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Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Limited is a British company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in Hook, Hampshire, United Kingdom.[2] The company has been a subsidiary of Liberty Global
Liberty Global
plc, an international television and telecommunications company headquartered in London, since June 2013. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
previously had a primary listing on the NASDAQ
NASDAQ
Stock Market and was a constituent of the NASDAQ-100
NASDAQ-100
index. It also had a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange.[1] The company was formed in March 2006 by the merger of NTL and Telewest, which created NTL:Telewest. In July 2006, the company purchased Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
UK, creating the first "quadruple-play" media company in the United Kingdom, offering television, internet, mobile phone and fixed-line telephone services. In November 2006, the company signed a deal with Sir Richard Branson
Richard Branson
to license the Virgin brand for the combined business. All of the company's consumer services were rebranded under the Virgin Media
Virgin Media
name in February 2007.[3] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network in the United Kingdom, although currently their optical fibre network does not reach the customer premises but rather a street cabinet. As of 31 December 2012, it had a total of approximately 4.8 million cable customers, of whom around 3.79 million were supplied with its television services (Virgin TV), around 4.2 million with broadband internet services and around 4.1 million with fixed-line telephony services.[1] At the same date, it had around 3 million mobile telephony customers.[1] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
competes primarily in broadband with Sky, BT Group
BT Group
and TalkTalk. EE, O2, Vodafone
Vodafone
and Three in mobile.[1]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Origins 1.2 Merger and Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
acquisition 1.3 Rebrand as Virgin Media 1.4 Dispute with Sky 1.5 Recent years

2 Current operations

2.1 Virgin Broadband

2.1.1 Bandwidth throttling 2.1.2 Usenet servers 2.1.3 London Underground

2.2 Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Business 2.3 Virgin Mobile 2.4 Virgin Phone 2.5 Virgin TV

2.5.1 Channels

3 Former operations

3.1 Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Television 3.2 Sit-up 3.3 UKTV

4 Corporate affairs

4.1 Ownership 4.2 Market share 4.3 Advertising

5 Controversies

5.1 Net neutrality 5.2 Crackdown on illegal filesharing of copyrighted material 5.3 Charging exit fees 5.4 Data pimping 5.5 censorship

6 References 7 External links

History[edit] Origins[edit] Main articles: Telewest
Telewest
and NTL Incorporated The company's origins lie in both Telewest
Telewest
and NTL, which merged in March 2006. Telewest
Telewest
began in 1984 in Croydon under the name "Croydon Cable",[4] and was acquired by United Cable of Denver in 1988. The company expanded during the 1990s and adopted the Telewest
Telewest
name in 1992 following the merger of its then-parent TCI and US West. It expanded into cable television access in 1999 by purchasing the remaining 50% stake in Cable London, one of the first cable TV companies in the UK, from NTL, adding 400,000 homes in north London.[5] In April 2000 Telewest
Telewest
merged with Flextech,[6] and in November extended its cable network with the acquisition of Eurobell, taking the total number of homes past 4.9 million.[7] NTL was established by Barclay Knapp and George Blumenthal in 1993 as "International CableTel", taking advantage of the deregulation of the UK cable market.[4] Initially, Cabletel acquired local cable franchises covering Guildford, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
and parts of Central Scotland and South Wales. In 1996 CableTel
CableTel
acquired National Transcommunications Limited (NTL), the privatised UK Independent Broadcasting Authority transmission network.[8] In 1998 CableTel adopted "NTL" as its new name. NTL purchased the ISP Virgin.net
Virgin.net
in 2004, having originally operated it as a joint venture with Virgin Group
Virgin Group
since it launched in November 1996.[9] It sold ADSL
ADSL
broadband services through BT landlines to those living outside areas served by NTL's cable network and also offered subscription-based and subscription-free dial-up Internet
Internet
access. Prior to acquiring Virgin.net, NTL offered a similar package called NTL Freedom. Merger and Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
acquisition[edit] Telewest
Telewest
and NTL began discussions regarding a merger in late 2003. Thanks to their geographically distinct areas, NTL and Telewest
Telewest
had co-operated previously, as in redirecting potential customers living outside their respective areas. On 3 October 2005, NTL announced a US$16 billion purchase of Telewest, to form one of the largest media companies in the UK. The merger agreement as structured would have required NTL to negotiate with BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide
(the BBC's commercial arm) due to a change-of-ownership clause written into the agreement for UKTV, a joint venture with Telewest's Flextech content division. To prevent this, Telewest
Telewest
instead acquired NTL. In December 2005 NTL: Telewest
Telewest
and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile UK
Virgin Mobile UK
announced that talks had taken place regarding a merger.[10] Virgin Mobile's independent directors rejected the original bid of £817 million ($1.4 billion), taking the view that NTL's bid "undervalued the business". Sir Richard Branson reportedly expressed confidence that a restructured deal could go ahead, and in January 2006 NTL increased its offer to £961 m (372p per share). On 4 April 2006, NTL announced a £962.4 m recommended offer for Virgin Mobile.[11] According to reports, Branson accepted a mix of shares and cash, making him a 10.7% shareholder of the combined company. NTL and Telewest
Telewest
formally completed their merger on 3 March 2006, making the merged company the UK's largest cable provider, with more than 90% of the market. The combined company renamed itself NTL Incorporated, with ex-NTL shareholders controlling 75% of the stock and ex- Telewest
Telewest
shareholders 25%. Nine of the 11 directors of the new board came from NTL, with two from Telewest.[12] NTL:Telewest's takeover of Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
completed on 4 July 2006, creating the UK's first 'quadruple play' media company, bringing together television, broadband, mobile phone and fixed-line phone services. The deal included a 30-year exclusive branding agreement[citation needed] that saw NTL adopt the "Virgin" name after it completed its merger with Telewest. NTL: Telewest
Telewest
announced on 8 November 2006 it would change its name to " Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Inc".[13] On 9 November 2006, NTL announced it had approached the commercial television broadcaster ITV plc
ITV plc
about a proposed merger,[14] after a similar announcement by ITV.[15] BSkyB effectively blocked the merger on 17 November 2006 by controversially buying a 17.9% stake in ITV plc,[16] a move that attracted anger from NTL shareholder Richard Branson,[17] and an investigation from media and telecoms regulator Ofcom.[18] On 6 December 2006 NTL announced that it had complained to the Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
about BSkyB's move, and would withdraw its attempt to buy ITV plc, stating it did not believe it could currently make a deal on favourable terms.[19] Rebrand as Virgin Media[edit]

