Adverts coming to On Demand programmes and EPG; Nickelodeon On Demand

Brand Republic are reporting Virgin Media are planning to add adverts during On Demand programmes and they say “testing is currently underway for pre-, mid- and post-roll ads to be placed in VoD content”. This will be the first time ad breaks have appeared in On Demand programmes. Virgin Media will also be rolling out adverts to be placed on their EPG. The adverts will be implemented in 2008. It’s not known whether the On Demand adverts will enable you to fast forward through them. Read more at Brand Republic. In other On Demand news, Nickelodeon is now available in TV Choice On Demand – just go to All Channels.

Flaunt, Scuzz and Bliss; channel renumbering

The three CSTV channels are still going strong in the ex-NTL areas of Virgin Media, despite rumours they would be removed on the 30th October if a new carriage deal wasn’t reached. Ex-Telewest customers have never been able to receive Flaunt, Scuzz or Bliss. If a new carriage deal has been signed, this should mean ex-Telewest customers will have the channels added to their lineup this month. In other Virgin Media news, the channel renumbering in ex-Telewest areas is well underway – with several channel numbers being changed already. This is to make the ex-NTL and ex-Telewest lineups the same by the end of the year.

MTV R launching 8th November

MTV’s new channel – MTV R – will be launching on the 8th November 2007. On Virgin Media, the channel will be available on channel 196. MTV R will air repeats of old MTV programmes (so it will act as an “MTV Gold” type of channel). Shows on the channel will include The Real World, Pimp My Ride, Next, Meet My Mom, My Own, Jackass, Wildboyz, Viva La Bam, Punk’d and My Super Sweet 16.

New and upcoming channels

Dave launched on Freeview this week – as well as cable and Sky (replacing UKTV G2). UKTV History now runs from 7am to 6pm on Freeview. Dave airs 7am to 3am. UKTV Bright Ideas has closed down. There are also some rumours that shopping channel Gems TV is joining the DTT platform soon. On Virgin Media, True Movies is now available (channel 428) – Diva TV and Movies 24 + are expected to launch on the platform this week – and UKTV Drama +1, JJB Sports TV, TCM 2, Cartoonito, Setanta Sports News and True Movies 2 should all be launching soon. Channel renumbering on the ex-Telewest platform of Virgin Media is taking place this month and in November to align the numbers with ex-NTL areas.

Virgin TV outage across most of the country – Services now restored

There was a huge Virgin Media TV service outage across the majority of the country last night. All channels returned in the early hours of this morning. Certain areas were unaffected by the outage – others had their TV service disrupted for several hours. As of this morning the TV channels are now back in all areas, but On Demand is not working for many people (including Virgin Central) – including other red button and Interactive features. There have also been reports of the EPG not showing any programme data in some areas. At the moment, the cause of the outage is not known. Keep an eye on the Virgin Media status page for more information.

Update: Virgin Media have told media news website Digital Spy that a power fault was to blame for the outage. Virgin Media told Digital Spy “around 220 channels went off-air”. All On Demand and Interactive services (as well as EPG data) have been restored and should now all work as normal. Source – Digital Spy article.

Channel 4 HD content on the way

Virgin Media has signed a deal with Channel 4 that will bring high definition content to the Channel 4 listings on Catch Up TV On Demand. HD content from Channel 4 will be available for up to seven days after original transmissions – the same as normal (SD) content. This new deal between Virgin Media and Channel 4 also means Virgin have the choice to add the Channel 4 HD TV channel to their lineup (in addition to the On Demand material), if they decide to.