Jul 19, 2018

Virgin Media customers to lose access to UKTV channels

Virgin Media will stop offering channels run by UKTV, a joint venture owned by the BBC that broadcasts the popular Dave and Gold channels, after talks over a new deal broke down. The UKTV channels, which also include Good Food, Eden and Alibi, will disappear from Virgin Media's TV service on Sunday unless a last-minute agreement is reached. UKTV meanwhile said that Virgin Media had requested a "Significant cut in the fees that it pays" to carry the channels. Darren Childs, UKTV chief executive, said: "We want to continue to provide our channels to Virgin Media, but the huge cut in fees that Virgin has requested doesn't reflect the value we bring to customers. The money we receive from platforms helps to pay for our record investment in high-quality programmes . . . If our 10 channels, including Dave, W, Gold and Alibi, are no longer available through Virgin, we will be hugely disappointed for the millions of customers who will lose out." UKTV channels account for more than a third of Virgin Media's basic entertainment viewing but Mr Bouchier said he is confident that the new channels that will be offered instead - including Vice's TV channel, Paramount and Premier Sports - will help attract younger viewers.

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