Virgin Media's offices in Nottingham

NTL Group's services – previously marketed under the NTL, Telewest and Virgin.net
Virgin.net
brands were merged with Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
under the "Virgin Media" brand on 8 February 2007, referred to by Virgin as V Day.[20] Virgin.net
Virgin.net
was integrated into the new brand as Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Beyond Cable (later Virgin Media
Virgin Media
National). In February 2007, Virgin Central, an on-demand service, gained the rights to begin showing episodes of the television show Lost (already shown on Sky 1), and other shows including Alias and The OC. This service extended the on-demand service previously known as Teleport TV. Teleport TV was renamed TV Choice offering recently broadcast shows and other shows and series.[21] Dispute with Sky[edit] A channel agreement for Virgin Media
Virgin Media
to keep non-premium Sky channels ended on 1 March 2007. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
and Sky failed to reach agreement on the issue, and Sky reacted by posting a letter to the public in major UK newspapers on 28 February 2007.[citation needed] Despite Sky's letter, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
blamed Sky for tyrannising them and inciting consumers to switch. The companies failed to resolve their differences, and subsequently after midnight on 1 March 2007, Virgin Media replaced the Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Travel, Sky Travel Extra, Sky Sports News and Sky News
Sky News
channel content with a standard message. Sky attributed part of the rate rise to the fact that the new deal would also include Sky 3, Sky Arts
Sky Arts
and undisclosed high definition and video on demand content. Sky said the deal would cost only 3p per customer per day (roughly £35,000,000 per year), but Virgin said that a minimum payment guarantee included in the contract meant that the actual amount due would exceed twice the current payment.[22] On 2 March 2007 the National Consumer Council accused Sky and Virgin of "behaving like children" and stated that it would consider whether or not to raise a super-complaint against them "that will help to knock heads together" by the end of that month.[23] Then on 5 March 2007 Virgin Media
Virgin Media
threatened to take legal action against BSkyB if the matter remained unresolved in 30 days.[24] On 12 April 2007 Virgin Media filed a legal case in the High Court against BSkyB under the UK Competition Act 1998
Competition Act 1998
and Article 82 of the EC Treaty. BSkyB claimed that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
made little effort to further arbitration.[25] On 9 May 2008 it was reported that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
and Sky had held talks to resolve the dispute.[26] On 4 November 2008 it was announced that an agreement had been struck for Sky's Basic channels – including Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky 3, Sky News, Sky Sports
Sky Sports
News, Sky Arts
Sky Arts
1, Sky Arts
Sky Arts
2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 to return to Virgin Media
Virgin Media
from 13 November 2008 until 12 June 2011. In exchange Sky would provide continued carriage of Virgin Media Television's channels – Living, Livingit, Bravo, Bravo +1, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot
Challenge Jackpot
and Virgin1
Virgin1
for the same period.[27] The agreements include fixed annual carriage fees of £30m for the channels with both channel suppliers able to secure additional capped payments if their channels meet certain performance-related targets. As part of the agreements, both Sky and Virgin Media
Virgin Media
agreed to terminate all High Court proceedings against each other relating to the carriage of their respective basic channels.[28] On 26 August 2009 the Advertising Standards Authority upheld claims made by Virgin Media
Virgin Media
in its marketing, despite a complaint from rival broadband provider Sky."[29] Recent years[edit] On 5 February 2013, Liberty Global
Liberty Global
announced that they had agreed to buy Virgin Media
Virgin Media
for approximately US$23.3 billion (£15 billion) in a stock and cash merger.[30] On 15 April, EU regulatory approval for the deal was granted, the final hurdle in the acquisition.[31] On 4 June, shareholders approved the acquisition[32] and the deal was completed on 7 June.[33] On 3 February 2014, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
acquired Smallworld Fibre, a cable provider based in North West England and Western Scotland, for an undisclosed fee.[34] Smallworld's network was merged into Virgin Media's during 2014. In November 2014, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
reached an agreement to sell its ADSL business to Talk Talk
Talk
Group, allowing Virgin to focus on its cable broadband offering.[35] Virgin began transferring customers to Talk Talk
Talk
in February 2015.[36] On 28 August 2015, it was announced that UPC Ireland would be rebranded Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Ireland.[37] The rebrand took place on 5 October.[38] Current operations[edit] Virgin Broadband[edit] The broadband division combines NTL's cable-broadband operations (broadband Internet access
Internet access
connections through cable), Blueyonder (Telewest's cable-broadband operations) and Virgin.net
Virgin.net
(ADSL, broadband Internet access
Internet access
