July 20, 2010

Sky HD channels confirmed (official)

Official press release:
Virgin Media today announced the addition of Sky Sports HD1 and Sky Sports HD2 for the very first time to its rapidly growing line-up of HD channels, bringing its customers the best of sport in crystal clear high definition. Featuring Premier League Football, Cricket and Rugby Union amongst a wide range of other popular sports, Sky Sports HD1 and HD2 will join ESPN HD, EuroSport HD, BBC HD and ITV1 HD giving Virgin Media customers a diverse and compelling range of HD sports to enjoy.

 
The new Sky Sports HD channels will be available from August 2nd and will cost just £7 per month on any TV package when subscribing to Sky Sports in standard definition. The optional HD subscription covers all available HD versions of subscribed Sky Premiums including Sky Sports HD1 and HD2 and ten Sky Movies HD channels, though high definition versions of standard channels (such as BBC, ITV1, FX, Eurosport and SyFy) remain free of additional subscription costs, giving customers a simple upgrade path to take advantage of HD content as they choose.
 
The addition of Sky Sports HD1 and HD2 follows Virgin Media’s deal with Sky to bring its customers a wide range of new HD channels and Red Button interactive services*. The deal also adds Sky 1HD, Sky Arts HD** and Sky Movies HD channels for the very first time, which will take the total number of HD channels on Virgin Media to 30.
 
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment said: “As the new home of HD telly, we’re delighted to bring our customers Sky Sports in HD at incredibly competitive rates. With the rapid growth of HD content, customers are demanding more and more from their TV service, and with our growing range of HD channels and on demand content in HD, Virgin Media is the best place for the whole families’ entertainment needs.”

Notes
All Virgin Media’s HD channels are available to all customers with an HD ready TV with either a V HD or V+ HD set top box enabled for HD. * Details of Red Button interactive services from Sky will be announced in due course. ** Timing for Sky 1HD and other Sky Basic channel launches in HD will be confirmed in due course
 
Basic HD Channels (available for no extra monthly fee)
M:            BBC HD, ITV1 HD, 4 HD, FIVE HD
M+:         add Film 4HD
XL:          add ESPN HD, FX HD, MTV Networks HD, National Geographic HD
LIVING HD, E4 HD, SyFy HD, Discovery HD, Eurosport HD
 
And coming soon: Sky 1HD, Sky Arts HD and more
 
Premium HD Channels (subscription-based, with optional £7 HD fee):
 
Bundle
Includes
Available in HD within £7 HD Sub
 
 
 
SINGLE SPORTS
Sky Sports 1
YES
SINGLE SPORTS
Sky Sports 2
YES
DUAL SPORTS
Sky Sports 1,2,3 & 4
YES (SS1 & SS2 only)
 
 
 
SINGLE MOVIES PACK 1
Sky Movies Comedy
YES
 
Sky Movies Modern Greats
YES
 
Sky Movies Drama & Romance
YES
 
Sky Movies Family
YES
 
Sky Movies Classics
NO
 
 
 
SINGLE MOVIES PACK 2
Sky Movies Comedy
YES
 
Sky Movies Action & Adventure
YES
 
Sky Movies Crime & Thriller
YES
 
Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror
YES
 
Sky Movies Indie
YES
 
 
 
DUAL MOVIES PACK 1 & 2
Includes Movies Pack 1 & 2 plus:
 
 
Sky Movies Premiere
YES
 
Sky Movies Showcase
YES
 
Sky Movies Premiere +1
NO
 
Disney Cinemagic
NO
 
 
 
SPORTS & MOVIES COLLECTION
All channels listed above
YES (except exclusions above)
 
