Monday, 25 February 2013

C21 Media: BT to buy ESPN’s UK and Ireland business.

Info from C21 Media:

UK telecoms company BT Group has confirmed that it’s to acquire ESPN’s UK and Ireland TV channels business, including ESPN and ESPN America.

The deal sees BT take on ESPN’s live sports rights package in the UK and Ireland, which includes live football matches from the FA Cup, Scottish Premier League (SPL), UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga.

BT will take over the rights from July 31 this year and will continue to operate at least one ESPN-branded channel as part of its BT Sport package, which will launch in the summer.

The move gives the telco access to a host of live sports from the US currently aired on ESPN America including college basketball, football and Nascar.

It’s the latest in a string of rights deals secured by BT over the past 12 months as it prepares to launch its own BT Sport channel later this year.

The firm hopes to use live sports rights to boost the number of subscribers in the triple-play market – those taking television, phone and broadband from the same supplier.

BT has paid big money to make its presence felt in a market dominated by satcaster BSkyB for the past two decades.

It has agreed a three-year deal worth £246m a season for 38 live Premier League football games, including several ‘first picks’ which will enable it to screen the best game of the weekend ahead of Sky Sports.

It has also paid £152m for live Rugby Union rights over three years in a controversial deal that has split the sport’s main European competition.

Separately, ESPN has announced that it will wind down the operation of its ESPN Classic channel throughout the EMEA region, and the ESPN America business outside the UK.

ESPN’s demise in the UK has been widely tipped since it was muscled out of the bidding for the crucial live Premier League rights by Sky and BT last year.

Info thanks to ©C21Media

Confirmed: Sky Movies reveal new Sky Movies channel lineup from March 28th on Sky.

Sky Movies Classics & Indies are being withdrawn as separate channels, with their content being merged and will be replaced by a newly badged channel called Sky Movies Select and Sky Movies Modern Greats will be re-badged as Sky Movies Greats.

Here's the new channel line up as of 28th March (Maybe on Virgin Media);

401 - Sky Premier
402 - Sky Premier + 1
403 - Sky Showcase
404 - Sky Greats
405 - Sky Disney
406 - Sky Family
407 - Sky Action & Adventure
408 - Sky Comedy
409 - Sky Crime & Thriller
410 - Sky Drama & Romance
411 - Sky Sci-Fi & Horror
412 - Sky Select

(Info from DS Forum).

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Confirmed: Sky Movies Disney HD to launch on Virgin Media next month.

Info from Virgin Media Forums:

We're adding Sky Movies Disney and Sky Movies Disney HD to our Sky Movies Collection in time for the Easter holidays on 28th March 2013, at no additional change.
Sky Movies will include great Disney family movies like Finding Nemo, Cars, A Bug’s Life and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as well as classics such as Bambi.

We'll have the full details on this closer to the date.
Also Sky has confirm that Sky Movies Disney will be on Sky Channel 305 from launch - but that is Sky Movies Action Channel number on Sky.


A) All channels after Sky Showcase is set to move on March 28th (I have listed the Virgin Channel numbers)???

404. Sky Movies Family
405. Sky Movies Disney
406. Sky Movies Comedy
407. Sky Movies Action
408. Sky Movies Crime
409. Sky Movies Drama
410. Sky Movies Sci Fi
411. Sky Movies M. Greats
412. Sky Movies Classics
413. Sky Movies Indie

Or B) Sky Movies Action will close so Sky Movies can launch Sky Movies Disney on Virgin Channel 405.


Local TV on MB Blog: Bay TV coming to Liverpool.

Bay TV Liverpool has been given the right to broadcast on Freeview Channel 8 when Local TV Starts.

Rumour: More channels to launch on Virgin Media.

Rumour from Technix over on DS Forum:

Technix says the following channels may launch on Virgin Media in the coming months:

  • Animal Planet HD on Virgin Channel 217,
  • The Style Network on Virgin Channel 285,
  • Universal HD,
  • E! HD.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

BBC Two HD to launch next month.

The BBC has confirmed that  BBC Two HD will launch at 6am on Virgin Channel 187 on March 26th.

The BBC HD Channel will no longer broadcast from that date.

Monday, 18 February 2013 reveal more on BT Sports.

