UK quad-play operator Virgin Media is to ramp up the amount of exclusive video-on-demand programming available to its Virgin Media TV XL customers to watch through its TV on demand service.
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, revealed the operator’s intentions at a preview screening of Kingdom, a raw, emotional family drama set in Venice, California against the backdrop of the renegade subculture of Mixed Martial arts.
Virgin Media March 10th announced a partnership with Endemol Shine International to bring the show to the UK, exclusively for its TV customers to watch on demand from April 1st. Virgin Media has signed an exclusive licensing deal with the distributor for the first two series of Kingdom comprising thirty, one-hour episodes.
Bouchier admitted that Virgin Media hadn’t placed enough emphasis on exclusive VoD programming previously, but was looking for “edgy, niche content” that would be valued by its subscribers and bring something distinctive which they wouldn’t otherwise see on British TV. The Kingdom deal follows the December 20015 cult US TV show Ash vs Evil Dead – signed exclusively for Virgin Media’s TV customers to watch on demand.
Further exclusive deals are anticipated later in the year, and with Kingdom screened in Ultra HD, observers anticipate such series spearheading Virgin Media’s entry into UHD programme provision with an updated UHD set-top box.