BSkyB has increased the pressure on Virgin Media by broadcasting a promotion telling customers to contact the cable operator’s customer services department if they wish to continue viewing the Sky branded channels. The promotion was first noted early on Sunday evening (February 11).
A crawler caption displays the names of the Sky channels that include Sky One, Sky News and Sky Travel. Although Sky is obliged to provide its premium channels on reasonable terms to all comers, this does not apply to the carriage of basic channels, which are currently under negotiation.
The Sky News cable feed is fed directly by Sky to Virgin Media and allows Virgin to replace promotions for the Sky Box Office pay-per-view service with its own material.
Callers to Virgin’s customer services department hear a recorded message advising them that the company is still in negotiation with Sky.