FT is reporting the following:

  • BT in talks to acquire ESPN football.
  • BT plans to roll out as many as three sports channels to broadcast football, rugby and other sports content it has already acquired for almost £1bn.
  • ESPN rights that are being touted for sale include broadcast rights to certain matches from the German Bundesliga, the Europa League and the English FA Cup. BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster, is also interested in the assets.
  • BT has also begun to talk to Virgin Media about selling its sports content on a wholesale basis for the company to use.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Local TV on MB Blog: Local TV to be Made in Leeds.

Ofcom has given Made in Leeds the rights to broadcast local TV in the Leeds area on Freeview Channel 8.

Made in Leeds has confirmed on Facebook that they will also launch on Virgin Media in November 2013.

James Bond Channel to die again on February 25th on Sky Movies.

An Virgin Worker has told me that 'The TiVo guide shows the Bond programmes ending at 6am on 25th Feb'.

James Bond is broadcasting on Virgin Channel 410 (Also in HD on Virgin Channel 440) right now under the banner 'Sky Movies 007'.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Broadcast: Discovery’s TLC set for long-awaited UK launch

Infomation from Broadcastnow:

Lifestyle channel TLC could make its long-awaited UK debut as early as April, with parent company Discovery moving into the final phase of its launch.

Discovery’s latest internal deadline for the channel, which has been in the planning stages for close to two years, is between late April and early May, although sources close to the company suggest this will depend on whether it can reach a carriage agreement with pay-TV platform BSkyB.

Discovery is keen to strike a deal soon so that its initial tranche of international TLC commissions remain fresh.

There is still confusion in the indie community over whether ideas that have been pitched could end up on one of Discovery’s other channels, such as Discovery Real Time, if the company misses its deadline.

TLC UK is being shepherded by Discovery Networks UK and Ireland general manager Susanna Dinnage alongside Dan Korn, senior vice-president at Discovery Western Europe.

This blog will have updates on this story when we can confirmed if Virgin Media will get TLC from launch.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Freeview News: Executives Propose the Closure of Argos TV.

Shopping is reporting that Argos TV may close on Freeview Channels 54 (Manchester only) and Channel 55 (UK Wide) soon.

A: Some Virgin Media viewers have got Freeview on their TV Sets or in other rooms.

Global Radio offers Three Options by CC.

Story from Radio Today.

The Competition Commission has offered three possible remedies for how Global Radio can overcome the provisional findings for taking over Real and Smooth Ltd.

They range from selling the entire Real and Smooth Ltd business to offloading individual stations to a collective or single buyers.

Comcast to buy NBC Universal.

Story from Media Guardian.

Comcast is buying the rest of NBC Universal from General Electric several years ahead of schedule to take advantage of low interest rates and what its chief executive calls a "very attractive price" of $16.7bn (£10.7bn).

The nation's leading cable TV company also agreed to pay GE another $1.4bn for other assets that include one of New York's best-known landmarks, NBC's headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The building was the setting for the NBC comedy series 30 Rock, a fictional version of the broadcast network that skewered the management of both GE and Comcast before airing its final episode two weeks ago.

Investors thought the move was good for both companies – GE because it got cash for its stake earlier than expected and Comcast because it will benefit more from the rising price of sports rights and other TV programmes.

With the NBC Universal businesses, Comcast avoids solely being in the uncomfortable position of passing those costs on to consumers.

That was one reason Comcast bought a majority stake in NBC Universal two years ago.

Comcast also raised its annual dividend 20% to 78 cents per share and vowed to buy back another $2bn in shares this year.

Following Tuesday's announcement, Comcast's stock jumped 7% in after-hours trading.

GE's stock rose almost 4%. Comcast's business as a cable TV, internet and phone provider generates nearly two-thirds of the company's revenue.

The NBC Universal business makes up the rest and includes the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, pay TV channels such as USA, CNBC, Bravo and SyFy, the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks in Florida and California.

Comcast has owned 51% of NBC Universal since January 2011, and GE the rest.

Comcast had planned to take a larger stake in NBC Universal over seven years, paying for it from operating cash, starting in July 2014.

But chief executive Brian Roberts told The Associated Press that the sale of Comcast's stake in pay TV network A&E and some wireless spectrum gave it plenty of cash on hand. He also said Comcast got a good deal given that the market value of media conglomerates has been rising.

"We thought that we would have to pay more later," he said. "We really have known we wanted to buy 100% from the beginning of the transaction. We wanted to learn the business. We feel that now is an opportune time."

GE's history with NBC goes back to 1919, when it co-founded the Radio Corporation of America.

