In a landmark agreement Virgin Media is to add content from Sky Anytime to its on demand service. The package includes several thousand hours of films, series, sport and news.
At a stroke the amount of VOD content on offer from the UK cablenet – already the largest collection of on demand content in Britain – will increase by a third to over 6,500 hours.
The arrival of Sky Anytime brings hundreds of TV shows and movies from Sky to Virgin’s video on-demand platform, along with sporting events and news coverage.
It also cements Virgin Media’s position as having the largest on-demand entertainment collection in the UK, with more than 6,500 hours of content, including HD and 3D programming.
Virgin Media TV customers will be able to access a range of on-demand content in standard and high definition form Sky channels in line with their underlying subscriptions.
Sky Anytime has already started rolling out to customers on Virgin’s XL TV tier, giving them access to shows such as Glee and Terra Nova, as well as content from Sky Arts, Sky Living and other Sky channels.
Any Virgin customers on a Sky Movies package will be able to access more than 500 films from Sky Anytime, while Sky Sports subscribers will be able to catch up on Premier League games and other sports.
The Sky Movies Collection will put in place 500 movie titles that will sit alongside existing movie content sources that include FilmFlex, PictureBox and Virgin Media Player. The Sky Sports Collection will give access to highlights from Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League football, international cricket and European Tour Golf.
Movies have become the latest area of attention for the Competition Commission, which in August found Sky’s control over pay-TV movie rights in the UK is restricting competition between pay-TV providers, leading to higher prices and reduced choice and innovation for subscribers.
From early 2012 selected programmes from Sky Anytime will also be made available to M+ TV customers. A range of content from Sky will also be offered on the Virgin Media Player service online and on mobile devices. All Virgin Media customers will not require Sky Broadband to access Sky Anytime.
Cindy Rose, the executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media offers the most complete TV on-demand experience in the UK and is the perfect place for movie fans with over 1,000 fantastic films available instantly on-demand.
“The addition of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media forms part of our ongoing commitment to developing a compelling and complete digital entertainment service. With a growing on-demand library designed to offer range and depth, all delivered instantly, customers now have even more flexibility to enjoy whatever they want, whenever they want it.”