UKTV Channels Return to Virgin Media

Photo by Jeff Djevdet via Flickr

The dispute between Virgin Media and UKTV have been settled. The conflict between the two caused 10 channels to be switched off from Virgin TV, including Gold, Alibi, and Dave.

Millions of viewers and approximately 4 million households were affected by the decision to take the channels down last July after the two firm were not able to come up with an agreement on a fresh distribution deal.

Some representatives for UKTV and Virgin Media issued an apology to the customers for the disruption and emphasised that the new agreement will now include high-definition channels for Gold and Dave to some of the premium bundles of Virgin Media.

David Bouchier, the chief digital entertainment officer of Virgin Media, stated:”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.”

The two media companies said that the new agreement will also raise the amount of on-demand programming on Virgin TV by over five-fold, with additional catch-up hours and boxsets pledged.

Currently, Virgin Media is in separate talks with BBC Studios in order to explore the possibility of bringing full BBC boxsets to the said platform.

Darren Childs, the chief executive of UKTV, claimed that the initial dispute started when Virgin Media required a huge reduction in fees paid to UKTV, which resulted to the discussions breaking down.

Virgin Media disputed that UKTV was holding back some of its free channels which included Dave unless Virgin paid “inflated” amounts for paid content on Gold.

This morning, the customers celebrated the return of the channels on Twitter, however, they noted that some channels including Alibi and Gold was yet to be made available. Virgin stated that this was because of a slowed roll-out, and that all the channels of UKTV will be live by Monday.