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chinamug425 posts since 29 Jul 2013
UTV Newsline

This is interesting and raises more questions than answers. It's supposed to happen on the 30th of August.

rdd3,305 posts since 21 Jun 2001
They are mouthfuls, Virgin Media One, Two, and Three, although at least they are on brand (unlike the mooted “VM1” etc).

They’ve also announced the launch of a sports channel, though aside from the Champions/Europa League rights they’ve been rather light on what they are actually planning to show on it.
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Lou Scannon1,090 posts since 1 Jan 2016
HTV West Points West

Back when the TV3-Virgin rebrand was first mooted and then fairly quickly put on ice, it was all too easy to assume that "deferred" (or whatever wording they used at the time) actually meant "quitely being scrapped".

I certainly thought so. This announcement has taken me by surprise.
Last edited by Lou Scannon on 28 June 2018 7:21pm
I'm still a European.
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bkman19901,185 posts since 29 Jan 2012
UTV Newsline
The announcement of the sports channel probably puts the retention of the Eir/BT Sports Channels back onto Virgin Media off to bed. But with only football & rugby rights they have announced so far for subscribers of this channel & free to air viewers; what else have they got to show for it to make it's presence worthwhile. Acquiring sports rights here with this channel now in this market from August 30th will make the intention of nabbing sports rights very watered down for subscribers in the future.

People in rural Ireland who live in farmhouses, small villages and remote areas of the country alike probably cannot ever get any access to this new channel at all if Virgin Media were offering it to the Irish public as part of a VM subscription. Most of rural Ireland only get proper access to foreign sports on TV via Sky/BT and FreeSports on FTA Satellite because, apart from Saorview, it is by far the most reliable form of TV signal here in this country. If they don't want Sports with their TV; Saorview is only option for Irish channels.

What happens in a scenario when only one provider here only gets access to one set of sports rights only available to a certain section of the population while alienating the rest of the country in doing so. This is what VM have done here in setting up this new channel for their subscribers. They are the only perpetrators here in beginning to worsen a trend among many sports broadcasters & subscribers based here in Ireland by giving themselves an unfair advantage with the potential of alienating many parts of the country who want to pay for sports access through other legal means. I know the amount of new football rights on this new channel is quite substantial meaning a lot of games to their new viewers. But large parts of the country won't be able to access these sports at all unless they have a VM subscription in their possession.

VM last year alienated large portions of their subscribers in removing access to the Eir/BT Sports pack on their service a long time ago. The amount of negative publicity they got from those affected by the move was quite nasty if you look at online social media. How many of those customers would actually want to return to VM if they have this new channel included as part of their portfolio? They have also had other problems as well with the Horizon box having the worst ever usability performance from TV subscription customers in Ireland, they have one of the worst customer service reputations in this country and also their broadband is not too good either with having their customers broadband speeds being throttled on services like Netflix.

This sport channel being included for their customers will become a big PR disaster for Virgin. I won't be one of those people who will give sympathy once they go out of this country once and for all. They are a joke since they had overtook the cable operations from UPC in Ireland.

And have a look & see this as well.

VM Ireland apparently have no plans to increase their coverage when they announced this stuff today

And again; no plans to have their new main channel in HD on Saorview.

Last edited by bkman1990 on 28 June 2018 5:05pm - 5 times in total
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chinamug425 posts since 29 Jul 2013
UTV Newsline

This sport channel being included for their customers will become a big PR disaster for Virgin. I won't be one of those people who will give sympathy once they go out of this country once and for all. They are a joke since they had overtook the cable operations from UPC in Ireland.

But that's the problem exactly. They are UPC, they just changed the Name, It seems to be a common solution by the liberty group, instead of fixing problems you just change the Name. They spent a small fortune on TV3 when it was basically worthless and have mismanaged it greatly, spending big money on rights and shows but the viewership isn't increasing. This Morning is now regularly in TV3's top twenty programmes Shocked

What is needed is a proper schedule on the three stations, not a glossy makeover with no real changes underneath.
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Hatton Cross3,222 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Correct. Exactly like NTL Cable and Blueyonder ISP did over here.
Liberty Global merely licence for a nice little annual fee the Virgin name, scrawl lettering and logo name off Sir Richard Beard.
Just like Virgin Media UK..
Virgin Atlantic..
Virgin Fitness..
Virgin Radio..
My user name might look like Hatton Cross, but it's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove.
rdd3,305 posts since 21 Jun 2001
What I can see happening regarding sports is that the combination of Virgin Media TV and eir Broadband might enjoy a resurgence in popularity as the only way to get all sports channels. But since the demise of MMDS VMTV is only available via the cable network which leaves any channel exclusive to that platform unavailable to much of rural Ireland. Sky is also the platform of choice for commercial customers - particularly pubs - which will cause problems if a sports channel isn’t available on the platform.

But let’s look at what they actually have:
- All UEFA Champions & Europa League fixtures - however BT are still allowed to screen their coverage in Ireland, and RTE will have rights to a Tuesday night fixture each week.
- ITV’s Racing coverage (likely to stay on the FTA networks for various reasons).
- 9 Heineken Cup fixtures - this was specifically sold as a FTA package by EPCR and can’t be shown exclusively on the Sport channel.
- The Six Nations - there will be holy war if this is shown exclusively on the pay channel (as in the Government will step in and list it - that won’t be a problem though, as they’ll show it on the main channel to keep viewers on it rather than lose them to BBC and ITV).
- UEFA Nations League and European Qualifier fixtures - they haven’t stated what fixtures these are. A process of elimination however tells me that the European Qualifier fixtures at any rate are England’s, because RTÉ have the rights to the Republic of Ireland and Sky has all the others.

So what really do they have exclusive to the Sport channel? A couple of England games?