Sky's letter counteracting Virgin Media's removal of non-premium Sky channels.NTL Group's services previously marketed under the NTL, Telewest and Virgin.net brands were merged together under the "Virgin Media" brand on February 8, 2007. Shortly thereafter a channel agreement for Virgin Media to keep non-premium Sky channels ended at midnight on 1 March 2007. Virgin Media were unable to make an agreement with Sky on the issue, and Sky reacted by posting a letter to the public in major UK newspapers on 28 February 2007.
Despite Sky's letter, Virgin Media blamed Sky for bullying them and forcing the consumer to switch. Both companies failed to reach an agreement, and subsequently after after midnight on 1 March 2007, the Sky One, Sky Two, Sky Travel, Sky Travel Extra, Sky Sports News and Sky News channels were replaced with a standard message by Virgin Media. If Virgin had continued to negotiate with with Sky, the new deal would have included Sky Three, Sky Arts and undisclosed high definition and video on demand content. Sky said the deal would cost only 3p per customer per day (roughly £35,000,000 per year), but Virgin said that a minimum payment guarantee included in the contract meant that the actual amount due would be more than double the current payment.
Virgin Central, an on demand service, has recently gained the rights to begin showing previous episodes of television show Lost
already shown on SkyOne, and other shows including Alias
and The OC
. The provider has not yet begun broadcasting Lost, however other shows are available for on-demand viewing. This service is an extension of the on-demand service, previously known as Teleport TV. This service is still available, making available shows that have been shown recently, or other shows and series.
On 2007-03-02 The National Consumer Council accused Sky and Virgin of "behaving like children"
and stated that at the end of March 2007 it would consider whether or not to raise a super-complaint against them "that will help to knock heads together"
This was followed on 2007-03-05 with Virgin Media threatening to take legal action against BSkyB if the matter was not resolved in 30 days.