How we compare
 
Basic TV &
HD Sports
Virgin Media
Sky
Basic TV
£5.50
£18.00 (£19.00 from September)
Phone Line Rental
£11.99
£11.00
Sky Sports Pack
(SS 1,2,3,4)
£20.50
£18.00 (£20.00 from September)
HD Subscription
£7.00
(Covers Sky Premium HD)
£10.00 (HD Pack)
Catch Up TV
BBC iPlayer, ITV Net Player, 4OD, Virgin 1 Player (in HD where available)
No
Set Top Box Costs
V HD - Free
Sky+ HD - Free
Contract length
12 months
12 months
Monthly cost
£44.99
£57.00 (£60.00 from September)
Total Annual cost
£539.88
£684.00
Savings
£144.12
N/A
 
 
Family TV &
HD Sports
Virgin Media
Sky
Top TV
£23.00
£23.00 (£24.00 from September)
Phone Line Rental
£11.99
£11.00
Sky Sports Pack
(SS 1,2,3,4)
£20.50
£18.00 (£20.00 from September)
ESPN/ESPN HD
Included
£9 when taken with Sky Sports
HD Subscription
£7.00
(Covers all Sky premium HD)
£10.00 (HD Pack)
Catch Up TV
BBC iPlayer, ITV Net Player, 4OD, Virgin 1 Player (in HD where available)
No
Set Top Box Costs
V HD - Free
Sky+ HD - Free
Contract length
12 months
12 months
Monthly cost
£62.49
£71.00 (£74.00 from September)
Total Annual cost
£749.88
£852.00
Savings
£102.12
N/A
 
 
Prices correct at time of press, and based on stated online pricing in effect on August 1st, excluding introductory period discounts. All prices assume paying by direct debit and opting for paper-free billing. With Sky, you can add UK evening and weekend calls and up to 20Mb broadband with 2 GB usage (depending on location) to your package for no extra charge. For Unlimited Sky Broadband, add £7.50. Virgin Media prices include unlimited UK weekend calls. For Virgin Media unlimited UK evening and weekend calls add £3.45 a month. Virgin Media broadband packages start at £12.50 a month for up to 10Mb. The average performance of Virgin Media’s up to 10Mb service is comparable to ADSL2+ services at up to 16Mb and more. UK calls = numbers starting 01, 02 and 03.

61 comments:

John said...

Why no sky sports 3 & 4 HD though?

Nialli said...

OFCOM did not mandate Sky Sports 3 or 4 in HD, so Sky has not made them available.
There is no Sky Movie Classics or Premiere +1 on Sky, in case anyone was wondering why they are not being included.

John said...

Cheers for the quick reply, any guess as to whether Sky will sneakily migrate some of it's sports across to SS3 & SS4 to keep it exclusive to them in HD?

This is getting so tempting to return my TV package back to VM, what's the latest VM HD box like? They were a real dog compared to my sky HD box, took forever to navigate the channels due to the lag.

Ryan Anderson said...

Just wondering what the situation is for VIP subscribers. I heard rumours that we were going to get the premium HD at no extra cost (considering they take £130 per month from me anyway).
Anyone able to shed some light?

Afront said...

So if I only want Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky Sports 2 HD, I need to pay for Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, and 4 as well as an additional £7? S0 that's what, £27 a month for 2 HD channels. Hmm, that's a bit steep.

brooza said...

£27.50

Lisa said...

Those prices are a joke, especially with no 3 and 4 in HD and my being on XL

Cheerio Virgin

gst2000 said...

I don't get it, say goodbye virgin and hello to bigger bills and poorer service! All for Sports 3&4!?!?

@Ryan, it's £7 for everyone

@Afront, would you be happier if Virgin removed all the free HD channels then charged you £7 for all of them? The end result is the same.

People need to understand that the fee is actually down to Sky, not Virgin - but even then (as listed) the prices (and features) are better with Virgin - then it get's cheaper the more boxes you add!

John said...

I have just called Virgin and told them I am very disappointed at the £7 pm surcharge as:
1 - I already pay £20.50 for Sports
2 - I don't get Movies, a dozen channels, but its a flat fee for just two sports channels
3 - I can only record 20 hours of HD on my V+ box, so I can't justify spending more for more HD as I will have nowhere to keep it till I can watch it (I timeshift the majority of my TV viewing these days). Coverage of a sngle footie game could be 10% of the disk, and it will never cope with a few days cricket!!!!
I think the only hope to stop this rip off is for more people to tell VM "No". Best to actually call them, but please don't rush to accept this deal as it will change if take up is poor.

gst2000 said...