RCA created NBC as a radio network, calculating that people would buy its radios if they had interesting things to listen to.

RCA took full ownership of NBC in 1932, but GE bought it back in 1986 to get a reliable source of cash while overseas manufacturing competition loomed.

In selling the remaining stake to Comcast, GE would free up cash to accelerate its share repurchase program to approximately $10bn in 2013.

It is another step in the Fairfield, Connecticut, company's efforts to focus on less glamorous – but theoretically more profitable – ventures such as manufacturing medical imaging equipment, aeroplane engines and electrical generators.

"This transaction allows us to significantly increase the cash we plan to return to shareholders in 2013, to approximately $18bn, and to continue to invest in our industrial business," GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said.

The deal, expected to close by the end of March, values NBC Universal at around $34bn.

It has about $5bn in debt.

When Comcast bought the 51% stake in the company in January 2011, it was valued at around $30bn.

AETN loses High Court battle with Discovery.

Story from Broadcastnow.

A&E Television Networks (AETN) has lost a High Court battle to stop rival broadcaster Discovery using the channel brand Discovery History in the UK.

The two US broadcasting giants initially locked horns at the Royal Courts of Justice last year after AETN claimed that Discovery’s station, which launched in October 2010 after the broadcaster rebranded Discovery Knowledge, infringed the trademark of the History channel.

Three Channels launch on Virgin Media.

Virgin Media has now added three new channels they are:

-Quest +1 on Virgin Channel 173 on the XL Package.
-Investigation Discovery (I.D.) on Virgin Channel 214 on the M+, L and XL Packages.
-British Eurosport 2 HD on Virgin Channel 526 on the XL Package. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Monday News in brief.

-Quest +1 will launch on Virgin Channel 173 only on the XL Packages and not on both M+ or L Packages as posted by me on Friday.

-Both Sky Movies Showcase and Sky Movies Showcase HD has been removed as Sky Movies Oscars and Sky Movies Oscars HD on Virgin Channels 403 and 433 to until February 25th.

-Also both Sky Movies Modern Greats and Sky Movies Modern Greats HD as been rebranded as Sky Movies 007 and Sky Movies 007 HD until an later date.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Investigation Discovery WILL launch on Virgin Channel 214.

I have today seen info that Virgin Media will NOT launch Investigation Discovery on Virgin Channel 224 on Tuesday.

It will be on Virgin Channel 214.

NOTE: I was given this info on Thursday but I did not see it until Tonight.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Local TV on MB Blog: Manchester goes YourTV.

Ofcom has given 'YourTV Manchester' the rights to broadcast on Freeview Channel 8 in the ITV Granada area.

YourTV Manchester hope to be onair by October 1st 2013.

UPDATED - EXCLUSIVE: Virgin Media to add some new Channels - should launch on Tuesday.

I can now reveal that the following channels should launch on Tuesday on Virgin Media:

Channels to launch:
-Quest+1 to launch on Virgin Channel 173 on the XL Package.
-Investigation Discovery to launch on Virgin Channel 214 on the M+, L and XL Packages.
-British Eurosport 2 HD to launch on Virgin Channel 526 on the XL Package.

-No word yet on when Animal Planet HD will launch on Virgin Channel 217.

NOTE: I do not work for Virgin Media so all the information on this post is still subject to change.


©copyright 2013 Media Boy 2006 - 2013. An ''Keep it real and free'' Production.

Broadcast: Liberty’s Virgin masterplan.

Story from Broadcastnow:

Chairman John Malone realises his 10-year ambition to become a player in the UK market Liberty Global’s swift swoop to acquire Virgin Media caught much of the industry by surprise.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Guardian: Planet Rock bought by Bauer Media.

When we was busy on the Virgin Media takeover this happened yesterday as well:

Bauer Media, a German-owned private company which is also homes to magazines including Grazia and Heat, confirmed the deal on Wednesday as predicted by MediaGuardian last month.

The loss-making digital radio station was put up for sale by its owner, millionaire entrepreneur and rock music fan Malcolm Bluemel last year.

Bauer bought the station for an undisclosed sum but the company is thought to have paid between £1m and £2m, with the sum likely to be closer to the former than the latter.

You can hear Planet Rock on Virgin Channel 924.

Broadcast: Liberty eyes further deals.

Story from Broadcastnow.

