Sky and Virgin Media cut new distribution agreement

written by: Richard Kastelein

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virgindkySky and Virgin Media have agreed a new five year plus agreement for the distribution of Sky’s content to Virgin Media’s TV customers. Through the agreement, Virgin Media will continue to offer its customers an extensive selection of Sky’s leading entertainment channels, as well as content from Sky Movies and Sky Sports. In addition to its current portfolio of Sky channels, Virgin Media will also offer its TV customers Sky Sports 3 HD, Sky Sports 4 HD, and Sky Sports F1 HD, with Sky Sports News HD and Sky News HD to follow.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Virgin TV customers will be able to access their Sky entertainment channels on multiple devices, including computers, and for the first time, selected tablets and mobiles, via the Virgin TV Anywhere app. From the summer, those TV customers with subscriptions to Sky Movies and Sky Sports will also be able to access live and on demand content on the go through Sky Sports and Sky Movies apps.

The new agreement builds on the strong existing relationship between Sky and Virgin Media, and enables Sky to continue broadening the reach of, and viewing to, Sky channels. The long-term nature of the contract gives each company clear financial visibility and opens up the opportunity for more Virgin TV customers to enjoy Sky’s channels.  

Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, Sky, comments:

“We’re pleased to have extended our partnership with Virgin Media, which increases the reach of our content and reinforces our broadly-based approach to growth. This agreement builds on our long-standing relationship with Virgin Media, enabling us to deliver our great channels to even more homes across the UK and opening up additional sources of revenue.”

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are excited our customers will be able to watch even more great TV from Sky on more devices as a result of the most extensive agreement ever signed between Virgin Media and Sky. 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.”

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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