But I believe Virgin HAVE to charge, the only way Sky would let them have the premium channels was if Virgin charged for them (this is my understanding from reading this site) - they don't have an option not to charge...but I do wonder if you complain that they might give you a £7 refund pm?

I agree about the HDD size, I was surprised that the new box I got had the same HDD size and there's no easy way to upgrade.

baw said...

so there you have it.

if you just take the sports its £7 for 2 channels.

no red button at launch

No MGMHD HD movies if you take all the movie channels as you do with Sky.

How on earth can you charge the same if you take JUST the sport without movies?

aaron said...

virgin are trying a crafty way round this now. Just phoned them as ive waited ages in the hope of getting ss3 in HD which im not going to get as i like watching wwe (ok no jokes please) so i thought ok over to sky as they can offer me the same deal at the same price as virgin plus more now back in jan 2010 i upgraded my internet connection with virgin and was told 3 times that the 12 month contract would only be with the broadband and not any of the other servives, Now they tell me on the phone that the new contract for 12 months was for all services and that they sent out a letter stating this which is aload of s**t and if i want to leave i got to pay £261.

gst2000 said...

@baw, how many times do we have to go through this? If you had sky you'd be paying the £10pm anyway, so it's £3pm cheaper and you get ESPN HD instead of 3&4.

@aaron, there's nothing crafty - it's a new contract, ask them to resend the letter.

I give up tho, really. I don't get how people are complaining - if you add it all up Virgin is cheaper and you miss out on a few channels that few are interested in...I can understand aaron being a bit upset as he has a specific need - but for the majority who want to watch premier league footy it's a good deal (what with ESPN being free to XL)

Roz said...

Why are people STILL moaning about having to subscribe to the SD packages??? It seems people want them for just £7??? HD obviously is a higher charge. Perhaps Virgin shouldn't have offered any free HD and then everyone would have thought it was a bargain!
If you don't subscribe to Sports and Movies anyway, why bother whinging about having to pay a bit more to get them in HD???

John said...

My point is two fold.

(a) For £7 I am only getting 2 channels in HD that I am already paying £20.50 for.
(b) The disk is so small from a practical view point I would only really be able to watch these two channels live.

This is very poor value for money. £2 extra pm for SS1/2 in HD I might have put up with. The flat fee is clearly taking the michael.
[John W - There are two John's on this tread. I osted with points 1/2/3, the early John posts are not me]

baw said...

£ Comparison TV only

Sky £67.50 43 HD channels.

Virgin £63.50 30 HD channels.


That is everything available

ESPN
Sports
Movies
HD subs

Virgin is ridiculously overpriced in comparison.

jwspurs said...

I am on VIP with and extra V+ box and have just done a price comparison with Sky and prices are very close, so I don't think Virgin are as competitive as they were when I joined last August.
Yes the broadbannd is good and the catchup TV is a favourite of mine, but the STB's are still fairly clunky(samsungs) and I have had 3 major outages in the year and the response times are shocking.

I wanted to wait for the Tivo updates but not sure now.

gst2000 said...

Full packages from september:

Sky
£24 TV
£10 HD
£20 Sports
£9 ESPN


VM
£23 TV (£1 cheaper)
£7 HD (£3 cheaper)
£20.50 sports (50p more)

I make that £3.50pm cheaper. Now add in extra boxes at £8 cheaper for each VM room. Where's your maths am I missing something?

There may be less HD channels, but there's more VoD in HD to compensate (and more channels still to come)

gst2000 said...

@jwspurs, I managed to get a new box which is lovely and small & much quieter - I've also had some outages but got some good refunds whilst I wait. On top of this I got a new remote and a free wifi router - and included in the price is all the repairs and call-out fees...when your sky box goes down, get out the cheque book!