through a non-cable telephone line). Virgin Broadband in cabled areas is marketed as "fibre optic broadband". It is a FTTN network, where fibre optic trunk lines are used to connect the area's headend to cabinets on the street.[citation needed] It is not a fibre to the home service like Verizon FiOS; instead, the link between the cabinet and the customer uses DOCSIS 3.0 over coaxial copper cable. In July 2009 and 2010, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Broadband came first in an Ofcom broadband speed test in the UK.[39][40] Ofcom
Ofcom
tested typical speeds of broadband services provided by most ISPs in the UK, including BSkyB, BT, Tiscali, AOL, TalkTalk, Plusnet, O2 and Orange. Since most broadband connections in the UK are provided by ADSL, and the quality of individual phone lines varies according to distance from exchange,[41] most landline broadband services are marketed as being the maximum speed that the individual's phone line will support, "up to 8mb". As a result, actual speeds obtained vary greatly, but are always constrained by the individual phone line – the quality of which is out of the control of the broadband provider. Cable broadband has no such speed variability caused by connection quality as the network is fully owned and controlled by the cable company providing the broadband – any slowdowns are wholly as a result of traffic shaping, or local capacity being over-sold or over-subscribed. For this reason, the results showed that Virgin Media's broadband speed was closer to (although still not 100% of) the "up to" figures it advertised, compared to the other providers tested. While landline broadband providers offered rates of "up to" 24 Mbit/s, the launch of a Virgin's 50 Mbit/s service on 15 December 2008 was advertised as "the UK's Fastest Broadband."[42] On 8 October 2009, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
began trials to deliver its TV and broadband services at up to 50 Mbit/s downstream via a VDSL2 line to a roadside cabinet. The cabinets were linked to Virgin Media
Virgin Media
backhaul via new fibre laid by Vtesse Networks through BT's local exchange, 5 km away.[43][44] As well as broadband, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
offered its full range of TV services, including high definition and on demand, over the new infrastructure. On 11 March 2010, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced a six-month trial using telephone poles to deliver 50 Mbit/s broadband and TV services to the Berkshire
Berkshire
village of Woolhampton.[45] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
identified more than one million homes in parts of the UK that could benefit from deployment over telephone poles, without the need for government subsidy. During July the trial was extended to existing commercial infrastructure in the Welsh village of Crumlin, Caerphilly.[46] On 7 October 2010, Ofcom
Ofcom
ordered BT to open up its fibre-optic network to competing broadband providers to help drive forward the rollout of high-speed internet services in the UK.[47] Ofcom
Ofcom
further ordered BT to free up access to network infrastructure – including all telephone poles and underground ducts – for the rollout of broadband to areas BT does not plan to reach. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
confirmed plans to expand its broadband network in the UK by using the infrastructure owned by BT.[48] By using the approach, the company hoped to expand its network to reach as many as 16 million of the UK's 26m homes. On 27 October 2010, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced its 100 Mbit/s downstream broadband service, featuring 10 Mbit/s upstream rates, which went on sale on 8 December 2010.[49] Early service areas were parts of London, the South East and Yorkshire.[50] With the faster upstream rates specifically, it expects the uptake in cloud computing services will also see an increase. The roll-out was expected to be complete by mid-2012.[50] On 11 January 2012, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced plans to double the speeds of selected broadband packages; its 10 Mbit/s package will increase to 20 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s and 30 Mbit/s to 60 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s, and its 100 Mbit/s package to 120 Mbit/s.[51] The roll-out is expected to begin in February 2012 and be completed by mid-2013, at a cost of £110m. Since the announcement, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
has confirmed that it now plans to also upgrade 50Mbit/s customers to 120Mbit/s at no extra cost, in effect cutting the monthly fee for existing 100Mbit/s customers.[52] On 11 November 2013, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced its 152 Mbit/s downstream broadband service, featuring 12 Mbit/s upstream rates, which started rolling out to customers from 28 February 2014.[53] The company also upgraded existing customers, from 30Mb to 50Mb, 60Mb to 100Mb, and 120Mb to the new 152Mb service. The rollout is expected to be completed by early 2015. In February 2015, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced its biggest investment in broadband infrastructure in over a decade. Set to invest £3bn in improving its fibre optic broadband network, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
will be increasing the network's reach from 13 million to 17 million homes.[54] On 29 September 2015, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced its broadband packages would be rebranded as Vivid.[55] The company will upgrade existing customers from 50Mbit/s to 70Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s to 150Mbit/s and 152Mbit/s to 200Mbit/s. The speed upgrade will be rolled out to 90% of customers by the end of 2015. On 22 March 2017, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
made ultrafast speeds standard with new bundles.[56] 100Mbps entry level rising to top speed of 300Mbps Speeds (download/upload)

