UKTV channels return to Virgin TV | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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Nearly three weeks after the channels disappeared from the programming grid of the cable TV provider, Virgin Media and UKTV have reached a long-term agreement which will restore all of the latter’s channels and services to Virgin TV.

daveUK 24Nov2017The two companies say that the channels will return to the Virgin full TV services as soon as possible and UKTV’s programming on Virgin TV Go will also return so customers can watch programmes out of the home and on the move.

The blackout has lasted since midnight on 21 July when the two firms very publicly failed to come to an agreement for a new carriage deal,  for channels which were very popular with Virgin viewers.

UKTV claimed its channels accounted for more than a quarter of all viewing to pay entertainment channels in Virgin's basic pay-TV package and that the cableco’s on-demand views grew by more than a third in the last year. However, Virgin had attempted to negotiate down what it paid for the content, asserting that in addition to showing free channels such as Dave it was paying ‘inflated’ sums of money for its paid channels like Gold. In UKTV’s opinion, Virgin was asking for a ‘significant’ cut.

The agreement will see Virgin offer what is said to be an expanded selection of channels and programming — including the likes of Dave, Gold, Alibi and Yesterday which show UKTV originals such as Taskmaster, Judge Romesh, and Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, premiere US acquisitions like Quantico, Harrow and Carter — with a commitment to working closely to promote UKTV programming on the Virgin TV platform.

The new agreement will also see more than five times the amount of on-demand programming available on Virgin TV, which has just posted vert strong Q2 results, including more catch-up hours and more boxsets for Virgin TV Full House customers.

Commenting on the deal, David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer at Virgin Media said: “Reaching this agreement reaffirms our longstanding partnership with UKTV and is fantastic news for our customers. They can enjoy channels like Dave and Gold once again, including in HD, and also get more UKTV on-demand programming than ever before. On top of this, the channels we’ve recently added to Virgin TV will remain. We are sorry for what we know has been a frustrating time for our customers, but are pleased that our TV bundles are now even bigger. Our unwavering commitment to investing in incredible programming remains.”

Added UKTV chief commercial officer Simon Michaelides. “Viewers are at the heart of UKTV and we want to thank them for all of their support. We know this has created real disruption for some of our viewers and we’re so sorry for this, but we are thrilled to be back, broadcasting our channels and shows to customers of Virgin Media once more.”