I don't follow the logic of denying Sky Atlantic advertisers access to Virgin Media's 3.7m TV customers - this channel will at best attract a minority More4/BBC4 size audience and it would make more sense to me to maximise its reach. Sky1 advertisers revolted against the removal of VM's customer base. I would have thought limiting Sky Atlantic to the one pay platform is only a short term strategy - the question is, how short? Personally, I think the days of a lot of people migrating services for a single channel are long gone - Virgin customers with superior broadband know where to find US content if it's denied them on their TV service.
Having said that, I thought the days of Sky vs Virgin were over and I appear to be wrong on that count. Earlier this year Virgin Media sold seven channels to Sky: LIVING, LIVINGit, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot, Bravo, Bravo 2 and Virgin1, plus various +1s and Living HD. All bar Living and Challenge have now closed and Virgin customers have had nothing in return - Sky Atlantic would be some compensation at least. The promises of the June press release read somewhat hollow as Sky neatly sidesteps any obligations by closing all but the most profitable channels and launching new ones apparently not covered in the agreement (what Mickey Mouse lawyers didn't see that coming?). The promised On Demand content and Sky basics in HD (Sky1 excepted) are still not with us. Ho hum. I could rant and rant, but I haven't got the time or energy or inclination. I just hope we get Sky Atlantic in some form before Mad Men season 5 begins in the summer, otherwise I'll be watching it on my laptop rather than TV.
"The companies have, in parallel, agreed to enter into a number of agreements providing for the carriage of certain Sky standard and high-definition (HD) channels.
The agreements cover the following: