People/Biz

UKTV, Virgin Media agree to “kiss and make up” over carriage dispute

UKTV channels have returned to Virgin Media in the UK following the resolution of a three-week carriage dispute. The dispute, which saw Virgin Media announce plans to axe UKTV channels from ...
August 13, 2018

UKTV channels have returned to Virgin Media in the UK following the resolution of a three-week carriage dispute.

The dispute, which saw Virgin Media announce plans to axe UKTV channels from its service, hinged on what Virgin called “restrictions put on UKTV by the BBC” — specifically, VOD rights to such BBC archive content as Top Gear being held back and sold to other platforms such as Netflix. Due to those conditions, Virgin wanted to reduce the fees it was paying for UKTV channels.

Now, however, not only have the original UKTV channels returned to Virgin Media’s service, but two UKTV HD channels — Dave HD and Gold HD — have been added and Virgin says it has increased its on-demand programming by more than five times, “including more hours of catch-up and significantly more boxsets for Virgin Media’s Full House bundle customers.”

An announcement from UKTV read in part: “No broadcaster wants to be off air so we’re thrilled to be returning to Virgin Media and would like to thank everyone who has supported us.
“Thank you also to Virgin Media with whom we’ve agreed to kiss and make up.”

Channels that were added to the Virgin Media service during the dust-up, including Paramount Network, Love Nature and YourTV, are also remaining in place.

UKTV is a joint venture of the BBC Studios and Discovery.

(Pictured: Dave’s Taskmaster)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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