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Virgin Media deals blow to BT with extended Sky partnership

Deal adds five channels and ability to watch on the go
Mon May 12 2014, 13:49
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VIRGIN MEDIA ANNOUNCED on Monday that it has extended its relationship with Bskyb for another five years, delivering a blow to rival BT.

Under the extended agreement, which the firm claims is the "most comprehensive wholesale agreement ever agreed by Sky," Virgin Media customers will get access to Sky channels for another five years.

As well as all of the channels previously available, the deal sees the addition of five new ones: Sky F1 HD, Sky Sports 3 HD, Sky Sports 4 HD, Sky Sports News HD and Sky News HD.

As well as bringing Sky channels to Virgin Media teleboxes, the deal will also give customers will access to Sky's entertainment channels on multiple devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, for the first time.

Virgin Media said that Sky's entertainment channels, including Sky 1 and Sky Living, will join its TV Anywhere app, available for iOS and Android. It said that it will release dedicated apps where customers will be able to watch Sky Sports and Sky Movies on the go.

However, Virgin Media customers will not have access to Sky Atlantic, perhaps a deal-breaker for fans of Game of Thrones.

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media CEO said, "We are excited out customers will be able to watch even more great TV from Sky on more devices.

"This promises to be a fantastic summer of entertainment and our customers, whether at home or on the go, will get to enjoy Sky's range of channels for years to come as a result of our investment."

This extended partnership likely will be a blow to BT, and Virgin Media knows this. It said in a statement on Monday, "With Sky customers needing to have a separate contract with BT to watch BT Sport, and BT customers unable to watch the majority of the Sky Sports channels, Virgin Media is THE place for what promises to be a major summer of sport." µ

 

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