23rd Feb 2007, by Andrew Barr

Virgin Accuses Sky of Bullying as TV Talks Go South

All the media outlets are buzzing about Virgin media break down in talks with BskyB and insults are being banded about left right and centre about who is to blame.

Basically Virgin says that BskyB virtually doubled the asking price fee it charges Virgin Media for the basic Sky package and so Virgin quite rightly said "No Deal".

There will be Murdoch on the dance floor!
Media Mogul Murdoch

Sky then put out ads on its channels saying that Virgin Media customers should ring Virgin and complain about losing their favourite Sky channels such as Sky One and Sky News.

I think this could be a closely fought battle and if Virgin can get customers on their side they will be in a strong position. Sky has been fighting tooth and nail to increase sign ups in a tough market position and if the rumours are true about doubling the asking price for its basic range then it smacks of dirty tricks and sharp practice.

Sky would do well to remember the last big money fight Virgin got into and that was with
BA who also did some dodgy dealings that still damage their reputation to this day. Virgin has one of the strongest brand images in the UK and is loved by many and in contrast the Murdoch owned Sky is seen as a necessary evil by many in the public who are simply addicted to the shows and sports monopoly.

Richard PR Branson
The Virgin One

The main difference in this battle and one that could go against Virgin, is the fact that Murdoch largely controls the global media and in the UK he has The Times and The Sun who he may well use to get public support on his side, something BA did not have when they rode into battle with Bransons brand in the past.

Get the Know How

Get the latest thought leading industry comment and information from our “no sales” newsletter.

Want to work with us?