VIVID 350 350Mbps/20Mbps

VIVID 300 300Mbps/20Mbps

VIVID Gamer* 200Mbps/20Mbps

VIVID 200 200Mbps/12Mbps

VIVID 100 100Mbps/6Mbps

Bandwidth throttling[edit] Virgin Broadband employs a form of bandwidth throttling whereby customer bandwidth is reduced temporarily after a threshold is reached during peak periods. The company has experimented with and revised all parameters involved in the throttling, such as threshold size, peak period definitions, throttling percentage and duration. Separate thresholds are applied to upstream and downstream, and thresholds vary between packages. From 28 February 2014, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced that they were scrapping traffic management for downstream traffic on 30Mb or higher packages, which was welcomed by many customers. As a result of this, 30Mb or higher packages are only throttled on the upstream, where as 20Mb or below packages are throttled on both the upstream and the downstream.[57] Example of throttling in action (based on May 2009 scheme): Customer has an L (10 Mbit/s) package, which has a 3GB threshold during 10 am-3pm and a 1.5 GB threshold between 4 pm-9pm with a 75% throttle for five hours. Customer downloads over 3GB on Tuesday morning between 10 am-3pm. The customer is then throttled to 2.5 Mbit/s for the next five hours from the time that they exceed the threshold, after which normal service is resumed.[58] In 2013, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
changed[59] their traffic management policy to the detriment of their customers. The new policy stated a maximum throttling amount of 40% on most services, however users have reported being throttled by as much as 54%.[60] Virgin Media's advertisements regarding their "unlimited" broadband services, and their controversial traffic management are currently under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority, after having previous advertisements banned.[61] Usenet servers[edit] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
customers may use Usenet servers (NNTP) with the address "news.virginmedia.com". These servers are outsourced to the Highwinds Network Group and are physically based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
also hosts another operational Usenet server previously known as "text.news.ntlworld.com", now "text.news.virginmedia.com", which again has certain restrictions and limits article size to 50kb. London Underground[edit] In March 2012, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
won an exclusive contract to provide Wi-Fi access to London Underground
London Underground
platforms until 2017.[62] The company announced mobile internet at 80 stations by July 2012 and a further 40 stations by the end of 2012.[63] The service, which gives access to mobile internet via a TfL portal offering travel, news and entertainment bulletins, will remain free for Virgin Media
Virgin Media
customers, along with customers of partnered companies, such as Vodafone
Vodafone
and EE, after the 2012 Summer Olympics. Other users will only be able to access a limited amount of free content on the TfL portal, with full mobile internet services offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Business[edit] Main article: Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Business On 11 February 2010, ntl: Telewest
Telewest
Business was rebranded as Virgin Media Business, marking the end of the NTL and Telewest
Telewest
brand being used by the company.[64] The company provides dedicated internet and telecommunications services to businesses. Virgin Mobile[edit]

