Virgin, Sky extend content deal

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UK pay-TV operators Virgin Media and Sky have agreed a new, multi-year partnership that will see the two companies strengthen their track record of collaboration and bring an even better viewing experience to Virgin customers with new Sky content and functionality. 

As part of the extended deal, Sky’s line up of entertainment, cinema and sports channels will continue to be available on Virgin Media’s TV platform, with Virgin customers set to enjoy new Ultra HD linear and additional video-on-demand content from Sky in 2020.

The new content is set to include Sky Cinema Original films and live sports in UHD, along with Sky original drama on demand, including shows such as Jamestown and the forthcoming comedy Brassic.

The news follows Sky’s recent commitment to more than double its investment in original programming along with the creation of Sky Studios, its new in-house production company.

It also comes as Virgin Media continues to invest to bring its UHD V6 box to millions of its TV customers, while also expanding its broadband network to deliver ultrafast, reliable connectivity to support the streaming of on-demand programming in the highest picture quality.

NBCUniversal’s suite of channels, including Universal, E! and SyFy, are included as part of the partnership, with Virgin Media customers also able to watch Sky Cinema through the Virgin TV Go app for the first time.

The new deal builds on the already strong relationship and track record of collaboration between Sky and Virgin Media which took another step forward earlier in July 2019 as AdSmart, Sky’s addressable advertising solution, became available across Virgin Media households in the UK.

“This expanded partnership with Sky really shows that, despite vigorous competition between us, we can join together to put viewers first,” noted Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media. “Our customers can keep enjoying a vast collection of TV shows, films and live sport but now with greater flexibility and enhanced viewing quality. With our unrivalled ultrafast broadband paired with unlimited mobile connectivity and a line-up of fantastic programming, we give our customers everything they need to experience incredible entertainment in a way that suits them.”

“Thanks to this extended partnership, millions more people will now have access to hundreds of Sky boxsets and our incredible UHD content, as well as all the great Sky content they had before, from top Premier League fixtures to BAFTA-winning Sky originals,” added Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & Ireland, Sky. “This partnership shows what can be achieved when you put the customer first and is a great example of industry collaboration.”

The key features of the agreement are as follows:

  • Sky Sports and Sky Cinema in HD so customers can continue to enjoy the latest movies and best live sport action
  • Plans to bring Ultra HD programming to Virgin Media from next year
  • Sky’s Entertainment channels including Sky One, Sky Witness and more, in HD as well as NBCU channels with E! to launch in HD
  • An expanded catalogue of boxsets from Sky’s hit TV shows such as Jamestown, The Reluctant Landlord and the forthcoming comedy Brassic.
  • Increased on demand rights meaning that customers can dive deeper into Sky’s collection of films, shows and sports events
  • Improved viewing experience through Virgin TV Go with the inclusion of higher resolution streams of Sky’s channels and Sky Cinema availability on Virgin TV Go
  • Access to all Sky Box Office events

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