Virgin Media viewers up in arms over losing 10 UKTV Channels

Laura Hannam
Virgin subscribers will no longer have access to UKTV content such as Red Dwarf XII

Virgin Media’s 4 million subscribers are set to lose 10 UKTV Channels from Sunday 22nd July. This includes Dave, Gold, Drama and W and popular shows such as Taskmaster, Red Dwarf XII and reruns of classics like Only Fools and Horses.

Virgin Media customers are venting their frustrations over the loss of UKTV via Twitter, with some threatening to switch to rival television packages Sky or BT:

Why are Virgin Media dropping UKTV channels?

Virgin Media has been locked in negotiations with UKTV – a joint venture between BBC and Discovery – for months over renewing their deal to continue carrying its television portfolio.

They have criticised BBC’s strategy of retaining video on demand rights and selling them to digital streaming services like Netflix.

David Bouchier, Virgin Media’s chief digital entertainment officer said:

“The problem is the BBC does not grant the UKTV digital rights with its TV shows which leaves it somewhat stranded as a linear dinosaur in an on-demand modern world.”

“Part of a commitment to audiences has to be allowing them to watch what they want, when they want and that also means being able to watch those programmes on demand. From US studios to small programme-makers, that is how it is done. The BBC puts UKTV in a very difficult position and we have been unable to come to terms and will replace the channels.”

UKTV channels include Gold, which show reruns of classic like Fawlty Towers

Darren Childs, the Chief Executive of UKTV said:

“We want to continue to provide our channels to Virgin Media, but the huge cut in fees that Virgin has requested doesn’t reflect the value we bring to customers.”

“UKTV’s channels account for over a quarter of pay entertainment channel viewing within Virgin Media’s basic subscription pack. If our channels are no longer available through Virgin, we will be hugely disappointed for the millions of customers who will lose out.”

As of Today, Friday 20th July, Virgin Media subscribers will receive a “this channel is being replaced from Sunday” message on each UKTV channel.

Virgin Media says the UKTV channels will be replaced with content to include Deadliest Catch, Britain’s Next Top Model, Suits and Castle.

Which UKTV channels are Virgin Media set to lose?

Virgin Media customers are set to lose access to popular shows such as Taskmaster, Murdoch Mysteries, Red Dwarf XII and reruns of classics like Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers and Death in Paradise.

The 10 UKTV channels Virgin Media customers will no longer have access to are:

  • Dave
  • W
  • Gold
  • Alibi
  • Drama
  • Yesterday
  • Eden
  • Really
  • Good Food
  • Home

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