December 29, 2010

More on "Sky Atlantic HD - free and exclusive for all Sky customers"

First off, I don't know if the channel will be available to Virgin customers in standard def but will endeavour to find out. More when I find out.
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.
VMTV sales press release
"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:

  • Sky will acquire VMtv for a total consideration of up to £160 million in cash, with £105 million paid on completion and the remainder paid following the regulatory process. The acquisition will expand Sky's portfolio of basic pay TV channels and eliminate the carriage fees it currently pays for distributing VMtv channels on its TV services.
  • Sky will assume responsibility for selling advertising for the newly acquired VMtv channels from January 2011.
  • New carriage agreements will secure wholesale distribution of Sky's basic channel line-up, including Sky1 and Sky Arts, and the newly acquired VMtv channels, on Virgin Media's cable TV service.
  • For an incremental wholesale fee, Virgin Media will, for the first time, have the option of carrying any of Sky's basic HD channels, Sky Sports HD 1 and Sky Sports HD 2, and all Sky Movies HD channels.
  • Virgin Media will make available through its on-demand TV service a range of content from Sky's basic and premium channels, including the newly acquired VMtv channels. Virgin Media will also have access to red button interactive sports coverage and the opportunity to deliver selected standard definition programming over the internet.


Anonymous said...

Recent developments have not been suprising to me at all,When it emerged that sky were buying vm`s channels i felt it would come back to haunt them.Vm were looking desperate to sell and sky knew it and vm are now and for the forseable future going to see the backlash of there actions,tivo looks very promising (tad overpriced) but its all well and good having a new platform but you have got to have the channels for people to watch.The main thing they should be concentrating on is HD Channels,They are still massively short of sky and they must now relise that delaying getting the channels cost them and now tv revenue on last quarter went up probably due to the flood of hd channels.Surely to justify the crazy price for tivo more hd channels are needed,To expect tivo to keep customers and attract new will be there downfall.More HD channels are needed,And one last thing If murdoch gets total control of sky it will only get worse.Vm need to keep there eye on the ball otherwise sky will be taking it back again

T4DJS.COM said...

nialli you don't have to watch madmen on a laptop there is a little box called wdtv that u can put files onto and watch em on a 40 inch telly!!!

kevin said...

Am I bovvered? - already seen Boardwalk Empire (without Sky's gigantic on-screen logo which will leave a 3" picture so you're better off with the lappie) and I'm quite happy with the VM package especially when I get my TIVO!!

Nialli said...

Funnily enough, Sky Atlantic HD not being on Virgin Media will probably mean I won't upgrade to TiVo straight away, as I won't be so desperate for 1Tb of storage if I don't have those US series to record in high def. Over Christmas I have just about coped with 20 hours of HD recordings my V+ accomodates and I'll be storing fewer films once we're back at work/school.
I would dearly love for VM to have Atlantic HD from launch - for me it promises a fabulous lineup. I'm still hopeful that we may get the SD channel, which would be better than nothing. However, Sky has paid a lot of cash for a minority channel and will exploit it as it sees fit, but to deny VM customers the SD version whilst closing so many other channels recently (Bravo and Virgin1 to name just two) would seem to me unfair and even cruel...but typical of Sky.

Moroboshi said...

Since when has Sky ever played fair? They have a near monopoly and use it to crush any competition no matter how little the threat.

Plus thanks to our loony far right wing government Sky/Murdoch will get even more powerful soon.

Torrenting is illegal, but it's basically like punching Murdoch in the face, and so really something of a public duty.