Virgin Media TV changes

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  • Looks to me that the VM strategy is to hold out for better deals from the streamers because they think the the streamers will eventually need them, so won't be offering any more anytime soon (it was said that the Disney+ negotiations failed because VM wanted a bigger cut of the subscription money).

    Whilst VM are playing their usual waiting game in the hope of a more financially advantageous deal (as we have seen do for years with linear channels) the Sky strategy seems to be to embrace the streamers as all the most popular ones are already on there.

    A dangerous gamble to take whilst linear channels continue to be pulled and VM customers gradually lose access to content with no reduction in subscriptions (in fact quite the opposite).
    You don't, as a company, bow to the other party's demands quickly in all circumstances. Eventually that's how you go out of business. Sky needed to fill the loss promptly for their Sky Cinema business and needed to make an earlier deal to keep them in the "film fan consideration equation", having the app as part of the billing makes it easier to retain those customers rather than having get used to bypassing them. And from Disney's perspective they know they still need access to the biggest UK Pay TV provider (by far), at least initially.

    Disney don't really need to deal with another Pay TV provider in the UK, VM isn't big enough (in TV) for Disney to be that bothered, they come from a greater position of strength to the negotiation table. VM will know this and likely don't want to be taken advantage of. They assign a value too and it won't be worth it if the other party is taking the P. Bit like UHD is deemed worth being part of their Sky deals but Atlantic still isn't deemed worth the price tag.

    VM will know how valuable a large service is to it based on how their deal with Netflix has worked for them. That will shape what they think is need to make a Disney deal worth doing.

    Doing a deal with Disney, any deal, just because they are Disney isn't a sustainable way to run a business. And we all know TV isn't VM's priority business.

    Maybe this new TV product being trialled with broadband customers is the problem? To make it a viable product VM need a certain cut?

    The only thing I want Disney to do is launch physical gift cards to pay for Plus, I don't give a scooby if it's via my VM box. It's convenient, but that's it.


  • VM's modus operandi does not really fit with their stated intention to be a super aggregator of content.


    It is true that Sky is the major player in the UK, but I am becoming increasingly concerned that Virgin's negotiators do not have the necessary skills and imagination to bring content to its subscribers.


    VM have always lagged behind Sky (apart from a few times when they appeared to flourish, only to be overtaken by Sky again).


    I have been considering my options on and off for a while now, but I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Virgin's TV service. At the end of my existing contract, if things haven't improved, I might just move on so that I can access all of my content on one box.

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  • I suspect you aren't alone with those thoughts OB.


    Perhaps VM are expecting to lose TV customers over this (though many will also cancel their other services too) and hope to entice current BB only customers to take TV from them to mitigate this??

  • I'm keeping an open mind, you never know who is at fault. It's all hearsay anyway, even if the source is very often reliable. Even official sources giving statements to the public are still spinning it. Unless you are literally a fly on the wall and hear it for yourself you'll never know the truth or get it from either side.


    The public generally interpret these things based on previous experiences with the companies, it's unintentional, automatic and human nature.

  • As I said earlier, it matters not to me as I have my firesticks, but as a central part of VM's business is meant to be tv, they always seem to be behind Sky.

  • As I said earlier, it matters not to me as I have my firesticks, but as a central part of VM's business is meant to be tv, they always seem to be behind Sky.

    The donkey's years that the UK Cable industry was a multi-company sector will forever have been enough to make it always behind the game in TV provision. If it has been sorted as fast as Sky and BSB and hadn't have had massive infrastructure debt around its neck that didn't come with Satellite technology then maybe the gap would've been narrow enough to be competitive.


    They might have had a better chance if they'd stayed in, and expanded, their content side (rather than selling it to Sky) as it gave them both something to offer the customer and a bargaining tool with their rival.


    If Liberty Global had maybe merged their other TV divisions with their Cable businesses, maybe too then there was a glimmer of a chance, but the O2 deal meant the end of that.


    Satellite has had at least 3x more TV customers for most of its existence, and (perceived) success breeds success.

  • BBC Red Button 2-6 have been removed from VM EPG.


    Epsilon, in response to an observation that Media Boy posted on Cable Forum has said QVC Extra is apparently coming to VM.


    It is the missing channel in their channel portfolio on Cable. I'm a bit surprised they didn't just choose to go HD with their main channel instead, several of their Shopping rivals have done so, though not all on VM.

  • The National Geographic channels are closing ahead of The Hot Zone: Anthrax’s premiere on Disney+ in December. They haven’t got an exact date yet.

    Source: Someone who works for one of the companies involved and has a proven track record.


  • The National Geographic channels are closing ahead of The Hot Zone: Anthrax’s premiere on Disney+ in December. They haven’t got an exact date yet.

    Source: Someone who works for one of the companies involved and has a proven track record.


    This is in line with what I forecast would happen back in 2015, but I have to say, the trend is gaining momentum at a faster pace than I expected!


    Everything now is dependant on the pace of the super fast broadband rollout. Mind you, Ofcom could yet put its hobnail boots into the progress I would expect to be made!

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  • There have also been murmers that UKTV are to add a pay option to UKTV Play for their pay channels, giving UKTV the option to dump their traditional outlets.

    The non-UK content will likely have different streaming homes, the rights often differ, and the UK stuff would probably be better on Britbox, I don't think there's enough original productions to justify a standalone UKTV service.


    I don't see the point unless they are doing an All4+/ITV Hub + style of Ad-free option including the FTA content. And even then, are those services actually getting many payers? Given how much they are I don't see it being worth it to many.


    UKTV would be better getting onboard with Britbox, and maybe even merging in the long run in my opinion.

  • The non-UK content will likely have different streaming homes, the rights often differ, and the UK stuff would probably be better on Britbox, I don't think there's enough original productions to justify a standalone UKTV service.


    I don't see the point unless they are doing an All4+/ITV Hub + style of Ad-free option including the FTA content. And even then, are those services actually getting many payers? Given how much they are I don't see it being worth it to many.


    UKTV would be better getting onboard with Britbox, and maybe even merging in the long run in my opinion.

    That's an interesting idea.

  • Media Boy on Cable Forum has noticed some of the extra Eurosport channels on Digital Bit Rate. I've had a quick look and can confirm Eurosport 3/4/7/8 but not 5/6/9 or Eurosport UHD that epsilon on Cable Forum mentions.

  • They're leaving it a bit late to only just start testing, not that I have much interest in the Olympics, but a lot of people do.

    As epsilon said on Cable Forum and, I think, JJ20X similarly used to say, VM can do a lot without it showing on DigitalBitRate. It could've been testing for a while, and you don't need to the channel to provide material to do the initial setting up of streams on the network.

  • Extra Olympic Eurosport channels all launched. They are just showing an animated slate, the first coverage on the new channels is Sweden vs USA Women's football (the Team GB Vs Chile opening match is on Eurosport 1) is on ES UHD and ES5.


    I never thought I'd see a dedicated Handball channel. I'd have thought there would be a Watersports one. I'm a bit surprised they've divided them into individual sports actually. All the other coverage (on broadcast channels I mean, I'm not sure the extent of streaming having any exclusives) is obviously on 1 and 2.


    ---

    UPDATE

    Just been told on Social Media that there's going to be "up to 50 streams" on Discovery+. =O

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