About me
Archive
About me

Virgin Media vs Sky: Legs need slapping

close

Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Squabbling Children
“Give me your channels!” / “No, you’re not having them!” / “I’m telling mum!”

For those of you who’ve been living on the moon for the last few months, Sky’s channels have been removed from the Virgin Media platform recently because the two companies have been unable to agree terms under which the channels should be carried. Virgin says that Sky’s requested price is too high, and is refusing to pay it. It also says that Sky ‘forced’ them to accept a low offer for carriage of it’s channels on Sky’s platform.

Now, Virgin is taking Sky to court over the dispute.

My solution? The judge should get Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch in the court, slap their legs, make them apologise, and sort out their differences.

This is the most ridiculous argument we’ve heard in a long time. This sort of dispute just wouldn’t happen in any other business sphere? Can you imagine Tesco refusing to stock Heinz beans because they were making too many demands about product placement in the store? No. Heinz beans, like Sky channels, are popular, so not selling them would damage Tesco. Equally, Tesco is an important retailer, as Virgin is an important platform, and not having their beans on sale there would damage Heinz. In psychology terms, it’s a simple choice between a vicious circle or a virtuous circle – and Virgin and Sky appear to be choosing the former.

This has not worked well for either of them. Virgin Media is unable to offer it’s customers the best service, and people have cancelled as a result. Sky’s channels are getting far fewer viewers – in fact, they’ve fallen out of the multichannel top five – damaging their advertising income. Both of them are being in terms of PR, and a court case will also be damaging to both of them – why on Earth would either of them want an investigation into a highly uncompetitive industry?

They need their heads banding together.

I no longer care whose fault this is. Just grow up and sort it out!

This 1,098th post was filed under: Media, News and Comment.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th August 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

Photo-a-day 200: Scratch (published 18th July 2012)

Photo-a-day 78: Bun Stop (published 22nd March 2014)

The plane that crashed into the Hudson… and medical safety (published 13th June 2013)

Labour Spam (published 28th April 2005)


Comments and responses

Comment from Fspiders


by Fspiders

Comment posted at 14:36 on 24th April 2007.

What utter rubbish!

Tesco’s would never stock an item that within a day increases 200%. Who would the customer complain to? not Heinz but the poor tesco’s checkout person.

Sky is a bully and needs to be stood upto.

Sky were quick to accept virgins channels at a price they haggled for and then and only then did Sky drop the bombshell of what they wanted for their ever dwindling popular package. 3 wks before the time limit that they gave virgin media to accept their demands sky started an aggressive advertising market on VM customers telling them they were going to lose channels and to demand VM accept their deal.

Sky now tell the public that they are also going to kill fta sky channels on freeview. I see them going to ppv on freeview, another notch for the bully and another blow for the poor.

Surely even you with your attitude of cowering before bullies you cannot expect VM to accept that massive increase and pass it onto their customers.

Take em to court VM and lets hope Sky get reigned in.


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 17:10 on 24th April 2007.

I’m not sure I’ve an ‘attitude of cowering before bullies’, but that’s by-the-by. You honestly believe that if Heinz double the price of their beans then Tesco wouldn’t sell them? I think you’re deluded. Have you never looked, for example, at the fluctuations in fruit prices? Doubling overnight is far from uncommon.

I agree that Sky are bullying, and I don’t suggest that we merely kowtow to them, I’m suggesting that their strategy is hurting them as much as Virgin Media, and that the companies need to sort the problem out. And as for Sky removing it’s channels from Freeview, you may have missed the news that they have put these plans ‘on hold’ due to the decreased advertising revenue caused by the channels not being on Virgin Media any more.

Sky’s premature advertising campaign was particularly puerile, but no more so than the rest of this ridiculous argument. And Sky have said that they’re happy to sell directly to viewers via the Virgin Media platform, yet Virgin Media have rejected that suggestion – so they’re hardly doing everything they can to restore service for their viewers.

What good will taking them to court do? That would be damaging for both companies, and would probably not find a suitable middle ground. And the money Virgin Media spends on the court case (and associated advertising) will no doubt be far more than the increase Sky is demanding.

There are no angels in this case. It’s two big corporations mud-slinging, and it’s stupid.


Compose a new comment



Comment

You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.



The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.