"While one source close to the situation claimed that [the FT story's] figure is not accurate, BSkyB, according to another source with knowledge of the process, was "always going to bid aggressively".
"For Virgin Media the possibility, even at this early stage, of selling its pay-TV assets to BSkyB is distinctly unsavoury.
"In addition Virgin Media is one of the "gang of four" – alongside Top Up TV, Setanta and BT – that made a joint complaint to Ofcom that BSkyB had too much control of the pay-TV market. Selling its own channels to BSkyB could undermine its position.
"One senior TV executive argued that Virgin Media may have to look to "sweeten" the deal to make it more palatable.
"'The question for Virgin is do they go for the sell or look to tie it up with some other form of discussion,' said this source.
"Options could include looking to extend the terms of the Virgin Media/Sky TV channel carriage deal to five years, for instance, or looking to tie in the satellite broadcaster's high definition services to a new distribution arrangement."
May 29, 2009
Sky HD part of any deal for Living, Virgin1 and Bravo?
Some very interesting speculation over on Media Guardian regarding the possible sale of the Virgin Media channels to Sky: