UK’s ITV and Virgin Media agree to three-year content deal


London — Britain’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV agreed to a three-year content deal with cable-TV provider Virgin Media, moving on from a dispute over payments for carrying ITV’s main channel.

Virgin subscribers will be able to access all ITV channels live and on demand under the deal, but neither party disclosed commercial terms

The deal follows a years-old disagreement in which ITV called for Virgin, a unit of John Malone’s Liberty Global, to pay a so-called re-transmission fee to show its ITV1 channel. It comes as new ITV CEO Carolyn McCall stamps her mark on the company she joined in January.

“This exciting new commercial partnership has many benefits for both our businesses and for consumers,” McCall said in a statement on Friday. Virgin subscribers will be able to access all ITV channels live and on demand under the deal, with Virgin agreeing to expand advertising and marketing of ITV programming, the companies said.

Hit ITV shows include reality-TV hit Love Island, period drama Downton Abbey, and the world’s longest running TV soap opera Coronation Street.

The companies did not disclose commercial terms, saying only that the deal “maintains both parties’ respective long-held positions on the issue of re-transmission fees for the future”.

Virgin is locked in a separate dispute with multi-channel broadcaster UKTV over fee payments, leading to UKTV channels, such as Dave and Gold, not being available for Virgin’s 4-million pay-TV customers since last week.




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