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Multichannel broadcaster UKTV has agreed what it describes as a “landmark” deal with quad-play operator Virgin Media, giving Virgin Media customers access to more UKTV shows than on any other pay-TV platform in the UK or Ireland.
UKTV will double the number of programmes available to Virgin Media customers, giving subscribers access to more than 10,000 hours of catch-up and box-set content across a range of award-winning UKTV Originals, US and UK acquisitions, and much-loved favourites from the BBC plus ITV and Channel 4. Hit shows include Taskmaster, Nev Calling India, Quantico, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Only Fools & Horses and Sherlock.
The deal also includes the launch of the updated UKTV Play app on Virgin Media’s TiVo platform, allowing Virgin Media customers to watch a wealth of catch-up and box-set titles from UKTV’s free-to-air channels Dave, Drama, Yesterday and Really. The wealth of shows available include Wonders of the Solar System, Parks & Recreation, David Starkey’s Monarchy and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled.
Simon Michaelides, UKTV’s Chief Commercial Officer, said that Virgin Media was one of the programmer’s most valued customers and it was “delighted” to have partnered with the operator to expand and enhance its pay TV offer in this way. “Virgin Media subscribers now have unique access to the most comprehensive on-demand offer from UKTV anywhere in the market. This step-change in the volume of on-demand content is part of our long term commitment to growth in pay-TV and we look forward to expanding on this in the future.”
“Throughout this year we’ve been expanding the fantastic range of on demand programming which lets our customers watch what they want, when they want,” commented David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, Virgin Media. “We’re delighted to be building on our leadership by giving our customers more UKTV shows than are available on any other platform. With the arrival of the UKTV Play app and the doubling of catch-up content our customers can access more of the entertainment they love in the way they want.”
In addition, the broadcaster has expanded the volume of shows available from its pay exclusive channels, Gold, W, Alibi, Good Food and Eden, with brand new episodes from shows such as Murdoch Mysteries, The Strain, The Rebel and Rosewood. Virgin Media customers will also have access to even more box sets of UKTV Originals, including Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Marley’s Ghosts and Hoff the Record, and some of the BBC’s best-loved classics such as Doctor Who, Luther, The Office, Death in Paradise and Blackadder.
Following the successful launch of entertainment channel W earlier in 2016 – whose viewership has increased by 19 per cent amongst its target audience since launch – distribution of the channel is also being increased to include Virgin Media Ireland.
Virgin Media customers will be able to enjoy UKTV’s enhanced content offering, from later in 2016.