The former headquarters of Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Main article: Virgin Media
Virgin Media
(Mobile Network) Virgin Media
Virgin Media
owns Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
Telecoms Limited, a UK-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) with contracts to use EE's carrier network, with over four million subscribers.[65] Virgin Phone[edit] Virgin Phone offers landline telephone services; it ranks as the number two service behind the former UK state monopoly, BT Group.[66] On 1 April 2010, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
began to offer free home phone to mobile calls.[67] Virgin Phone customers are able to call Virgin Mobile customers at no charge, within the Talk
Talk
Plan specified periods. Virgin TV[edit] Main article: Virgin TV Virgin TV, the digital cable television service from Virgin Media, currently[update] ranks as the UK's second largest pay TV service, having 3.6m subscribers, compared to BSkyB's 8.2m as of Q3 2007.[68] Currently[update] 55% of UK households potentially have access to Virgin's network,[69] while anyone in the UK with a line-of-sight view of the Astra & Eurobird satellites at 28.2° east has the ability to receive Sky's service. Virgin TV
Virgin TV
ranks as the UK's largest provider of on-demand content, with over 3 million Video on Demand
Video on Demand
(VoD) customers and as of October 2011[update] over 6,500 hours of programming.[70] Channels[edit] Main article: List of Virgin Media
Virgin Media
television channels Virgin TV
Virgin TV
carries around 300 digital television and radio channels, including a mixture of subscription, premium subscription and pay-per-view channels. Former operations[edit] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Television[edit] Main article: Living TV Group Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Television (formerly Flextech) was the content subsidiary of Virgin Media, and operated a number of wholly owned channels including Bravo, LIVING, Trouble and Challenge. It launched Virgin1
Virgin1
on Freeview and cable on 1 October 2007, replacing Ftn on Freeview.[71] On 4 June 2010, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced that they had reached an agreement to sell Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Television to BSkyB, subject to regulatory approval.[72][73] The acquisition expanded Sky's portfolio of basic pay TV channels and eliminated the carriage fees it previously paid for distributing VMtv channels on its TV services. In parallel, the companies reached a number of agreements providing for the carriage of certain Sky standard and high-definition (HD) channels, including securing new carriage agreements for wholesale distribution of Sky's basic channel line-up, including Sky 1
Sky 1
and Sky Arts, and the newly acquired VMtv channels, on Virgin Media's cable TV service. On 29 June 2010, the Irish Competition Authority cleared the proposed transaction.[74] BSkyB and Virgin Media
Virgin Media
announced the completion of the acquisition on 13 July 2010, following Irish regulatory approval.[75] VMtv was then renamed the Living TV Group. In completing the acquisition, Sky paid Virgin Media
Virgin Media
an initial £105 million with up to an additional £55 million to be paid upon UK regulatory clearance. On 20 July 2010, the Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
(OFT) announced they would review BSkyB's acquisition of Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Television to judge whether it posed any competition concerns in the UK.[76] On 14 September 2010, the OFT decided not to refer BSkyB's takeover of Virgin Media's TV channels to the Competition Commission.[77] Virgin1
Virgin1
was also a part of the deal but was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin name was not licensed to Sky.[78][79] The new carriage deals were for up to nine years.[80] Previously the carriage deals tended to be struck every three years. Sit-up[edit] Main article: Bid Shopping Virgin Media
Virgin Media
owned Sit-up Ltd, a UK-based broadcaster of home shopping television channels, as a joint venture from its launch in 2000 and in full from May 2005. It operated the channels Bid TV, Price Drop
Price Drop
TV and Speed Auction TV, shown on digital satellite, cable, and terrestrial television and the internet. On 1 April 2009, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
confirmed it had sold Sit-up to Aurelius AG for an unspecified amount.[81] UKTV[edit] Main article: UKTV UKTV
UKTV
is a digital cable and satellite television network, formed through a joint venture between BBC
BBC
Worldwide, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, and Virgin Media. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest television companies.[82] UKTV's channels are available via satellite and cable in the UK and Ireland. In the UK, on digital terrestrial television, Yesterday and Dave are available on the Freeview platform, and selected parts of Gold, Home and Good Food
Good Food
are available through Top Up TV. Watch is currently the flagship channel operated by the network. It is a general entertainment channel from UKTV
UKTV
that launched on 7 October 2008. On 15 August 2011, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
agreed to sell its 50% stake in UKTV to Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps Networks Interactive
in a deal worth £339m. Scripps paid £239m in cash, and about £100m to acquire the outstanding preferred stock and debt owed by UKTV
UKTV
to Virgin Media.[83] Completion of the transaction was contingent on regulatory approvals in Ireland and Jersey, which was received on 3 October 2011.[84] Related to the transaction, Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps Networks Interactive
and BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide
are negotiating an agreement whereby, after completion, BBC
BBC
Worldwide would have the option, via a combination of cash and a package of digital rights for UKTV, to increase its shareholding from 50% to a maximum of 60%. Scripps Networks Interactive's existing voting rights and board representation would be unaffected by this proposed arrangement, which would be subject to BBC
BBC
Executive and BBC
BBC
Trust approvals. Corporate affairs[edit] Ownership[edit] Following the completion of the merger between NTL and Telewest, and the acquisition of Virgin Mobile, the company agreed a 30-year licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group
Virgin Group
to use the Virgin brand, with a ten-year opt-out clause. Branson accepted a mix of shares and cash, making him a 10.7% shareholder of the combined company at the time.[85] In July 2007, Virgin Group
Virgin Group
hedged 37% of its stake in Virgin Media
Virgin Media
for $224m through a collared loan agreement with Credit Suisse, a transaction which enabled it to retain the voting and dividend rights. Virgin Group
Virgin Group
had the option of buying back the 12.8m Virgin Media shares it had mortgaged after two years, but in May 2009 decided against this. The funds were used at the time by Virgin Group
Virgin Group
to invest in other areas of its business, such as Virgin Green Fund, which was launched in September 2007, Virgin America
Virgin America
and Virgin Mobile India.[86] By December 2009, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Entertainment Investment Holdings Limited held a minority holding of 21,413,099 Virgin Media
Virgin Media
common stock,[87] making him the third largest shareholder. Liberty Global
Liberty Global
announced on 5 February 2013 that they had agreed to buy the company for approximately US$23.3 billion (£15 billion) in a stock and cash merger.[30] Shareholders approved the acquisition on 4 June,[32] and the deal was completed on 7 June.[33] Virgin Media's UK operations are ultimately controlled by a US Delaware
Delaware
organisation named Virgin Media
Virgin Media
(UK) Group Inc.[88] Interested stakeholders cannot confirm who actually owns and controls Virgin Media
Virgin Media
due to Delaware
Delaware
company law not requiring disclosure of controlling ownership in annual reports made to the state.[89] Market share[edit] As of 2014[update], Virgin Media
Virgin Media
