Restoring Sky Basic Channels to Virgin Media Customers
In response your letter of yesterday, while we welcome the sentiment that you are “fully prepared to negotiate”, we are at a loss to understand what further steps we can take to progress negotiations. Despite saying that you are making every effort to restore Sky’s channels to your customers, there has been an absence of any meaningful engagement with the substance of our proposals. My letter to you on 10 May was the second consecutive proposal from Sky to Virgin Media to be turned down without any alternative proposal or offer being put forward.
With less than £10 million per annum separating your last offer to us and ours to you, and high levels of viewer interest in the channels, the proposal of meeting in the middle, if accepted, would have led to the restoration of the channels within days.
Disappointingly, we can only conclude that you are not genuinely interested in offering Sky’s channels to your customers, preferring to continue to deny Sky access to your network as a means of pursuing wider corporate goals, simultaneously harming Sky commercially by denying us wholesale subscription and advertising revenues.
Steve as you know, our preference has always been to conduct negotiations in private. Virgin Media has, however, consistently sought to use the media to portray an inaccurate and one-sided version of events that we cannot allow to go uncorrected indefinitely. Given the high level of consumer interest, we have no choice but to make known more widely the extent of the efforts we have made to resolve this situation.