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gst2000 said...

@baw - sorry, I read you wrong - I thought you had Sky cheaper than VM. Don't forget you get VoD HD and if you have extra boxex they are also cheaper with VM - also the repairs are free.

Dan said...

I'm a little confused. All I want is Sky1 HD. Will I have to pay £7 p/month for it - and get Sky Movies as a bonus? I'm on the XL package with a V+HD box.

gst2000 said...

@dan, I think it is fairly safe to assume sky 1 HD will be free (when it arrives), and if you had to pay £7pm for it you would not get sports unless you paid the extra £20pm (or whatever it is) for SD version

aaron said...

@gst2000 well it is abit crafty as i know they never said that on the phone to me, But on a better note just spoke to them again and have managed to get a second vHD box for upstaires at no cost (should have been £49) and they are going to charge the £7 a month for both boxes i have but put a discount of £10 amonth on the bill which i think they are deducting from my broadband.

aaron said...

...so dont give up to easy with them on the phone as im now getting XL tv, sports and movies HD v+hd and vhd box, 20mb BB, unlimited calls and line rental for £85.60 a month.

gst2000 said...

@aaron very crafty of them - you're happy in the end and that's all that matters! ;)

John said...

I agree with John this will not be the benefit we think it is sky will move the big footi games to HD 3&4

Glenn said...

As a XL subscriber with Sky sports and movies I was slightly annoyed that Skys reduced prices were passed on to M+ and L customers (saving £6 per month) but nothing for XL.

The only consolation was the rumours that XL customers would get the HD versions for free, but we are not getting that either.

So why reduce the prices for M+ and L customers and not the XL customers who pay the most money?

aaron said...

i dont mean to sound nitpicky but its not that bad when you look at it i mean 8 months ago we had no HD now we have got all this with the hope that more will come soon and if you break it down its only another 23p a day to add hd sports and movies over the course of a month.

Habanero said...

If I'm reading this correctly, if you subscribe to just a single Sky Sports channel you can get that channel in HD for £7 extra, but if you subscribe to the Sky Sports Collection you get both SS1&2 in HD for the same £7?

John said...

My son is a big cricket fan, but away on a school trip next week. He wants to watch the Twenty20 quarter finals (&semis...). If they were in HD they would fill 65% of my V+ disk on there own (in two days). This is why £7 pm is a TOTAL RIP OFF.
"Oh things are so much better"
Like most people I'm working harder for less money. VM trying to con £7 pm for two HD sports channel is just not in keeping with the current economy.
John W

Nialli said...

Some of the responses to this post beggar belief.
It is Sky that has set the price, not Virgin. Virgin will not make any profit on selling these. The HD versions are optional - if you are not prepared to pay, don't pay. Don't moan on and on about it.
At least we have a choice now. I, for one, am delighted to have the movie channels and sport available in HD. That it works out cheaper than Sky's HD offering is a bonus.
Sure, free would have been unbelievable, but that's not what Sky has dictated.

aaron said...

@john... theres not much you can do about the size of the v+ box hard drive when that box first came out virgin wernt even close to getting any hd content from sky and the £7 a month that they are charging has nothing to do with the v+ box hard drive size at all if you want to record long programes dont do it in hd is the easy answer or wait till october time when the new tiVo box comes out which is rumored to have a 1tb hard drive.

John said...

@Nialli - I'm surprised you think a flat fee is fair, you're normally quite reasonable. I'd be surprised if Sky is setting this HD poll tax pricing structure.

@Aaron - The V+ drive was way too small before we had HD. I'm having to housekeep the disk clean and cull my SD series records just for when I go on holiday. VM could have supported an external disk, but decided not to.

OT Just had 2 hours on to tech (lack of) support for the car crash that is PC Guard, that's the "security software" that turns it self off!!!! very less than happy with the shambles that is VM.

Of course I have the choice not to pay the HD poll tax - and that's what I'm going to do.

