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Old 17-08-2016, 15:30   #1
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New content for Virgin Media

In view of the welcome news that Virgin is back in the content game, I thought it would be useful to open a thread to bring these stories together in one place.

The latest news to emerge appears to be this one.

Virgin Media orders comedy shorts, buys Magic City


Virgin Media is pushing further into original content. A deal has been reached with Avalon Television to produce a series of comedy shorts and buying US drama Magic City.

Ordering Edinburgh Comedy Shorts (WT) marks the first time the Liberty Global-owned broadband and pay TV company has commissioned programming.

http://www.digitaltveurope.net/58504...ys-magic-city/

This comes after the announcement of a major push into original drama programming with All3Media. This places it more directly in competition with Sky, BT, and Netflix.

Magic City becomes Virgin’s third UK-exclusive US programme following a deal with Starz, after another with Starz for Ash Vs Evil Dead and another with Endemol Shine International for Kingdom.

Virgin Media’s chief digital entertainment officer, David Bouchier, told TBI that Avalon was in Edinburgh this month at the Fringe Festival filming the 15 shorts that would comprise Edinburgh Comedy Shorts, which will be released exclusively on its streaming TV Anywhere services.

The shorts will debut on Virgin Media’s streaming service, which is powered by its super-fast internet infrastructure, for a month. “This is important because it makes our streaming service a destination to go to, and increases the audience.”

Bouchier said the company would also look at co-productions for big-budget programming, which will go alongside the exclusive dramas it gets from the Liberty-All3Media output agreement, and is dipping its “toe in the water commissioning” for short-form exclusives.

Bouchier was drafted in last year to create Virgin Media’s content strategy. He has since hired former Channel 4 buyer Gill Hay as acquisitions chief and David Twallin as head of programming.
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Old 17-08-2016, 17:12   #2
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

It's going to have to buy significantly more content to compete with BT , Netflix and Sky.
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Old 17-08-2016, 17:15   #3
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

So you have doubts that it will MM?.
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Old 17-08-2016, 17:45   #4
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

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Originally Posted by muppetman11 View Post
It's going to have to buy significantly more content to compete with BT , Netflix and Sky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by denphone View Post
So you have doubts that it will MM?.
I think that they missed the content boat(s) a long time ago (or more accurately abandoned it). Catching up after they have all sailed will take a long time and will be expensive.

Am I right in saying that most of these exclusives are only available to XL subscribers? I hope that is the case, and that the inevitable increased pricing is added solely to the XL package price. I'll stick with the lower TV tiers and, as I do now, add Netflix, Amazon and Now TV. Way better value in my view.
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Old 17-08-2016, 17:50   #5
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

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Originally Posted by muppetman11 View Post
It's going to have to buy significantly more content to compete with BT , Netflix and Sky.
Oh, definitely, but maybe this is the start of a new era for Virgin TV.
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Old 19-08-2016, 21:08   #6
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

What are we to make of this? We have been told that there will be a major push for content and they recognise that they have not been investing sufficiently in the TV side of the business, and then Mike Fries says Liberty Global will make 'smart, relatively small investments in multiple markets'. Now a lot could happen with this new strategy, but that word 'small' disconcerts me.

http://www.digitaltveurope.net/58120...ts-in-content/

Liberty Global to make ‘smart’ investments in content


Liberty Global plans to make “smart, opportunistic investments” in content following its recent announcement that it would commission four original drama series from All3Media, according to president and CEO Mike Fries.

Speaking to analysts after the company unveiled strong Q2 financial results at the end of last week, Fries said that the group would make “smart, relatively small investments in multiple markets to get some content on our platforms that’s unique to us”. He said Liberty was now putting more emphasis on SVOD content and rights that drive growth of its TV Everywhere platform.

Fries said that Liberty’s content movies would not “significantly change the weighting of [the company’s] balance sheet or cash flows”, however.

While video only accounts for 35% of the company’s revenues, Fries said that it is a “critical part” of the bundle and that content costs would grow year-on-year at or above the rate of increase in revenues, because content drives revenues across the bundle. He said these increases would be offset by decreases in direct costs.

Fries said that analysts should “expect more” of the type of content deals it has done with All3Media, adding that its relationship with Lionsgate, in which it now has a 3.4% stake alongside Discovery, was “off to a great start”.

He said that the four originals from All3Media would be distributed by Liberty Global’s networks exclusively, “at least from the outset”.

Virgin Media UK & Ireland, Unity Media in Germany, Ziggo in the Netherlands and Cable & Wireless, VTR and Liberty Puerto Rico will all air the shows.