has a 20% share of the broadband market, equal with Sky Broadband, and behind BT Total Broadband (on 31%).[90] By 2016, its market share had dropped slightly to 19%, behind BT (32%) and Sky (23%). Virgin Television has currently[update] around 3.4 million subscribers.[91] 3.2 million of them are digital cable customers, and the other 200,000 are analogue cable customers. Virgin makes up around 15% of the UK's TV distributors, with Freeview having the most, and Sky being second.[citation needed] Advertising[edit] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
launched in February 2007, with a public relations event and expensive advertising campaign covering major UK television channels, newspapers and billboards. Television advertising featured actress Uma Thurman, comedian Ruby Wax, and actors Samuel L. Jackson, Marc Warren, and David Tennant. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
also sponsored the Channel 4
Channel 4
reality TV show Big Brother in its eighth series in 2007 and its Celebrity Hijack and ninth series in 2008. In 2012, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
launched a multimillion-pound ad campaign starring Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt
and Virgin founder Richard Branson
Richard Branson
to promote Virgin's superfast broadband service. The TV adverts were directed by Seth Gordon
Seth Gordon
and involved Bolt impersonating Branson.[92] On 8 June 2016, Southampton F.C.
Southampton F.C.
announced that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
would become the club's shirt sponsor on a three-year deal.[93] Controversies[edit] Net neutrality[edit] In April 2008, acting Virgin CEO Neil Berkett sparked controversy when he told Television, a magazine published by the Royal Television Society, "this net neutrality thing is a load of bollocks." According to the journalist, he claimed that any video content provider that refused to pay Virgin Media
Virgin Media
a premium for faster access would have to get stuck in "bus lanes," having their content delivered to end users at much slower speeds than that of paying content providers.[94] There has been widespread criticism of this policy expressed on the internet, large internet communities are requesting that Virgin customers end their subscription and initiate a mass boycott.[95] According to Virgin Media, the comments in the article were taken out of context and misinterpreted.[96] A statement released by the company states: "With Virgin Media
Virgin Media
rolling out a 50Mb service later this year, we are uniquely equipped to cope with the demand for new bandwidth-hungry services. We strongly support the principle that the internet should remain a space that is open to all and we have not called for content providers to pay for distribution. However, we recognise that as more customers turn to the web for content, different providers will have different needs and priorities and in the long term, it's legitimate to question how this demand will be managed. We welcome an informed debate on this issue." Crackdown on illegal filesharing of copyrighted material[edit] On 2 April 2008, The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
reported that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
would be beginning a trial to take action against subscribers who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from internet Peer-to-peer (P2P) services. Information of offenders would be provided by the British Phonographic Industry, and then Virgin Media
Virgin Media
and the BPI sends a warning letter to the customer.[97][98] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
and the BPI denied reports of any agreement or pilot scheme and said they were only in talks on the matter.[99] However, at least one person claimed to have received a letter threatening disconnection.[100] Although the UK government backed plans to ban p2p users from the internet, it may soon be overturned by strong condemnation from the European Parliament on the grounds of privacy issues and the importance of internet access.[101] In July 2008, the BBC
BBC
reported that 800 Virgin Media
Virgin Media
customers who the BPI claim are sharing copyrighted files were sent warning letters in envelopes marked "If you don't read this, your broadband connection could be disconnected". At least one recipient of the letter denied any wrongdoing by any authorised user of his broadband connection.[102] On 26 November 2009, it was revealed that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
would trial deep packet inspection technology to measure the level of illegal file sharing on its network.[103] The CView system, provided by Detica, will look at traffic and identify the peer-to-peer packets. It will then peer inside those packets and try to determine what is licensed and what is unlicensed, based on data provided by the record industry. The trial – which has no scheduled end date – will cover about 40% of Virgin Media's network but those involved will not be informed. Virgin Media
Virgin Media
emphasised that it is seeking to measure the overall level of illegal file sharing, not to keep records on individual customers. Data on the level of copyright infringement will be aggregated and anonymised. On 22 January 2010, the European Commission
European Commission
confirmed that although it had not discussed the matter with Virgin Media, it would "closely monitor" the trial.[104] Privacy International
Privacy International
announced that it would press a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police, because it argued that under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations (PECR) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) as well as the European ePrivacy Directive, interception and processing of communications requires either explicit informed consent from all parties or a warrant. On 3 May 2012, it was reported that Virgin Media
Virgin Media
had become the first ISP in the UK to implement a web filter to block access to The Pirate Bay, in compliance with a UK High Court order in April,[105] although there continues to be a great number of mirrors, proxies, or VPNs, so this has proved unsuccessful.[106] Charging exit fees[edit] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
charges customers exit fees when they move to a location where they are unable to receive Virgin Media
Virgin Media
services. Ofcom
Ofcom
is investigating Virgin Media
Virgin Media
for this practice and is due to make a preliminary decision in April 2018. [107][108][109] Data pimping[edit] In early 2008, it was announced that the ISP arm of Virgin Media
Virgin Media
had entered into a contract (along with BT and TalkTalk) with the former spyware company Phorm
Phorm
(responsible under their 121Media guise for the Apropos rootkit)[110][111] to intercept and analyse their users' click-stream data, and sell the anonymised aggregate information as part of Phorm's OIX advertising service.[112][113] The practice, which has become known as "data pimping", came under intense fire from various internet communities and other interested parties who believe that the interception of data is illegal under UK law (RIPA).[114][115] At a more fundamental level, many have argued that the ISPs and Phorm
Phorm
have no right to sell a commodity (a user's data) to which they have no claim of ownership. Though Phorm
Phorm
initially claimed Virgin Media
Virgin Media
had signed an exclusive contract and were committed to implementing Phorm's Webwise tracking system, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
have since distanced themselves from this and now state that they have only signed a preliminary contract with Phorm
Phorm
to better understand the tracking technology, and are under no obligation to implement it.[116] Reports on the Guardian website in May 2008 suggested Virgin Media
Virgin Media
may be further distancing themselves from the controversial system.[117] censorship[edit] Main article: Internet Watch Foundation
Internet Watch Foundation
and In December 2008, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
was one of several ISPs in the UK to attempt to censor its users' access to the article about the 1976 album Virgin Killer
Virgin Killer
by stadium rock band Scorpions.[118] The album cover has generated controversy, as it features the partially obscured image of a naked, underage girl. The article includes this image and its URL was blacklisted by the Internet
Internet
Watch Foundation after a user complaint. The blacklisting has since been rescinded. References[edit]

