Advanced Television

Virgin Media facing ITV blackout

November 6, 2017

ITV is threatening a blackout of its flagship channel in some 3.8 million homes served by Virgin Media unless the cable operator pays up to £80 million a year to host the channel.

ITV threatened to shut down the feed of its main channel to Virgin Media TV homes last month, but at the 11th hour the broadcaster agreed to delay the decision until early next year, putting it top of the agenda for Dame Carolyn McCall, the incoming chief executive who is due to start work in early January.

In a statement, Virgin Media said: “Neither Virgin Media nor our customers will be paying for channels that are meant to be free.”

A spokesman for ITV rebutted: “Our position is very straightforward – ITV, and other public service broadcasters, should be paid fairly by pay-TV ­platforms that make money from our multi-billion pound investment in original UK content so that we can ­continue to invest in the programmes, particularly drama and entertainment, that our viewers enjoy.”

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