John W

dazsnook said...

well have virgin said its sky that told them to charge us all the £7 i dont think so. virgin have never come out and said that ? but we have now got 2 pay or dont get the hd sports or movies can people on ere tell me what the best offers they have got from vm since this charge i want all 3 i pay now £55.44 for 10meg broadband tv xl and xl phone but will put it up 2 £89.94 if i get sports and movies in hd has any 1 get a deal (money off) on the phone with them thanks daz

aaron said...

@daz take a look at my post just up the page to see what deal i got.

Ro-me-ro said...

@Nialli - you wrote when the price reductions were announced:

"Of course, if Virgin increases the number of subscribers to the Movies and Sports channels they'll be hitting a bigger base when launching the HD channels in the coming weeks, but it seems like us poor VIPs are paying a premium these days and the overall VIP package has changed little since the launch of the V+. Certainly, the 20mb broadband is no longer the "VIP" offer it once was, the phone price has actually increased and we now get Sports and Movies for the same price as everyone else. Or am I missing something?"

What I expected when we didn't receive a discount at this time was for HD channels to come for free.

"Sure, free would have been unbelievable, but that's not what Sky has dictated."

Now yes Sky do set the price for the HD content, but there is nothing to stop them from reducing the price of the respective Sport & Movie packages when taking out the £7 HD upgrade - this would address John's concern of only getting 2 channels for his £7.

I am also a top end user, 3 STB inc VIP and I will absolutely not be paying £7/£14 for HD content unless the overall price for Movies & Sports is reduced in line with the reductions that others got earlier this year.

Nialli said...

Sky have set the price.
Ofcom didn't set a price for HD, they agreed with Sky that it was a developing market and that setting a set price on it could prevent future innovation. Instead they ruled it must be offered on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis"
In the third draft of thereview they proposed £5.89 + VAT, but then decided not to implement any fixed pricing. It would be fair to guess that Sky have charged at least that.

Nialli said...

@Ro-me-ro: VIP doesn't feel as good a value as it did when it launched, but I think Virgin's hands have been tied with Sky HD channels. I'd like 50mb broadband as a VIP customer, and a greater capacity on my V+, and TiVo at no extra charge - all of which may be next. Call me optimistic...

Square eyes said...

WELL WELL WELL,

The official statement came out today, and guess what it said

£7 HD Premiums (sports/movies)
£7 per box
must subscribe to SD versions
all customer will pay inc VIP/XL
starts 2nd August

Which is exactly what I told all of you on 09/07/2010

This was the information I briefed to my managers, which they then briefed to their respective teams

It's amazing isn't it

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jwspurs said...

I am currently paying £99.50 for my subscription inc 2nd v+ box. I have priced equivalent sky package at septembers prices at £111 pm inc unlimited broadband and phone. Now £99.50 + £14 for both boxes is £113.50.

Am I missing something? Sky seems cheaper for my particular subscription.

I know about VOD and 3 tuners, and broadband won't be so good but as previously said not as good value as last August when I left Sky to join Virgin.

Ro-me-ro said...

@Nialli: no it doesn't does it. Infact recently all we have had is price increases, whereas lower spend non VIP customers have had price reductions.

Whilst VM might attract some new customers doing this, they probably are going to be shelling out alot more in retentions as a result...

talking of which @jwspurs since you have been back at Virgin almost a year, call 150 and select that you are thinking about leaving and discuss this with a CSR - they almost certainly will offer you a discount to sign another 1 yr contract if you quote the figures to them.

My current deal is £90.94 for VIP with an extra V+ box (3 boxes in total - the V box keeps the kids quiet!).

To be honest though, it annoys me that the policy with VM is to only grease the squeaky wheel -- I'd rather not have to ask.

jwspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erich said...

