This morning it was confirmed that Virgin Media has removed some of the BSkyB channels from its service after a bitter feud over TV rights. Virgin Media have accused BSkyB of raising their prices too high, with BSkyB claiming that the rises are justified.
A deadline was set for the two to reach an agreement for midnight Wednesday 28th however conflict still continues. This has caused Virgin to remove Sky’s basic package which includes Sky One, Sky News, Sky Travel and Sky Sports News amongst others. This news is detrimental for both companies as Virgin lose out on top channels and Sky lose roughly a third of its viewer base.
Some Virgin Media customers have already expressed their dissatisfaction with this war of two billionaires (Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch), particularly Virgin Media customers who regularly watch the basic Sky channels, who are now unable to see their favourite channels.
Virgin Media has accused BSkyB of “bullying” and “arrogance” and warned Rupert Murdoch’s corporation of dropping its package unless an agreement was reached. This war of words has come after controversy in different areas on both parties, as Virgin Media had announced that 37,000 staff had left the company before rebranding.
BSkyB are in hot water with Ofcom as they investigate BSkyB’s controversial purchase of 17.9% in ITV, seen as an attempt to block a bid from its then rival NTL. More news will follow on these topics.