Cable TV won't pay 'rip-off' prices
THOUSANDS of cable television customers in Huddersfield lost some of their channels today after the deadline passed in a row between Sky and Virgin Media.
Talks broke down between the two sides in the row over how much Virgin Media - formerly NTL - pays Sky to screen its channels.
It means that Sky One, Sky Two, Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Travel disappeared from the screens of Virgin Media customers shortly after midnight.
It comes as a blow to fans of hit series such as 24, Lost and The Simpsons. Virgin Media said the withdrawal was limited to Sky's basic channels. Sky's sport and movies channels are unaffected and continue to be available to Virgin Media's customers.
A statement on Virgin Media's website told customers: "We've spent the last few weeks trying to make sure that all of Sky's channels remain on Virgin Media.
"But Sky asked us to pay such an unrealistically high price that keeping them would mean asking you to pay the kind of increase that is simply unfair.
"We refuse to stand by and see our customers get ripped off.
"So, thanks to Sky, some of their non-premium channels, like Sky One and Sky News have disappeared from our service."
Sky's website said: "We are absolutely committed to continuing talks and we've even gone so far as to offer a way for Sky to retail channels directly to cable customers that would cost Virgin Media nothing."