It's disappointing they couldn't come to an agreement about SS3HD and SS4HD, and the implementation of the £7 premium HD fee is a bit unfortunate, but for anyone keeping score at home, this latest batch of HD channels puts VM ahead of Sky.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

The simple fact is Sky have completely mugged off VM. They now have all of VM's channels in an extremely good deal, are the only broadcasters to offer all Sky Sports in HD and have left VM XL/VIP customers fuming that they have no reduction in the price for Sky Sports and have to pay £7 per box for two measley HD sports channels (assuming they, like me dont care about movies)
And after working it out Sky are now CHEAPER if you want Sky Sports in HD plus the bonus of far more HD channels. A real shame.

christian said...

Where did the wholesale discount go? I am an XL customer, we received no benefit from the wholesale discount imposed on Sky. I along with many others assumed this was being held back to absorb the cost of the HD channels. Instead Virgin have decided to keep the whole of the wholesale discount for themselves. As a customer one can only assume that they don't want our business.

Lisa said...

@Christian. Those on TV M+-L now pay less for the Sky Sports SD subscription. Us suckers on XL/VIP pay the same as before. I rang up VM and asked to be downgraded to M+ and was told I would lose my loyalty bonus, a bonus I've built up for untold years since Telewest started! I've only been a VM XL customer for 8 months! VM have been nothing short of a disgrace.

Brian said...

I also rang customer services last night and was told I will get the sports HD channels at no extra cost as I am already on the XL package with complete sports.

I specifically mentioned the £7 and was told this was not for XL customers. I was also told if I chose to upgrade to movies too I would get the HD versions for free as well.

aaron said...

@brian.. sorry mate but either you or virgin is telling porkys you will not get the hd for free everyone has to have the £7 charge even her majesty the queen.

Brian said...

@aaron. This was definately what I was told when I rang them last night.

I only hope the call was recorded.

Ben said...

@brian

I work for Virgin and XL customers will get charge £7 for the HD Premium channels same as everyone else.

Square eyes said...

@Ben..

As you will have seen, I have been telling everyone since the 9th July, they will be charged for the HD premium channels...

And if you have been reading the posts for the last few months you wil see that I also work for Virgin, however nobody believes you when you tell them the truth

Brian said...

@Ben & Square eyes

So why has this information not been passed on to the customer advisors.

I did ask repeatedly about the £7 charge as I have been following this for a while and was told this would not apply.

I was also told the HD channels were already applied to my package in advance of the August 2nd start date.

John said...

When I spoke to an advisor he didn't know anything about Premium rate HD channels, but read the stuff of the web sight about £7 pm Premium flat rate. I said £3.50 a channel on top of the £20.50 I already pay was too much. There wasn't a lot he could say as all he knew he'd just read off the web...
... if an advisor has told you anything different get it in writing :-)

Oblong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn said...

I got sky movies for £3.75 plus £7.00 for hd upgrade. I have XL TV -V PLUS BOX and talk unlimited 24 with international calls 10 meg broadband for £ 72.00 that a great deal a new twelve month contract

Brian said...

After my previous posts I can confirm I have had a reply back from customer services stating that the original response I recieved from my phone call was incorrect and I would be charged £7 per box.

Looking at Glenn's previous post I will have to try and barter a good deal or go back to Sky

Steve said...

So if I want these new HD Sky premium channels, I have to first subsribe to SD Sky Sports 1 and 2 - £20.50 per month, plus an extra £7.

So an extra £27.50 per month.

Seems a little excessive to me plus a little missleading, i.e. VM advertising is making a big statement about new Sky HD channels being £7 per month while a small statement says you must perchase SD Sky SPorts 1 and 2 without quoting a price.

An extra £27.50 per month is probably not for me TBH.

Square eyes said...

@Steve

Do you watch Sky sports?

if yes, the you would have to subscribe to them anyway. The £20.50 is not just for sports 1&2, it is for all the sports channels 1,2,3&4.

The £7 is for the HD sports.

The cost with Sky for the same would be £30.50 and before everyone starts saying "but you get HD 3&4 as well" we know.

So all been said if you watch sports you would have to get Sky sports, the question then is do you want the HD?

Simple as that...