Liberty Global plans to use its £10bn acquisition of Virgin Media as a springboard for more deals in Europe, as it steps up plans to boost customer numbers.

President and chief executive Mike Fries, who celebrated his 50th birthday this week, said it had been looking to acquire Virgin Media for some time as part of its strategy of increasing its European footprint in the strongest and most stable markets.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Liberty Global to buy Virgin Media.

Virgin Media has announced on their website, that subject to shareholder approval, that Liberty Global will buy Virgin Media.

Liberty Global will become a subsidary of a new UK company and the Virgin Media name will remain.

History about Liberty Global.

-They own 50% of Horror Channel, CBS branded channels plsu run Food Network UK for it owners.
-They did own part of Telewest before NTL Took Telewest over in 2006.
-NTL sold their network in Ireland to them - Cable network now called UPC Ireland.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Broadcast: ESPN in talks to sell UK sports rights.

Story is from Broadcast now on February 1st.

ESPN is in talks to sell off its sports rights as part of a deal that could see the US broadcaster exit the UK.

Industry sources have indicated that the Disney-owned company has begun what are expected to be lengthy discussions with a number of broadcasters about offloading rights to showpiece events, such as the FA Cup.

More things set to happen next week. Plus Virgin Media set to be sold?

Here is some news round up:

-My Insider has confirmed to me that 'More things happening next week' on Virgin Media.

-Guardian Media is reporting that Liberty Global are 'days away' from making an bid to buy Virgin Media.

The Following is from

Virgin Media has confirmed it is in takeover talks that could lead to a bid from US cable company Liberty Global in the coming days.

Any deal would put Liberty Global's chairman, John Malone head-to-head with his occasional nemesis Rupert Murdoch in the fierce battle for the UK's pay-TV customers.

The company said on Tuesday: "Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction. Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions."

Virgin Media launches more Channels on Network.

The following channels has today launch on Virgin Media

  • DMAX +1 has launch on Virgin Channel 171**.
  • Animal Planet +1 has launch on Virgin Channel 218**.
  • Discovery Science +1 has launch on Virgin Channel 220**,
  • Discovery History +1 has launch on Virgin Channel 223**.
  • Discovery Home & Health +1 has launch on Virgin Channel 276**,
  • Sony SAB has launch on Virgin Channel 807*,
  • ARY News has launch on Virgin Channel 819*.
*Means that channel is on M+, L or XL Packages,
**Means that channel is on the XL Package.

More Channels renumbered on Virgin Media.

Virgin Media has today renumbered the following Channels.

  • DMAX has moved from Virgin Channel 172 to Virgin Channel 170.
  • Quest has moved from Virgin Channel 179 to Virgin Channel 172.
  • Discovery Channel has moved from Virgin Channel 212 to Virgin Channel 211.
  • Discovery Channel HD has moved from Virgin Channel 214 to Virgin Channel 212.
  • Animal Planet has moved from Virgin Channel 215 to Virgin Channel 216.
  • Discovery History has moved from Virgin Channel 217 to Virgin Channel 222.

Monday, 4 February 2013

UPDATED Rumour: Virgin Media to launch 11 new channels soon.

Digital Spy Poster Technix has tonight posted the following information

(Here is) Channel numbers I've been given - no launch dates though:

  • DMAX +1 on Virgin Channel 171,
  • Quest +1 - 173 (suggesting DMAX and Quest moving to 170 and 172),
  • Animal Planet HD on Virgin Channel 217,
  • Animal Planet +1 on Virgin Channel 218,
  • Discovery Science +1 on Virgin Channel 220,
  • Discovery History +1 on Virgin Channel 223 (Discovery History may be moving to 222),
  • Investigation Discovery on Virgin Channel 224,
  • Discovery Home & Health +1 on Virgin Channel 276,
  • British Eurosport 2 HD on Virgin Channel 526,
  • Sony SAB on Virgin Channel 807,
  • ARY News on Virgin Channel 819.
RED means has now happened.
BLUE means still to happen.

This post was updated by Media Boy HQ at 1.15pm on February 5th.

Local TV on MB Blog: London Live to go Live in London.

Ofcom has given the rights to Local TV in London to 'London Live'.

London Live hopes to be onair by October 2013.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Confirmed: Virgin Media has sign new Deal with Discovery.

After days of trying to get one of my insiders to confirmed if the Discovery rumour is true or not.

My insiders have now confirmed it as true - but I was given no other info.

My Insider only said 'further things happening'.