Skip to main content

Virgin Media drops UKTV channels amid fees dispute

Virgin Media drops UKTV channels amid fees dispute

Virgin Media has dropped 10 UKTV channels from its service amid a row over fees.

Dave, Gold, Drama, Home, Really and Yesterday are among the channels no longer accessible to around the 4 million UK households that take Virgin Media.

Virgin blames the “inflated” fees, and complains that not all of its channels are available on demand.

UKTV says it can’t accept the “drastic” price cut Virgin proposes.

The above channels, along with Alibi, Eden, Good Food and W, were all removed from Virgin Media cable boxes at midnight on Saturday after talks collapsed.

Virgin has added some new channels, however, including Paramount Network, IQTV and FreeSports.

UKTV has commissioned a new series of iconic sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, but it will not be shown to Virgin Media customers unless a new deal is struck.

Virgin customers have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.

Virgin Media’s chief entertainment officer David Bouchier said the company was prepared to restore UKTV’s free channels – Dave, Drama, Home, Really and Yesterday, all of which are available on Freeview and Freesat – with UKTV’s permission. He accused UKTV of refusing to allow Virgin to carry these channels at the 11th hour.

He also accused the firm of not keeping pace with modern viewing habits.

“We have been in extensive discussions with UKTV but we have not been able to reach an agreement which reflects the reality of how people are watching television in the 21st century,” he said.

“UKTV is insisting on holding back its channels, like Dave, which are freely available over the air and online, unless we pay inflated sums of money for its paid channels like Gold.”

UKTV said it needed “a fair price to support our growing investment in programmes.”

BBC Studios, the corporation’s commercial arm and joint owner of UKTV, said Virgin Media was trying to “negotiate through the press.”

“We are fully supportive of the approach taken by UKTV management, who are leading discussions,” it added.

Share this article