April 20, 2011

Sky Atlantic "not an immediate priority"

Virgin Chief Finance Officer Eamonn O'Hare, commenting on Sky Atlantic today:
"Virgin is no closer to securing a deal to air Sky Atlantic on its service. It is not a must have and it is not a must not have," he said. "It is not something sitting on our immediate priority board."
Well, I know three people who have now quit VM for Sky just for Atlantic. I think, like HD before, Virgin's management are underestimating the value of premium content - let's hope they act on this one a bit quicker than they did with high definition. And Sky's hand in any negotiations over the channel will be strenthened by the strong viewing figures for shows like Game of Thrones.
Personally, I would much prefer them to put money into securing the channel rather than 3D movie deals for video on demand or even faster broadband speeds.

18 comments:

Erich said...

It's certainly true that VM are always a few steps behind when it comes to content and recognizing what their customers want, but I don't think Sky Atlantic compares with HD in terms of importance. Not yet, anyway. VM's TV package would have been just about dead by now without HD, but they can get by without Sky Atlantic, and there's far more money to be made with broadband advances than TV.

That said, if they ever plan to get the channel, they may have missed the chance to get it on the cheap. Betting against Sky's ability to make a channel a success is always going to be risky business.

Erich said...

completely unrelated side note: Any chance that Niali might recognise that an important number of his "customers" sees it as a high priority that the blog reverts to a non-transparent theme? :) Scrolling the front page is a real pain with the latest theme. The inner post pages are fine, though.

Sorry for the off-topicness, but it's been bugging me for a while.

Darren Taylor said...

I really don't understand Virgin Media's position. I personally know people who have left Virgin Media and joined Sky to have Sky Atlantic. If Virgin Media does not get Sky Atlantic soon they will continue to loose customers.

howardmicks said...

VM seem to have put there head back in the sand in regards to HD Channels,Even when you contact the ceo`s office they go on about what they did over 9 months ago.Thats history now we need more and sky atlantic is one of them,Leave the 3d till you can once again brag about hd.

Nialli said...

@Erich: I'll see what options there are with the transparent theme on the blog over the Easter weekend. No promises (I like it!) but will have a look at alternatives.

Ken said...

I tend to agree but I am hoping that this is just a negotiating ploy. I would be interested in how many people have left VM for Sky Atlantic and how many have come the other way for Tivo...?

Darren Taylor said...

I was thinking about getting TIVO, but until VM add more HD channels i personally don't think it's worth it. TIVO is great, but what's the point without a big HD channel line up.

Alexei said...

I know it off topic but is anyone getting the red ring of death on their TiVo? My box freezes alot showing a spinning ring, happens when coming out of My Show?
Alexei

Moroboshi said...

I think it shows how out of touch Virgin still are. While shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Broadwalk Empire may not get the ratings that the type of reality TV dreck on Freeview does, it's crucial content for those with the most to spend.

Or it could be that Virgin know that those same in the know tech savvy sorts who want Game of Thrones will just grab it from bittorent and stream it to their PS3s anyway. Does kind of make TIVO a bit redundant however.

Media Boy said...

HD News:

Sky Arts will launch on the following channel numbers from April 26th:

Sky Arts 1 HD will launch on Channel 282,
With Sky Arts 2 HD launching on Channel 284.

Sky Arts 1 will move to Channel 281 and Sky Arts 2 will move to channel 283.

Media Boy said...

th^ Info was from Radio Times.

Harkaway said...

Even if Sky Atlantic were a high priority for Virgin, it would be better to underplay this for negotiating purposes. I'll wait and see what happens and enjoy the arrival of TIVO for the moment.

Great to see all the discussion!

Exo said...

I have heard rumour, although only rumour, that Sky only has a 6 to 12 month exclusive rights to much of the content on Sky Atlantic and that Virgin have secured the VOD rights to some of it already.

If that is the case, then having the channel may not be a priority as they will want to wait until its on their VOD and forcing their own subscribers to upgrade to XL packages to watch the likes of Boardwalk Empire and Game Of Thrones.

I believe Virgin are not committed to paying out premium money on a channel with no history that is experimenting on brand new TV Shows and hoping to get high ratings, and in some cases failing to do that. They instead see greater revenue in cheaper VOD rights to only the best, high-rated shows and then putting them on the XL package to encourage upgrading.
You have to remember that if you purchase a channel like Sky Atlantic, you are paying MILLIONS for an unproven channel that is owned and run by someone else that has no history of showing high ratings worth those millions of investment. As easy as Game Of Thrones is achieving high ratings in week 1, it could easily lose ratings hand over fist by week 5 and in theory could have had such poor ratings to begin with that the investment would have been a worthless one.
It is much better for them to purchase only the best content for VOD for far less money, hope VM customers are patient and also see them have to upgrade to a higher subscription to get it, than take a multi-million, multi-year contract for an unproven channel.
If the channel still performs with high ratings long into 2012, expect them to try and secure it on the tv package then.

If the rumour is correct, Boardwalk Empire could be on VOD in HD before Xmas.

Gerald said...

A lot of people keep going on about sky's superior HD line up. But really how many people actually watch most of the channels they offer, many of which are up-scaled simul-casts. Cant name too many shows that I want to watch on Eden HD, Good Food HD, all the ITV 2,3,4 etc.

VM gives me all the main stream HD plus sky sports 1& 2 HD which is enough for the football & most of the other shows I want to watch.

As for Sky Atlantic, I'm not overly fussed about not having yet. Bar a couple of good shows I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Seriously guys if it is such an issue just switch to sky instead of banging on about it!

Just my 2 pennies worth.

howardmicks said...

Well just had a call from the ceo`s office by a chap called anthony regarding my email about lack of new channels,He openly admitted that new content is needed and will be on its way this year he couldnt give my a time frame.But stressed that they have been concentrating on tivo,100meg bb and the red button and now its back to new channels,VM still hope to get sky atlantic and he said releations between the to companys(vm/sky) are good.He stressed that if what is planned comes off vm are going to get stronger and stronger over the next 12 months,He even finished the conversation by given me a direct number to him should i have anymore concerns/quiries.
Dare i say it but for the min it still remains coming soon but got to say im very impressed that they took the time to contact me and here`s hoping for some annoucements soon

Wayne said...

Virgin haven't got a VOD agreement with HBO they lost the deal to Sky, Sky Alantic is the channel and all VOD from it is shown on Sky Anytime.
Hopefully Virgin sort something out soon because we need new channels and Sky Arts HD just won't cut it.

Christopher said...

Virgin Media, are just idiots when it comes to this Sky Atlantic (and HD variant). So Virgin Media disposed of VMTV, yeah fine thats ok - I quite like the new Sky Living anyway... but lets be real, Virgin1 is now Sky Atlantic with a few new contents including HD. But what is more frustrating is that to be told it is not an immediate priority is a travesty. My 12 month contract ends with VM cable services on 26/06/11 and if no Sky Atlantic, I will be ordering Sky+HD. Come on VM get round the table with SKY, get ATLANTIC and ATLANTIC HD. Can u not just charge every customer 5p for it, if sky want a little too much.

Bekkie77 said...

i really don't know why virgincant make a deal, i purposly wont sign with virgin because they don't have this channel, at the end of the day isn't what the customer wants?