Virgin Media is heading for a showdown with ITV, which could result in a subscribers losing access to a number of channels.
ITV has reportedly threatened to pull the likes of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 as well as the access to video on demand content, if a new agreement with the Pay TV platform cannot be reached. The Guardian reports ITV has written to Virgin Media amid deadlock over a number of issues, from carriage of channels to the on-demand rights. The long-running dispute almost resulted in a black out last year.
Should action be taken, it’s unlikely the flagship ITV channel would be removed. Legally speaking ITV is a public service channel that must be supplied. However, access to the secondary channels could be removed. Any action could lessen access to shows like Love Island, Coronation Street and Good Morning Britain.
However, talks on a final deal are progressing well, according to the reporting. ITV hasn’t commented on the report, but a Virgin spokesperson says: “All ITV channels remain live on Virgin TV and we have no intention of removing them.”
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Virgin may be more motivated to acquiesce to ITV’s desires given the ongoing furore over the loss of UKTV’s channels. A mix of free and paid cannels, including Dave and Gold, have left Virgin’s line up after the two sides failed to agree a deal to renew them.
Virgin is now looking to auction the spots off to other content providers with responses due by the end of this week. Here’s what money saving expert Martin Lewis thinks of the whole situation, in terms of customer recourse.
Are you a Virgin Media subscriber miffed at the loss of UKTV channels like Dave and Gold? How are you going to get your Only Fools fix now? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.