back to article OFT waves through Sky's Virgin TV slurp

BSkyB has received final clearance from the OFT for the acquisition of Living TV Group, which once upon a time was called Virgin Media Television. Sky now owns LIVING, LIVINGit, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot, Bravo, Bravo 2 and Virgin1, which will be renamed in due course. Sky is to stump up £55 million to Virgin Media to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So Sky have forked out £160M for a whole load more channels with virtually no audience? How does this business model work? I doubt advertising revenues amount to much for a channel with audiences figures that seldom have more than five digits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      With the secret ingreedient... monopoly, balanced with a sop to those pommy elitists the the form of an arts channel advertised with generously-jugged and paint-drenched models with big billboards

    2. Chad H.


      This deal cuts Sky's costs - They no longer have to pay Virgin for those channels, and come content negociation time they'll have Virgin over a barrel with no channels of their own to play/bargain with.

      TBH I think this was a very stupid move on Virgin's part.

  2. Karnka
    Thumb Down

    A Title

    ....and Virgin1, which will be renamed in due course.

    Has actually already been renamed. It's called 'Channel 1' which obviously isn't at all confusing or stupid(!)

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "and Virgin1, which will be renamed in due course."

    It's already been renamed as "channel one"

    Good business plan from virgin:

    1: you won't let us have your 'one' channel, we'll create our own.

    2: you like our 'one' channel and would like to buy it: OK then.

    Next step:


    Thumb Down

    Just what this country needs

    Less diversity in TV media ownership; greater entrenchment of the Murdoch monopoly.

  5. Chad H.
    Dead Vulture

    Two Questions:

    1: Firstly, why is one content provider buying another in the "hardware" area. I mean if it were Thompson/Technicolour buying Pace, I'd say fair enough, but it doesnt seem to make sense here.

    2: Why aren't we more worried/Concerned about this, yet el Reg freaks about about project "Cartel". Doesn't Murdoch have enough power (or is El Reg hoping for a buyout too?)

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Two answers for Chad H.

      You seem confused.

      1. This story is about a broadcaster buying in some more content. Not a provider buying another provider. Assuming you know the difference - why are you worried/concerned about this?

      2. I flagged up the issue of content companies controlling technical standards ten years ago in the CPRM FAQ. For the same reason, we've reflected concerns about Project Canvas, which is ... content companies controlling technical standards.

      1. Chad H.

        Insert title here.

        1: My point is, I'm interested in Media/Broadcasting stories, and fair play doesnt seem to have anything to do with here, but in an area titled "Hardware" I'd expect to find stories about devices and computer hardware. As a story I'm potentially interested in its placement in the Reg family of sites is somewhere that doesnt seem a logical place to find it, making me worry that perhaps I've missed a number of articles (and therefore advertisements...) in the media/broadcasting area because they're placed in an area that has a title that suggests about equipment... Just a "potentially lost reader" bit of feedback, thats all.

        2: Fair play if thats been flagged up by you before, but isn't the delivery method at the end of the day second to the content? Most folk don't post a letter because they have a particular "like" of the post office based on its model and want to support it for the heck of it, they post a letter because they want the letter to go somewhere (and if the post office does the job they need to do, then they might just like the post office).

        If the majority of the content we're all watching is controlled by one organisation, then the delivery method's openness, however great it is, is going to be irrelevant. If Mr Murdoch owns all/most of the content we want to see, then the delivery method in the future simply becomes an extension to his will - Do what I say or none of your customers will have anything to watch. We saw this play out on a small scale with VM a few years ago, and the networks throw their weight around with US cable providers now by threatening to withdraw channels...

        Okay, maybe I'm being a little alarmist here, but if "Cartel" means a stronger BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 in an increasingly Murdoch-dominated dominated landscape, and helps them to continue to provide good content against this domination, then surely this is a good thing?

  6. tin 2

    How does this business model work?

    Create monopoly, charge people whatever you like, eradicate all competition, maintain monopoly, continue to charge people whatever you like.

    1. alphaxion

      ti-tle! ti-tle! I want to ride my ti-i-tle!

      Or, alternatively, the slow progression of independent internet content producers (such as myself) will eventually catch up and leech people away from traditional TV.

      Hell, the viewing figures already show the "people don't want amateur hour" quip by Steve Jobs to be total bullock excrement.

      The more big TV pumps out trite content, the more viewers slip through the empero^CCCCc Murdoch's fingers ;)

      1. Chad H.

        I don't know about Bulldrek

        If that were true, surely then there'd be more than 0.1% of us watching current TV daily (according to current BARB results). There are however 0.3% of us watching old game shows on a 1 hour timeshift (Challenge +1) daily.

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