Sky Grabs Up Virgin Media Television
British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media today announced that they have reached agreement for the acquisition by Sky of Virgin Media Television.
Sky will acquire Virgin’s television operation for a total cost of up to £160 million in cash. The acquisition will expand Sky’s portfolio of basic pay TV channels and eliminate the carriage fees it currently pays for distributing the Virgin Media channels on its satellite network. In return Virgin Media’s cable TV Service will be offering some of Sky’s standard and high-definition channels in its line up.
Jeremy Darroch, CEO, BSkyB, said: “VMtv is an attractive investment opportunity which complements our existing content business and delivers strategic and financial benefits. We are pleased that, through commercial negotiation, we have been able to ensure wide distribution of our channels to a growing pay TV universe.”
The acquisition of Virgin Media Television will see Sky Broadcasting take over popular channels LIVING, LIVINGit, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot, Bravo, Bravo 2 and Virgin1. The latter channel, which was originally launched as FTN, will once again be re-branded by Sky to lose the Virgin name.
Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, said: “The sale of our channels business has generated substantial value. Together with the new commercial agreements we’ve announced today, it will allow us to focus more closely on our strategy of exploiting Virgin Media’s super-fast connectivity to offer our customers a range of the very best content through a highly versatile next generation entertainment application.”