An Updated Statement From UKTV on Virgin Media

Steve North: An Updated Statement

We understand the disappointment and frustration felt by Virgin Media customers who are no longer able to access our channels such as Alibi, W, Dave, Drama, Gold and Really. This wasn't the outcome we wanted. We are so passionate about making great television and want to share our fantastic shows with as many of you as possible.

Unfortunately, Virgin have asked if they can drastically cut the fee they pay us for our channels, despite having recently increased prices for their customers.

You may have been told by Virgin Media that we are refusing to let them air Dave, Drama, Really, Home and Yesterday. In truth, Virgin Media want to sell these channels to customers whilst charging UKTV a fee to carry them on the Virgin service. They are also hoping you don't mind that they drop Gold, Alibi, W, Good Food and Eden but continue to charge you the same fee.

Virgin customers who love our free TV channels can still watch them.

Televisions bought after 2010 come with Freeview built in and you can receive these channels without a subscription. You can also watch all of our channels on a range of services, including Sky, BT and Talk Talk and now TV Player.

We have so many brilliant new shows coming up that we want to share with you. We really hope you stick with us and continue to watch our channels.

Finally thank you for the thousands and thousands of messages of support, it really means the world to us.

Why don't you give Virgin your channels for free?

  • It is unreasonable to ask UKTV to pay to be part of a product that Virgin Media sells to customers.
  • Virgin Media don't offer a TV package to customers without some kind of subscription fee. In effect, they want UKTV to subsidise their business by paying to be part of a product that they sell for a minimum of £29 a month.
  • Virgin customers can continue to watch our free channels without subscription on Freeview and Freesat.

Background information

1. UKTV is investing more than ever to create high-quality programmes and build strong channel brands
- Record content investment of more than £150 million in the last year
- Premiering exclusive new series in 2018 including Taskmaster, Judge Romesh, Women on the Verge and Emma Willis: Delivering Babies
- Audiences are voting with their remotes: UKTV's share of pay viewing on Virgin Media is up by 8% in last five years
- Growing recognition from industry and commentators for our original series including BAFTA and Emmy nominations and awards

2. Our channels are highly valued by Virgin Media customers
- UKTV accounts for more than 25% of viewing to pay entertainment channels in Virgin's basic pay pack
- Alibi and Gold are two of Virgin's top three pay entertainment channels
- Good Food is the top pay lifestyle channel on the VM platform
- On Demand views to UKTV channels on Virgin Media are up by more than a third in the last year; now offering access to 1000s of hours of content

3. We want a fair price for the value our channels bring to the VM platform
- Virgin's attempt to impose a drastic reduction in fees is not reasonable
- We've offered to work with Virgin to bring more value to their customers: increased box sets, additional rights and addition of Gold HD
- Disappointed that VM is attempting to force down the value of content
- We can't continue with a partner who won't invest with us to bring their customers high-quality programmes. VM can't expect preferential treatment over other partners who do choose invest with us
- UKTV channels and shows continue to be available on Sky, BT, Talk Talk, as well as Freeview and Freesat and online at UKTV Play for our free channels. All UKTV channels are now also available on [TV Player].(

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Virgin Media customers are advised to contact Virgin Media on 0345 454 1111.