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BT confirms no agreement to put BT Sport on Virgin Media
Wednesday 31 July 2013 16:02:02 by Andrew Ferguson

After some speculation on Monday that Virgin Media may have been about to add BT Sport to its cable TV packages, BT has issued a statement that confirms that no wholesale agreement has been reached yet.

"Following the large number of enquiries from Virgin Media customers and press speculation, we can confirm that we have not agreed a wholesale deal for BT Sport with Virgin Media. But we are open to doing it at the right price and talks continue. In the meantime, we have an excellent offer for Virgin customers who move to either BT TV or to satellite."

BT statement on possibility of wholesale access to BT Sport by Virgin Media

Today is the last day Virgin Media cable customers will have access to ESPN if it was in their package line-up, the question now is whether the right price for BT can be shuffled around to be the right price for Virgin Media.

BT will of course not be worrying too much if when it looks at the numbers of new customers on its Infinity service a good number of them are arriving from Virgin Media. For those BT customers looking to commit to a new 12 month contract or have 12 months or more left to run on their contract and want access to BT Sports on their Sky satellite TV service or BT TV box, today is the last day that you can order BT Sport and get the HD upgrade for free. It is also the last day for the current batch of £40 and £60 Sainsbury vouchers for new signups to BT Broadband and Infinity.

"We’re always looking to bring the strongest selection of great value content to our customers and we’re talking to BT to see if they’d like to join our Premier League line-up."

Virgin Media statement

Update 5pm We have added the above statement from Virgin Media on the BT Sport negotiations. It also appears that BT Sport is to have a special launch day by letting anyone who has Freeview, BT TV or Sky satellite TV watch the BT Sport channels on the opening night, Thursday 1st August. The BT Sport website will also have a selection of free content.


Posted by acpsd775 over 4 years ago
looks like the freeview will start at 6PM looking at the sky guide
Posted by Joppy over 4 years ago
So everyone except Virgin customers get to see the sport channels for free on launch day? That shouldn't be funny but...
Posted by McGrath1982 over 4 years ago
Sky customers don't get for free £15 sign up then £12 a month no thanks
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@mcgrath1983 Correct, but on 1st August the opening night of shows is open to all.
Posted by weesteev over 4 years ago
The opening night of the channel... with no live Football. Great reason to switch! Also "a good number fo them arriving from VM"... wheres the figures to back this up? Attrition from VM is no different so what figures are BT using, and how do they ascertain who was a previous VM/Sky/Freeview customer? Sounds like hot air to me to be honest.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@weesteev I am not saying a good number have moved, simply raising it as a question mark hence the opening of the sentence as "BT will of course not be worrying too much if"

Virgin added 30k cable customers in last quarter, still waiting for latest results.
Posted by Colin_London over 4 years ago
@weesteev - Live Audi Cup football tomorrow night. What you on about?
Posted by stoswald over 4 years ago
We know what is on ESPN tonight, what about BT Sport?
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
In a way it's Virgin Media's own fault. They had opportunities to get their own foot in the door. Instead they decided to simply "partner" with Setanta and when Setanta wen't bust they let ESPN buy the rights instead.
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
I still remember having Virgin Media when they had to drop Sky One. They should have learnt their lesson then. Other providers will not play nicely. They will use any excuse to try and take your customers and cutting off your access is just one of those methods.
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
They didn't learn anything and a few years later sold their share of the UKTV network to Sky, giving Sky a virtual stranglehold on the pay tv production market.
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
Virgin Media are nothing more than a platform provider in a market that is increasingly vertical.
They do nothing for themselves, just look to buy in other people's content and technology, eg TiVo.
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
The only thing they have in their favour is their broadband network. Yet they keep on increasing their prices in a time when prices for broadband are going down.
Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
Virgin aren't in the business of producing content, only distributing it. That's what they're focusing on.
Posted by acpsd775 over 4 years ago
@stator virgin did not sell their UKTV share to sky they sold it to scripts network they sold the living TV group to sky, which was
Sky Living
Sky Livingit
Bravo 2
Challenge Jackpot
Channel One

some have been closed some renamed since
Posted by stator over 4 years ago
You're right but the point is the same. They sold their only channels producing original content so now they are at the mercy of others. They have no bargaining powers. If BT decide they don't want to sell their channel to VM, VM can't do a thing.
Posted by thew8man over 4 years ago
At the end of the day it's not VM suffering, it's VM sports fans. ESPNA was my lifeline to my favorite sports. I guess no sense in holding out for an agreement cuz as many of you said, VM is gettin what's owed em. We were BT Broadband users but, it sucked as well and we wanted Fibre Optic internet. We can't get Infinity in our vilkage of 100,000!
Posted by wolfhound over 4 years ago
I'm rather bewildered/annoyed with BT. I'd have thought it would have been good marketing to ensure that their product was available on as many platforms as possible. As a VM customer I am less likely to want to switch to them know, even though I will miss ESPN, as I feel they are acting in a "its my toy and I'm playing with it" way. Surely it's time Ofcom forced content providers and platforms into separate businesses.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"its my toy and I'm playing with it" way.

Like Sky does you mean?
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