not happy they don't have enough money for sky 1 but they have enough to sponsor big brother.
I would rather have sky 1
This isnt really about how much money a company has. This is about good business and successful growth. Compare it like spending £500 quid on a smart new coat or spending £500 quid on shares... you may need the coat more but being ripped off with price just means you might as well spend elsewhere and do without a coat. This is especially relevant when it isnt your money- its shareholders and businesses money so you'd be even more careful with being ripped off with something you may be able to do without.

Its not just business, this is simple economics that is in our everyday lives. I doubt anybody here chooses to spend their money on something that is a pure and utter con- where the asking price is nowhere near the value. Yet i bet most here would still invest money if it was a good deal- and those people would be more successful than those wearing a flashy new coat.

I'm not a customer or shareholder of Virgin but I certainly feel they have far more sense than sky do at the moment.

It makes no difference to me as long as Virgin either find some decent content to put on in place of the missing channels, or reimburse it's customers which I can't see happening. I'd hate to see another set of 'rerun' channels appearing.

I'm all in favour of Branson standing up to Murdoch, and just think it's a selfish and greedy ploy from Murdoch to a) gain more money, and b) poach customers that feel they must have those channels. Fair play to Virgin for saying they would not even contest anyone that wanted to move mid contract due to a change in service.

For me I'm with NTL for it's 'unlimited (within reason)' broadband, and I'd rather have a service thats reliable and doesn't screw up when the weather turns bad. I can still DL the programs I used to watch anyway, and watch them when I want.
I think a deal might be done by midnight tonight so virgin customers have their channels back. I think with sky losing the rights to the fa cup to itv and that setena sports (eww spelling) it may of given them a bloodly nose and they will look to the number of customers virgin brings to the table. I've heard the advertising people aren't happy that they are paying alot of money to only a half the market.
its not only sky one we should be worrying about if sky get away with this virgin will probably eventually lose sports and movies aswell. then sky will lose living and uk. then as useual the customer is left with either getting both sky and virgin or not getting channels they want.
yes this is true in a way, but..... if sky had half of what they have now- half the sports, half the movies, half the channels, would anyone really pay £43 per month? Especially if you could still get the other half for ~20 to ~25 quid a month, who would people go to? See thing is that sky will learn a lesson from this, they cannot afford to shoot themselves in another foot, they'd have nothing left to stand on. If things do go in the same direction forever and sky decide they no longer want to be a force in the uk then- yes you are right we may need to have 2 packages to get everything but maybe the costs will only total what they do now, you'll just be paying 2 different companies. Point is that choice/competition generally drives costs down so you may even end up with both packages and pay less than a full sky pack now costs :).

Economics is not black & white, but certainly consumer choice is unlikely to be a bad thing (well only bad for sky).
yesterdays news said:
Satellite broadcaster Sky has seen the audience share on its basic channels drop by a combined 24.5% since they came off the Virgin Media platform last month.
Since March 1, Sky One, Two and Sky News' weekly all-hours shares have reduced with Sky One no longer in the top five non-terrestrial channels.
Home to Lost and 24, the channel has also seen a year-on-year decline of 38% in March, and got just 1% of the weekly all-hours multichannel viewing share - its lowest since 2001 - in the two weeks following its removal from cable.
The dispute between the two companies has since continued, with Virgin Media ready to take legal action in the High Court to challenge what it calls Sky's "abuse of dominance."
For SkyOnc to no longer be in the top 5 digital channels is a massive destructive blow, but its one that sky have themselves created! Exactly what Virgin were arguing all along, the channels arent worth much and maybe soon they will be worth absolute zero and even close down (joke lol). Every year see's sky lose more viewers yet they continue to charge more money, its just come to the point where their plan doesnt work. Sky will rethink their future and i am sure we wont see this stage when it comes to movie & sports channels, as a business they just couldnt afford it.
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