August 03, 2013

So what happened on August 1st?

In recent weeks the forums on Cable Forum and Digital Spy have been overflowing with speculation after a series of posts by BomberAV. But then August 1st came and went and there were no new shiny BT Sports channels nor Sky Atlantic. What's more, ESPN channels have disappeared too, as these are now part of BT Sports.
So what happened?
BomberAV said about Sky Atlantic:
I believe Atlantic will possibly be arriving on the first of August with BT Sport, but if not it should be there in August some time.
So don't give up hope on that arriving. Fact: Sky are no longer marketing Sky Atlantic as "Exclusive to Sky customers", so I'm still hopeful that we'll see it before long.
With BT Sports the talks hit an impasse. These carriage deals often take longer than either side anticipates and I've heard from people I know at both VM and BT that the talks have been ongoing and haven't broken down, they're just haggling over the price. Everyone thought it would be done by now - but it isn't.
Presumably VM want to be able to offer it to customers at the same price as ESPN - I got it free as a VIP customer - whereas BT would prefer it treated as a premium channel (as it is to Sky customers). One side will buckle. Something has to give. But in the interim, the customers don't know what to expect and if you check out Virgin Media tweets over on the Twitter feed you'll see a lot of angry customers are complaining. And, of course, both BT and Sky are looking to capitalise on VM's lack of a deal.
I personally hope and expect it to be resolved by the start of the Premiership season. But I don't know. That's speculation based on what I've heard.
It's a shame the forums have turned quite childish and nasty about this matter: Sky trolls (don't they have decent forums of their own?) are everywhere and there have been all kinds of attacks on Bomber and even Media Boy, which to my mind are completely out of order. I don't think anyone has gone out to deliberately deceive.
But until it's confirmed by VM officially, everything is, to some degree, speculative, no matter how reliable a source. Commercial deals don't always get done on time. Negotiations sometimes stumble at the last hurdle.
Keep the faith.


Dannysat said...

I think the main frustration is due to the blackout of information. People are filling this vacuum with speculation.

I understand about commercial sensitivity but nobody at VM is saying anything. Confirmation that VM and BT are in talks this weekend or the day they are reconvening would be something.

VM have taken away a premier channel in ESPN and so far have neither replaced it, given us a refund or told us anything of what is going on.

While we keep the faith VM trouser our money.

I do agree that looking for scapegoats to pick on like Media Blog Boy is bang out of order and shameful.


I agree with Dannysat. There is very little information and as i have said before, the loss of ESPN is huge to me and my household. American sports have dissapeared halfway through the season too. I find this very dissapointing. A deal needs to be reached soon as they ARE pocketing our cash yet NOT replacing our lost channels with anything close to it. We have basically LOST 4 channels and gained nothing.

Square eyes said...
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Square eyes said...

Lets just clarify somethings

Firstly VM has not taken away ESPN, these have gone because ESPN sold them to BT

Secondly why are you mentioning a refund, you got them for FREE if you were on the XL package or VIP, so why would we refund something which cost you no extra?

The staff on the frontline will be able to tell you nothing, as they know exactly nothing - VM are in talks with BT but nothing has been agreed as of yet.

I don't post as often as I used to, for one simple reason - have you ever thought that everything you moan and groan about is not actually VM's fault, but not one of you have said thanks for the likes of getting something for nothing - Setanta then ESPN. When there is something to report it will be published, so stop with the speculation and just wait and see - what, when & if it happens!

ajresol said...

Free? Its misleading for you to choose certain channels and say they are free when they are part of a paid subscription. All the channels are part of the package, so when some finish your getting less for your money. Just because sky choose to charge for the channel doesn't make it free on virgin, its part of the reason people decide to go with virgin over sky. Also to ask people to be thankful to a company they are paying hundreds of pounds a year to seems strange. I love tivo and virgin have a great internet service and speed, but I'm not going to send them a thankyou card every time they add a new channel, especially when the package costs go up to cover it. If they became a non profit organisation I would do though, in fact I would even send them a xmas present!!!

topoff said...

Just got my sports magazine from Virgin Media called Get more out of sport. I am thankful to them for the sports calendar at the back which shows me what I'm able to watch now that ESPN has gone.
As I can't afford Sky Sports I've got athletics, world cup football qualifiers and cycling to look forward to in August, the same in September plus triathlon!
Wow thank you Virgin Media...I won't miss the baseball, UFC, premier football, x games or college football at all now.

Anonymous said...

I think this covers Virgins stance quite clearly at the moment.

Mike said...

