Excellent – but unexpected – news that’s just been announced today… the Sky basics are coming back to Virgin TV next Thursday after having been off the platform since the much talked-about removal of the channels back in February/March 2007. This means Virgin TV customers will once again be able to enjoy Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky News and Sky Sports News. The new deal also includes channels that we previously didn’t have pre-February 2007. These channels are Sky 3, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2. All of those Sky channels will be added to Virgin’s TV service next week (13th November). Virgin Media have also agreed a deal for its own Virgin Media TV group of channels to stay available on the Sky TV platform – these include Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin 1.
C21Media reports Sky’s CEO Jeremy Darroch says “this is great news for Sky and Virgin Media customers alike. We want our channels to be enjoyed by as many people as possible”. There was an impending court case between Virgin and Sky regarding the Sky basic channels dispute that was thought to be taking place in 2009, but this now – of course – will not be happening. The two new deals (the one for the Sky channels on Virgin TV and the one for the Virgin Media TV channels on Sky TV) run through to June 2011.
Unconfirmed reports are that there will be some channel reshuffles next week to make way for the Sky channels. It’s thought Virgin Central will be on channel 118, Virgin 1 will be on channel 119, Virgin1 +1 will be on channel 120, Sky 1 will launch on channel 121, Sky 2 will launch on channel 122, Sky 3 will launch on channel 123, Men & Motors will be on channel 280, Sky Real Lives will launch on channel 281, Sky Real Lives 2 will launch on channel 282, Sky Arts will launch on 284, Sky Arts 2 will launch on channel 285, Sky Sports News will launch on channel 517 and Sky News will launch on channel 602.