January 05, 2011

Sky Atlantic not coming to Virgin Media at launch - confirmed

Confirmed in a press release from Sky today:
Sky today confirmed the eagerly awaited launch of Sky Atlantic HD – a brand new channel that will provide the very best in entertainment, drama and films to Sky customers across the UK and Ireland. Bringing together innovative and distinctive original productions from home and abroad, Sky Atlantic will be free and exclusive to all 10 million Sky customers from its launch on 1 st February 2011. [...] Sky Atlantic will also be available in standard definition in non Sky + HD homes, allowing all 10 million Sky homes to enjoy the channel from launch.

There's no ambiguity there to give me any hope of us having even the SD version at launch. Damn you Sky...looks like I'll be watching Mad Men season 5 on the laptop next summer if this doesn't change in the coming months.

16 comments:

David said...

no surprise there sky gonna try every dirty trick it can

sibod said...

It's because Sky are using their dominant position in Pay TV to block competition from gaining any kind of ground on them where it matters - content.

If the competitors dont have the stuff people are actually paying for Pay TV to see, then they wont go there - simple as.

Sky should be forced to allow other platform holders to have first refusal on any new TV station they produce as a broadcaster at fair and reasonable rates.

Simple as.

Moroboshi said...

It's really rather idiotic of Sky to behave so childishly. Anyone with half a brain cell can acquire any 'sky exclusive' content they like with a couple of mouse clicks. All they've achieved is cut down potential eye balls for their advertisers.

irishguymcr said...

When will everyone stop slamming Sky for having exclusive content? Have everyone forgot that Film4 HD is exclusive to Virginmedia

Nialli said...

It is an abuse of the content monopoly they have been allowed to acquire. They have such market dominance and deep pockets that they can buy what they want and limit its availability. They flaunt OFCOM rulings and abuse the market at every opportunity. They hijack shows from other channels again and again and again.
Sky Atlantic is just the latest example - until someone has the balls to take on the company it will continue to happen, and the abuse will get worse and worse. Matron - time for a cold shower, I'm having one of my anti-Sky moments....

Lee said...

Broadcast Magazine has Stuart Murphy, director of programmes for Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic, quoted as saying:

“Sky Atlantic is exclusive to Sky at the moment, but our policy is to make sure we get our channels out there at the right price,”

Nialli said...

He has said that in a few interviews now. It suggests an exclusive launch but will be available to Virgin Media sooner rather than later, if they are willing to meet Sky's price.
One option would be for VM to have it as part of the Sky HD Premier channel set - I'd be happy with that.

Michael H said...

*cough* Do what you want cus a pirate is free *cough* pirate bay *cough*

Nialli said...

sure is, but I don't like watching TV on the laptop and playing it back through my TV is a pain in the arse.

Moroboshi said...

Film 4 being exclusive to Virgin is nothing like Sky snatching Mad Men from free to air BBC, and sealing it off behind a pay wall. FilmFour shows old content which is available in many places elsewhere, but the only place we'll be able to see the next series of Mad Men is The Pirate Bay. We're in a no win situation, either pirate or miss the best TV show ever made.

Murdoch needs to be stopped, but of course, with Jeremy 'Hunt' (was that his name?) in control, there's zero chance of that.

Nialli said...

It may be available on iTunes as well - the previous four seasons' episodes have appeared weekly there after broadcast. Mind you, I wouldn't put it passed Sky to have blocked that particular avenue too.

Moroboshi said...

True, iTunes UK has historically had Mad Men with a few weeks delay on the already delayed UK TV broadcast. BUT... in very low res SD video with 2 channel audio. Not really how Mad Men should be watched.

Annoyingly Mad Men is also on the US iTunes store, in 720p with 5.1 audio. And as you would expect for a much lower price tag.

Sky will surely block this avenue anyway though.

Nialli said...

Sky didn't block Lost, BSG and other Sky 1 shows appearing on iTunes, so I think it's safe to assume Mad Men will still appear there the day after broadcast. (I have a US iTunes account too, and Sky wouldn't close that avenue as it would not have the influence there.)
HBO shows though don't seem to appear on iTunes quickly, nor on DVD/Blu Ray come to that. Can be up to a year before they appear.
Other download services are available, of course...

nomorebecks said...

I got hooked on HBOs Boardwalk Empire while in the US. Upon my return, I found that EZTV, a USB stick and a 25quid Micro media Player (dealtastic) did the trick.
I still subscribe to Virgin VIP (never bite the hand that feeds you) but this gave me access to content not previously available in this country, so I had no qualms about using and I will stop when Atlantic hits Virgin's shores.

Nialli said...

I'm watching Boardwalk Empire by other means too. It's good, but like a lot of more recent HBO series somewhat lacking in warmth. I think the channel is pretty dependent on reputation rather than current output these days.

BK said...

I've also heard Virgin have retaliated by not showing Sky Media on Virgin Atlantic!