I agree with the original post, we just have to keep the faith and hope all is sorted as quickly as possible.
I have read the forum for a while but have not commented because you make a statement and can be made to look stupid in a very short time.
I will not make anyt decisions until I officially know what is happening.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting on an announcement near season start.

Have been offered 2 x 2TB Sky HD boxes, the entertainment extra package & free installation (incl. BT Line).

I'll gain Atlantic + HD versions of a few of the other channels we watch (Disney Jr etc.. Not a biggie but nice).

All for the same price.

Tempting just for a free BT line install as may help later down the line when looking @ options.

I'll miss TiVO though. :(

ASH On The Beat said...

I've been loyal to VM for many years, the service has been pretty good, but the price has risen and risen.

Sport leads the way and no BT Sport or a price of say £12 would be it for me. I'd probably look at it and say lets just save the Sky money too.

The loyalty to Virgin has been helped enormously by the net speeds, but they are being caught up and BT are far cheaper and have just launched comparable speeds here.

My problem with Virgin (and the same can apply to Sky) is that loyal customers aren't given any incentives. I've been with them over 7 years and get nothing.

How about maybe charging for BT Sport, but giving customers who have been with them say for 3 years it free as a loyalty bonus.

It's make many happy and help the churn rate and those of us most loyal are generally the ones who spend the most with them.

gmcausland said...

I have to say that Virgin Media as a communications company is abysmal in it's PR and communications to it's customers!

Having said that, it is difficult for VM to say anything about BT Sports or Sky Atlantic if sensitive negotiations are continuing.

I think people should be patient and not rely on speculation and people such as 'Media Boy' and wait for announcement directly from Virgin Media itself!

mikthemag said...

Today i've finally left VM after about a decade (and two house moves) with them.

I watch sports, and to me the value of ESPN was high. The cost was low (it was free), but it's value was very high. VM told me i haven't lost anything due to it being free in the first place. Angered i waved bye-bye.

Sky have given me some cracking deals (basically everything half-price for a year - on a 12 month contract). ...and i managed to negotiate a £12 a month discount to make BT Sport effectively free anyway.


howardmicks said...
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howardmicks said...

Yer not alone bud,seems to be a lot of customers jumped to sky and there rubbing there hands.If bt idea was to pince vm customers its certainly backfired they all seem to be moving to sky instead making them even stronger,vm regally need to have a rethink about this as by the time/if they get bt sports how many customers will they have lost

gsituffers said...

i think a lot of people have jumped early.
sky standard fees versus virgins are higher and when you add fibre bb price from sky they are much more expensive than virgin are normally and when they add sky atlantic and bt sports then most people would be happy to stay or switch back

The Unsung-Hero said...

The bottom line here is that Loyalty doesn't pay, what as consumers, we're supposed to do is to flip between the two and get the new customer deals each time - can you imagine how much your services would cost each year if we weren't blinded by the BS that is "Customer Loyalty"?

Think about it.

Doogie Howser said...


I'm moving to Virgin Media from Sky as I have been with for over 12 years and they have not offered me a thing for that amount of customer loyalty.

BT Sports is big for me as I watch all the UFC and a huge amount of American sport - I called Virgin over the weekend to enquire what was happening with BT Sports and I was told that an announcement would be made on August 17th. This co-incides with the beginning of the Premiership.

The VM sales person could not confirm exact details, as they are not allowed to say, but I was given the distinct impression that a deal has already been done but the terms are that Virgin cannot announce until 17th August. I was led to believe that there would be no additional charge to VM customers, which is why BT are insisting as part of the deal that VM hold off on announcing until the last possible minute.

I hope that this helps some people!

Nialli said...

"the terms are that Virgin cannot announce until 17th August"
That's similar to what BomberAV said (although he said it was August 1st, which was the channel launch date).
Not sure about VM announcing anything on the 17th, which is a Saturday. Whilst they have launched new services at the weekend, any announcements are normally always during the working week.
Not long to go now regardless.

Stephen Jackson said...

I have been with VM since cabletel days and i am just about to leave as the ESPN fiasco and lack of communication from VM is shocking,It is just another nail in their coffin as they have fell so far behind SKY, VMs TV anywhere service is a joke, my Tivo box when working is great but most of the time it runs at a snails pace.I will be sorry to go but enough is enough.

Andy said...

Well........ I'm off to France. If they haven't sorted this out before the rugby season starts, Virgin will lose me as a TV customer. I guess I'm up the creek as BT are the only way to watch rugby premiership stuff but at least it gives Virgin an extra couple of weeks to sort it with BT (I don't care how much!)

Benjamin Everingham said...
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