Virgin Media has struck a five-year deal to carry BSkyB's TV channels – but once again failed to reach agreement to offer Sky Atlantic, home to big name shows including Game of Thrones. The new deal, a significant extension of the existing three-year deal the two TV companies have in place, is the latest move in the battle against BT Sport.
Under the new deal Virgin Media will also offer customers five of BSkyB's new high definition channels – for Sky Sports 3 and 4, Sky Sports News, Sky News and its dedicated F1 channel. However, the new deal does not include Sky Atlantic, home to big-budget HBO output including Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Mad Men.
The two companies have never been able to agree on a price to carry Sky Atlantic, with Sky maintaining it is much more valuable than the audience levels the channel attracts. The new deal also marks the first time that Virgin Media customers will be able to access Sky's channels through smartphones and tablets using the Virgin TV Anywhere app.