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YouView Zattoo

Studios

Current

BBC
BBC
Elstree Centre BBC
BBC
Pacific Quay The Bottle Yard Studios Broadcasting House Broadcasting House, Belfast Broadcasting House, Bristol Broadcasting House, Cardiff Elstree Studios (Shenley Road) Gas Street Studios The Leeds Studios The London Studios The Maidstone Studios Mailbox Birmingham MediaCityUK Osterley Television Centre Roath Lock Television Centre, London

Defunct

British and Dominions Imperial Studios Fountain Studios Gate Studios Granada Studios MGM-British Studios Pebble Mill Studios Teddington Studios Television Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne Television Centre, Southampton Upper Boat Studios

Other

Defunct channels Edinburgh International Television Festival History

List of years

List of channels Student television Viewing statistics

Most-watched broadcasts

Companies and organisations

Companies

Major companies

Archant Ascential Bauer Radio BBC Bloomsbury Publishing BT Group Channel Four Television Corporation Daily Mail
Daily Mail
and General Trust Dentsu Aegis Network Economist Group EMI Music Publishing Endemol Shine UK Global Group Guardian Media Group Haymarket Media Group Informa ITN ITV plc Johnston Press Mecom Group News UK Newsquest Northern & Shell Now TV (Sky plc) Pearson plc Press Holdings RELX Group Reuters Sky UK
Sky UK
Limited Sky plc STV Group Syco Talk Talk
Talk
Group Time Inc. UK Trinity Mirror UBM plc Virgin Media Wireless Group

Other resources

Arqiva List of largest UK book publishers

Government & regulatory bodies

Advertising Standards Authority BBC
BBC
Trust British Board of Film Classification British Film Institute Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Independent Press Standards Organisation Ofcom Press Recognition Panel S4C Authority

Industry & trades bodies

British Academy of Film and Television Arts British Phonographic Industry Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union Clearcast Digital TV Group Digital UK Equity Federation Against Copyright Theft National Union of Journalists The Publishers Association Royal Television Society United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Independent Broadcasting

Other

BBC
BBC
Academy National Film and Television School National Science and Media Museum

Regional and student media

Regional media

Media in England

Birmingham London Manchester

Media in Scotland

Aberdeen Dundee Glasgow

Media in Wales

Cardiff

Student media

Student television

Category

v t e

Cable, satellite, and other speciality television providers in Europe

Cable

Ailə TV Alma TV Anvia Ariel TV ASTA-NET AS Starman ASK CATV (Bosnia and Herzegovina) ATV Plus B&B TV Blic.net Nowo
Nowo
(Portugal) CableSat West Caiway (Netherlands) Canal Digital
Canal Digital
(Norway) Casema CenterTelecom Coolbox Com Hem
Com Hem
(Sweden) ComNet DigiCom dna Welho (Finland) EVision
EVision
(Ireland) ELTA-KABEL
ELTA-KABEL
(Bosnia and Herzegovina) ER-Telecom Get GO (Malta) INEA (Poland) IPKO Kabel Deutschland
Kabel Deutschland
(Germany) Kabel Noord KATV1 (Azerbaijan) Kazakhtelecom
Kazakhtelecom
(Kazakhstan) Kujtesa Lattelecom LIWEST Madritel Magnet Networks Magyar Telekom MC Cable Melita Cable Meo (telecommunication service) MISS.NET (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Movistar+
Movistar+
(Spain) M-sat Cable Mtel (Bulgaria) MTIS (Belarus) M&H Company Naxoo
Naxoo
(Switzerland) Networx North-West Telecom NOS (Portugal) Numericable-SFR
Numericable-SFR
(France) SFR
SFR
(Belgium) ONO (Spain) Orange TV (France) Petrus (Poland) PostTV Luxembourg Primacom (Germany) Promax (Poland) Radijus Vektor RCS & RDS (Romania) Rostelecom
Rostelecom
(Russia) R (Spain) Sappa TV Sat Film (Poland) SATRO (Slovakia) SEEMORE Serbia Broadband
Serbia Broadband
(Serbia) SofiaNet Slovanet Southern Telecom Splius (Lithuania) Stofa (Demnark) STV AS Swisscom Tango TV (Luxembourg) TCV Telecable (Spain) Telekom Romania Telekabel
Telekabel
(Macedonia) Tele Columbus
Tele Columbus
(Germany) Tele2Vision Telemach
Telemach
(Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia) Telenet (Belgium) Teledünya
Teledünya
(Turkey) Telia (Denmark) TelNet Telset (Estonia) Terrakom Toya (Poland) TrakiaCable Turksat Kablo TV (Turkey) Unex Unitymedia (Germany) Uralsvyazinform UPC Austria UPC Magyarország
UPC Magyarország
(Hungary) UPC Polska
UPC Polska
(Poland) UPC Romania UPC Switzerland VECTRA Virgin TV
Virgin TV
(UK) Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Ireland Vodafone
Vodafone
Ireland Vodafone
Vodafone
Spain VolgaTelecom Volia (Ukraine) VOO WightFibre YouSee
YouSee
(Denmark) Ziggo
Ziggo
(Netherlands)

