Sky and Virgin behaving like Children

With all the hoo-haa about Sky One on Cable at the moment, both sides are escalating their side of this battle, but doing so with a propaganda campaign by manipulating the customer – Sky’s latest “press release” is trying to make out that the breakdown in talks is Virgin’s fault, Virgin have retaliated by emailing customers this message.

Come on guys – stop behaving like spoiled children and do something to help your customers – end the uncertainty and tell us either that “we’ve agreed carriage terms for Sky” or “As of a certain date, Sky’s basic channels will no longer be available on Virgin” – then we can, as customers, make an informed decision about where to take our business.


I’ve just spoken to Virgin and the operator confirmed to me that the deal has fallen through… shame really, as my response was to cancel my TV subscription from them. Now I’m on the lookout for a decent Sky offer.


8 thoughts on “Sky and Virgin behaving like Children

  1. Hi

    Does not really effect me as I watch very little on TV infact I only tune into Top Gear and Most Haunted but can live without those as well.
    I am more than happy to sit infront of 3D Studio Max or CAD and design a new area.

    TV Rots the brain! Dont stand for it!

  2. I reckon Sky are the bad guys in this one! They have paid over the odds for imported shows for Sky One and save for those shows Sky One would have disappeared into obscurity a long time ago. Instead of being more efficient and producing programmes that people would actually want to watch, Sky think they can just outbid everyone else and throw money at it. They have been rather put out by losing their monopoly on sport – Setanta are now providing a pay service on DTT, and Sky have therefore threatened to pull their channels from Freeview and go pay TV with a proprietary lock-in box like they’ve done with DSAT. They have slashed the amount they pay Flextech (i.e. Virgin) for the channels they carry on DSAT for them and in return want to double the price they charge Virgin for Sky One. They have put out circulars in Cumbria which the ASA have now banned falsely saying that Sky Satellite is now the only way to get digital TV. They are going to be “remixing” their channel packages again on satellite so that most people end up paying more.

    They are currently on a very aggressive marketing campaign in the run-up to digital switchover hoping they can wipe up the remaining analogue viewers and lock them in to their proprietary technology. Either they are being extremely reckless or they have some sort of master-plan. You guess!

    Each time Sky increase their prices, I reduce my package a little. I’m now on the minimum, only one step more and it will be complete cancellation. I don’t like their tactics. I’ve been living without Sky One et al for 18 months and haven’t missed it a bit.

    Their tactics against Virgin are aimed at putting them out of business. Double the charges for Sky One and they get into financial difficulty. Allow Virgin to drop the Sky channels and people defect to Sky. Same with Top Up TV, Setanta, Freeview etc. Legitimate business practices or just plain greed and world domination?

    Ofcom are the biggest culprits, they allow Sky to do anything with impunity. Newscorp are extremely, extremely powerful and I believe this sort of power is dangerous.

    I am more than happy with FTA channels and plan to get a multisat system soon with a PVR, HD and multiroom that you don’t have to pay a subscription to.

  3. Well, my dish will be installed on Wednesday, just in time too by the sound of it.

    Now, I may not agree with what Sky have done to Cable – but they’ve got the American shows I want to watch – and no matter what Virgin’s “On Demand” channels carry – they won’t work with my PVR… nor do they include shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica or 24

    The cable platform has a place in the lineup – Freeview isn’t really a competitor to Sky. If I had the money and the space then a movable, multi-sat system would be nice – especially coupled with a PVR (I already have a TiVo – and don’t want Cable on-demand technology – especially as in my experience it’s not very good – lower quality picture (even on SD) and if you’re lucky the box won’t crash halfway through)

  4. You don’t actually need a motorised dish – you can get Astra 1, Astra 2 and Hotbird quite easily from one static 70cm/80cm dish with multiple LNBs – and that’s enough channels for anybody! Single receivers cost around £60, a dual-tuner PVR around £200, dish around £50, single-output LNB around £20 – the costs are around the same as an equivalent Sky system. But if you want to go wider than that then you’d have to get more than one dish or a motorised one. But forget about a Sky box for doing this sort of thing – they’re crippled on purpose so that you can’t get TV from competitors. Of course, you won’t be able to get Sky channels on a standard sat receiver, as Sky refuse to provide CAMs. Strange how you can’t use a Sky box to get standards-based channels and you can’t use a standards-based receiver to get Sky channels – that’s exactly what they want to do with Freeview.

  5. Not happy! im a VM customer and lost the sky packages last night when the deal fell through.

    Im not to bothered about losing the sky chanels, what really yanks my crank, is the fact that virgin wont reduce their tarrifs to compensate.

    They insist that their Virgin Central on 119 is a good replacement – is it titties… it has 2700 hours of on demand video they say, yeah…. 2700 hours of OLD REPEATS that ive already got on box set!!!!

    C’mon Richard, pull you finger out of your brown coated ringer and use some common business sense.

    You’re about to lose nearly 1/3 of your market share by customers switching to Sky.

  6. im also a VM/NTL customer and i am on the verge of defecting to a sky package… we have been addicted to battlestar galactica and it is really annoying that it has been dropped with very little warning!

    i dont know whether to be angry at sky or virgin but either way it is the customer that appears to be losing out here – bastards!….

  7. I think that Virgin wanted the ‘Fight’ more than they want their customers.

    Surely the sound business way here, was to do a short term deal ( 1- 2 years) at the sky rate, acknowledging that Sky have the content right now.

    Then build up a rival channel over the next year to truly rival the content of Sky One, a channel that Sky customers might want to also watch.

    I know they wouldnt get all the content because some shows like 24 are produced by Fox, but there are others they can bid for, Stargate as an example, is shown on Sci-Fi in the US.

    Then Virgin would have a real fight, rather than insulting its customer with second rate old content being passed off as having the same value.

    Virgin claim that Sky One has a 3% viewing share, comments I have read on Virgins Board suggest to me that it may be a lot highre, even if it isnt what is the most watched and what share does it have? I am guessing not very high!

    So come Virgin swallow your pride and fight with your customers in mind

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