Two of the Sky Sports HD channels will be launching on Virgin Media soon, due to the outcome of the Ofcom ruling saying Sky must offer their channels more freely. The two HD channels will be Sky Sports HD 1 and HD 2. In Virgin’s new ad campaign they simply state the Sky Sports HD channels are coming “soon”. It’s not known if red button content will be included in the deal or just Sky Sports HD 1 and HD 2.
The results of an Ofcom investigation have been released today (reworded from the original statement on the Ofcom website):
– Sky Sports 1 and 2 must be available on all platforms (cable, terrestrial and IPTV) at a wholesale price set by Ofcom.
– Conditional approval to Sky and Arqiva’s request to offer pay TV services on digital terrestrial under the branding header of “Picnic”. This means Sky can replace their current Freeview channels with pay TV alternatives such as Sky Sports and Sky Movies.
– “Picnic” approval is subject to Sky implementing a wholesale deal under the supply obligation for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. If Sky decide to offer Sky Movies on digital terrestrial then those channels must also be offered to other digital terrestrial operators.
– The Competition Commission will address the sale and distribution of subscription video-on-demand premium movie rights.
– Sky must offer to wholesale high-definition versions of Sky Sports 1 and 2 – to be offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
This news means Sky Sports and Sky Movies could launch on Top Up TV and Sky Sports/Movies HD channels might be coming to Virgin Media.