Satellite

Bulsatcom
Bulsatcom
(Bulgaria) Canal Digital
Canal Digital
(Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland) CanalDigitaal
CanalDigitaal
(Netherlands) Canal (France, Swtizerland) Cosmote TV
Cosmote TV
(Greece) Cyfrowy Polsat
Cyfrowy Polsat
(Poland) DIGI (Romania, Hungary) Digit-Alb
Digit-Alb
(Albania) Digiturk
Digiturk
(Turkey) D-Smart
D-Smart
(Turkey) Focus Sat (Romania) Freesat
Freesat
(UK) Freesat
Freesat
from Sky (UK) Kabelkiosk
Kabelkiosk
(Germany) MagtiCom
MagtiCom
(Georgia) Magio TV (Slovakia) Movistar+
Movistar+
(Spain) Mtel (Bulgaria) MEO (Portugal) NC+ (Poland) NOS (Portugal) NOVA Cyprus NOVA Greece NTV Plus
NTV Plus
(Russia, Ukraine) Orange S.A.
Orange S.A.
(France, Belgium) Orange Poland Orange Romania Saorsat
Saorsat
(Ireland) Sky UK Sky (Germany, Austria) Sky Ireland Sky (Italy) Skylink (Slovakia, Czech Republic) Telekom Hungary Telekom Romania TéléSAT Numérique
TéléSAT Numérique
(Belgium, Luxembourg) Tivù Sat (Italy) TNTSAT(France) Total TV (Balkans) Tricolor TV
Tricolor TV
(Russia, Ukraine) TV Vlaanderen Digitaal
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal
(Belgium) UPC Direct (Hungary) Viasat
Viasat
(Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) Viasat
Viasat
Ukraine Vip TV (Croatia) Vivacom
Vivacom
(Bulgaria)

IPTV

A1 Telekom Austria Altibox Amis Beeline Bouygues Telecom BT TV (UK) Bulsatcom
Bulsatcom
(Bulgaria) Canal Digital Cosmote TV
Cosmote TV
(Greece) CytaVision (Cyprus) DartyBox
DartyBox
(France) Elsat Fastweb (Italy) Free (France) Freewire (UK) HOME.TV (Bosnia and Herzegovina) iNES (Romania) Infostrada TV
Infostrada TV
(Italy) KPN
KPN
(Netherlands) Magnet Networks (Ireland) Moja TV
Moja TV
(Bosnia and Herzegovina) Moldtelecom Movistar+
Movistar+
(Spain) Mtel (Bulgaria) Mts TV
Mts TV
(Serbia) Meo (telecommunication service) NejTV Neuf Cegetel NOS (Portugal) Open IPTV
IPTV
(Bosnia and Herzegovina) Optimus Clix
Optimus Clix
(Portugal) Orange TV(France) Plusnet Portugal Telecom PrimeTel (Cyprus) Proximus TV (Belgium) Sappa TV Scarlet (Belgium) SFR
SFR
(France) ShqipTV Síminn
Síminn
(Iceland) Smart Telecom
Smart Telecom
(Ireland) SUPER TV (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Sure TV T-2 (Slovenia) TalkTalk TV
TalkTalk TV
(UK) Telekom Entertain
Telekom Entertain
(Germany) Telenor
Telenor
(Norway) Telfort (Netherlands) Telia Digital-tv TeliaSonera Teo LT TIMvision Tivibu YouView
YouView
(UK) Vivacom
Vivacom
(Bulgaria) Vodafone
Vodafone
Greece Vodafone
Vodafone
Italy Vodafone
Vodafone
Portugal XS4ALL
XS4ALL
(Netherlands)

Terrestrial

Antena PLUS (Serbia) Boxer TV Access (Sweden) Boxer TV A/S (Denmark) Digea (Greece) Easy TV (Ireland) evotv (Croatia) Freeview (UK) KPN
KPN
Digitenne (Netherlands) Mediaset Premium
Mediaset Premium
(Italy) PlusTV
PlusTV
(Finland) PTDT(Portugal) RiksTV (Norway) Saorview
Saorview
(Ireland) TNT(France) Vip TV (Macedonia) Zala TV (Belarus)

Defunct

Alice Home TV Boom TV (Romania) CableTel
CableTel
(Bulgaria) On Telecoms (Greece) Romtelecom Numericable UPC Nederland T

.