We have Virgin Media (formerly NTL) and I think it’s great. The broadband is always on and the TV isn’t bad. I don’t watch it much but if I did I really like the direction VM is taking right now with VOD and content deals with US providers.
The problem at the moment revolves around the constant bitterness between Sky and Virgin over the Sky basic channels Sky one, sky news and a couple of others not really worth mentioning. Virgin have said that Sky have been pressuring them into paying around double what they did previously for these channels and have said that they will get rid of the channels from the virgin lineup if Sky don’t offer to come to a fair agreement.
The problem for VM is that this probably isn’t a smart move because as far as many subscribers go, Sky one is one of the main reasons they subscribe. I’ve been following the thread on virginmedia.com and a lot of people are threatening to move to sky if the channels do go, despite the fact that Virgin have been saying recently that they have signed broadcast rights to lots of US content.
Virgin are saying that the extra money that they will have to pay and extra charges that they will have to pass on to their customers is not fair on them but the fact is a lot of people will just not see the bigger picture and not realise that they can just buy the DVD of the series they want to watch whether it be 24 or Lost. I have to say I do like to watch the new episodes of the simpsons and old futurama but in the last year or so I always miss the new episodes and therefore might as well just buy the season DVD.
Virgin I think are in a very difficult position at the moment. If they don’t keep the sky channels they face people switching to sky and if they do keep them they face a backlash over any price increases from the people who don’t watch any of the channels in question. Then again surely the damage will be significantly less if they just keep the existing lineup for at least one more year and see what happens, then review the situation again next year.