Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bye bye, Sky

So the midnight deadline has passed and Sky and Virgin Media failed to come to an agreement over cable carrying Sky's basic channels. Hats off to Sky - having slashed the cost of purchasing Virgin's own channels for its station from 40p per customer per month to 10p, it then attempted to coerce Virgin into paying a massive increase - to 90p per customer per month - to carry its own channels.

The reaction - as always - has been amusing. Many Virgin customers haven't blinked an eye - Sky is not the force it was (its "contribution" to British TV are a handful of programmes and a large number of expensive imports), so many people won't miss out on its absence. I'll miss a few US shows, but as previously blogged that won't change my view.

Some Virgin customers - goaded on by Sky customers (I can understand their meddling, because for all their posturing, Sky customers will soon start complaining when their own subscription costs go up to cover the shortfall) - are apopoletic with rage. It's fascinating how these people can get so het up over a few TV channels in a lineup of over 80 - I wonder if they get so angry about the state of the planet, or third-world poverty and starvation, or even that their neighbours were recently burgled? I somehow doubt it - another fine example of Thatcher's children taking the "I'm alright Jack" attitude to new depths.

BTW, my sub rate hasn't changed, so I'll be sticking with what I've got. Anything to help Virgin Media in its fight against Sky, which has got away with so much for so long on so many different levels: ruining football by creating vast inequalities between sides, stealing US TV shows from free-to-air channels once those channels have proved the shows have legs, and now trying to derail a competitor by deliberately sabotaging negotiations with a string of demands impossible to meet if that competitor is to stay viable. It's such a shame that so many "I'm alright Jack" folk are more concerned with what they get to watch on TV tomorrow night instead of what they might get to watch on TV 12 months down the line. In a world of increasing shallowness, deception and selfishness, it's too much to ask for anything more...

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