The two had been in dispute over a series, despite Virgin owner Liberty Global now holding a 9.9% stake in the Channel 3 licence holder, but an earlier threat by ITV to pull the channels was put on hold after the arrival of new CEO Carolyn McCall in January.
Tension appeared to heighten after negotiations between Virgin and UKTV broke down earlier this month, leading to the departure of 10 of the BBC-Discovery venture’s channels.
“This is the start of a positive new chapter for ITV and Virgin Media, forging a deeper relationship,” said Tom Mockridge, CEO, Virgin Media. “We are pleased to be extending our long-term partnership, bringing significant new benefits to both companies and our respective viewers and customers. With an expanded range of fantastic programming and services, our customers can now enjoy more ITV than ever before.”
ITV has been basking in the success of Love Island, which has put sister channel ITV2 firmly on the public’s radar.
“We are pleased to be extending and enhancing our long-term relationship with Virgin Media,” said Carolyn McCall, CEO, ITV. “This exciting new commercial partnership has many benefits for both our businesses and for consumers. It recognises ITV’s ongoing investment in brilliant programming, and the great platform that Virgin Media has created, as well as providing audiences with more choice and a much-improved viewing experience, whether they are at home or on the move.”
The new agreement covers ITV, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, as well as their associated +1 channels, on demand and premium boxed sets.
ITV has been looking to further monetise its catchup service ITV Hub and now offers a premium version without commercials.
For its part Virgin is looking to further develop an already substantial on demand offer.