Extended partnership between Virgin Media and Sky to bring even more benefits to viewers and the industry

Thursday 18 July 2019
  • Multi-year partnership will see Sky channels, including Sky Cinema and Sky Sports, continue to be available across Virgin Media platforms
  • New availability of Ultra HD TV content, including sports and movies, and expanded collection of Sky boxsets available on demand
  • Deal strengthens relationship and spirit of collaboration between Virgin Media and Sky, building on recent AdSmart deal

Virgin Media and Sky have agreed a new, multi-year partnership that will see the two pay TV companies strengthen their track-record of collaboration and bring an even better viewing experience to Virgin customers with new Sky content and functionality.

As part of the extended deal, Sky’s stellar line up of entertainment, cinema and sports channels will continue to be available on Virgin Media’s TV platform, with Virgin customers set to enjoy new Ultra HD linear and additional video-on-demand content from Sky next year.

The new content is set to include Sky Cinema Original films and live sports in UHD, along with unmissable Sky original drama on demand, including shows like Jamestown and the forthcoming comedy Brassic, starring Michelle Keegan.

The news follows Sky’s recent commitment to more than double its investment in original programming along with the creation of Sky Studios, their new in-house production company.

It also comes as Virgin Media continues to invest to bring its UHD V6 box to millions of its TV customers, while also expanding its broadband network to deliver ultrafast, reliable connectivity to support the streaming of on-demand programming in the highest picture quality.

NBCUniversal’s suite of channels, including Universal, E! and SyFy, are included as part of the partnership, with Virgin Media customers also able to watch Sky Cinema through the Virgin TV Go app for the first time.

The new deal builds on the already strong relationship and track record of collaboration between Sky and Virgin Media which took another step forward earlier this month as AdSmart, Sky’s addressable advertising solution, became available across Virgin Media households in the UK.

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media said: “This expanded partnership with Sky really shows that, despite vigorous competition between us, we can join together to put viewers first. Our customers can keep enjoying a vast collection of TV shows, films and live sport but now with greater flexibility and enhanced viewing quality. With our unrivalled ultrafast broadband paired with unlimited mobile connectivity and a line-up of fantastic programming, we give our customers everything they need to experience incredible entertainment in a way that suits them.”

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & Ireland, Sky said: “Thanks to this extended partnership, millions more people will now have access to hundreds of Sky boxsets and our incredible UHD content, as well as all the great Sky content they had before, from top Premier League fixtures to BAFTA-winning Sky originals. This partnership shows what can be achieved when you put the customer first and is a great example of industry collaboration.”

The key features of the agreement are as follows:

  • Sky Sports and Sky Cinema in HD so customers can continue to enjoy the latest movies and best live sport action
  • Plans to bring Ultra HD programming to Virgin Media from next year
  • Sky’s Entertainment channels including Sky One, Sky Witness and more, in HD as well as NBCU channels with E! to launch in HD
  • An expanded catalogue of boxsets from Sky’s hit TV shows such as Jamestown, The Reluctant Landlord and the forthcoming comedy Brassic.
  • Increased on demand rights meaning that customers can dive deeper into Sky’s collection of films, shows and sports events
  • Improved viewing experience through Virgin TV Go with the inclusion of higher resolution streams of Sky’s channels and Sky Cinema availability on Virgin TV Go
  • Access to all Sky Box Office events

For further information:
James Lusher, Head of External Communications, Virgin Media
press@virginmedia.co.uk

Jack Bates, Corporate Communications Manager, Sky
Jack.bates@sky.uk

About Sky
With 23.7 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group.

We have 31,000 colleagues and together we want to connect our customers to more of what they love, including our award-winning original productions, like Patrick Melrose and Save Me, and great shows from our partners including HBO, Showtime and Warner Bros. And our ever-improving technology makes it even easier for customers to watch more of the shows they love with personalised recommendations and voice control and, our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract free service.

We treat our customers better than anyone else in our field, as Ofcom’s complaints data shows, and we look after our staff too. Sky is one of The Times Top 50 employers for women and we’re in Stonewall’s list of Top 50 LGBT-Inclusive employers.

We also use our position as the leading entertainment business in Europe to do the right thing. As part of Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, we’re committing to be completely single-use plastic free by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re supporting the WWF to protect our oceans with designated Marine Protected Areas.

About Virgin Media
Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

Our dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and we’re expanding this through our Project Lightning programme, which could extend our network to up to 17 million premises.

Our interactive TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.

Virgin Mobile launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.

Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers.


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