Virgin Media Signs Deal To Carry Sky Sports' Main Two Channels Next Year
Virgin Media "has secured the Sky Sports channels for the coming year, piling further pressure on BT to do a deal with the satellite broadcaster before the next football season begins in August," according to Juliette Garside of the London GUARDIAN. Virgin Media's agreement to carry Sky Sports 1 and 2 was negotiated in '10 and "due to expire this summer, but it is now expected to extend into next year." BT "is struggling to agree terms to carry Sky's two main sports channels on its flagship YouView service." BT has a deal until '16 "to carry Sky Sports 1 and 2 on its BT Vision box, but that service is being phased out in favour of YouView." TalkTalk "has an ongoing deal to carry all of Sky's sports channels, meaning BT could now be the only major pay-TV provider without the satellite broadcaster's top flight football on its flagship TV service during the coming season." A BT spokesperson said, "We're not really going after Sky sports customers. There are a lot of customers out there who are loyal to Sky, and we'll be looking to sell them our service as well" (GUARDIAN, 4/24).