Fries said that Belgian subsidiary Telenet’s investment in content was also bearing fruit, citing the fact that Chausée d’Amour, the brothel-set SVoD original it commissioned from production outfit De Mensen, had broken records in Flanders with half a million streams requested in the first two weeks. The series debuted on May 10 on Telenet Play and Play More.
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Old 19-08-2016, 21:52   #7
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
What are we to make of this? We have been told that there will be a major push for content and they recognise that they have not been investing sufficiently in the TV side of the business, and then Mike Fries says Liberty Global will make 'smart, relatively small investments in multiple markets'. Now a lot could happen with this new strategy, but that word 'small' disconcerts me.
My understanding was always that it was going to be small. By this I mean that VM won't be entering the sports market or establishing a competitor to Sky Atlantic. But I think there will be enough exclusive content for people to notice if they switched away from VM.
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Old 20-08-2016, 15:57   #8
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

On the other hand, John Malone has indicated that he wants to bring maximum content to cable customers. He claimed that it was not necessary to actually own the content rights to do this.

To me, that sounds like a sensible policy, given the huge sums involved in bidding wars. These costs will only increase as global players attempt to extend their reach across the world.

However, this strategy only works effectively where the companies holding those rights are prepared to accept payments to enable their acquired content to be screened on other platforms.

What is interesting is comparing what John Malone said a relatively short while ago with what he has actually been doing in the meantime.

On top of his stake in Discovery, he has extended his interest in content ownership with the recent Lionsgate-Starz deals. Now he is reported to have other targets in his sights, such as AMC, Scripps and possibly Viacom.

By going along this route, John Malone is putting himself in a much better position to offer incentives to companies such as Sky to ensure that currently exclusive content is made available to cable customers. If deals cannot be done, then Liberty Global will be able to withhold a considerable amount of content from players who won’t play.

Given his stakes in these other companies, he must be in a position to create new channels (conventional and/or on demand) with all that content. These channels could be exclusive to cable, although much of the content could be recycled. This would certainly help Virgin Media to argue that it had channels not available on other platforms.

It will be very interesting to see how things change over the coming months and years.
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Old 23-08-2016, 18:37   #9
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

I was hoping that the Olympic Channel would also launch on Virgin Media as a new streaming service.

I wonder if this and other new services will appear on the new Tivo...?

http://advanced-television.com/2016/...s-live/Olympic

Olympic Channel goes live

The Olympic Channel has launched to a global audience via a mobile app for Android and iOS devices and online at olympicchannel.com.

The Olympic Channel launches with content from around the world including original shows, news and highlights. Premiering at launch to continue the excitement of the Olympic Games is Viva 2016, an exclusive behind-the-scenes-look at the production of an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

IOC President Thomas Bach commented: “The launch of Olympic Channel is a key milestone for the Olympic Movement and a result of Olympic Agenda 2020. It is the start of an exciting, new journey for athletes, fans and new generations to connect with sport and the Olympic values every day of the year.”

Last edited by OLD BOY; 23-08-2016 at 19:37.
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Old 23-08-2016, 20:58   #10
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

What I don't understand is why they are adding things to a box that cannot cope with what it has already, they could add Sky Atlantic tomorrow, but what would be the point if all customers get to see is a blank screen or a spinning circle
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Old 24-08-2016, 08:41   #11
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
What I don't understand is why they are adding things to a box that cannot cope with what it has already, they could add Sky Atlantic tomorrow, but what would be the point if all customers get to see is a blank screen or a spinning circle
Spiderplant has already debunked the theory that more streaming services means a slower Tivo, Richard. However, I am looking to the next box expected at the end of the year, which hopefully will have the speed problem sorted, with lots more apps on there.

Why do you say we could have Sky Atlantic tomorrow? Sky appear to be standing in the way of that, although I remain optimistic that there is no reason why VM could not add a Now TV app which includes SA.
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Old 25-08-2016, 19:22   #12
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
Spiderplant has already debunked the theory that more streaming services means a slower Tivo, Richard. However, I am looking to the next box expected at the end of the year, which hopefully will have the speed problem sorted, with lots more apps on there.

Why do you say we could have Sky Atlantic tomorrow? Sky appear to be standing in the way of that, although I remain optimistic that there is no reason why VM could not add a Now TV app which includes SA.
It was just an example, I didn't mean it literally
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Old 26-08-2016, 11:41   #13
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

Well maybe Virgin could be getting a sniff of F1...

A normally reliable source.

https://joesaward.wordpress.com/2016...-sources-says/
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Old 26-08-2016, 11:45   #14
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

And on Sky News http://news.sky.com/story/liberty-me...acing-10551347
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Old 27-08-2016, 11:07   #15
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Re: New content for Virgin Media

A friend of ours wanted some help setting up her new Talk Talk box yesterday. I was surprised to see when it was loaded that Now TV was on there.

So it seems that those who doubted that Sky would permit other platforms to offer this service were wrong. I am now even more hopeful that Virgin Media's new box will have Now TV as one of the apps on it, thus resolving the Sky Atlantic/ITV Encore issue.

ADDENDUM

Just checked this out on line and it seems that you cannot get access to the Entertainment Pass on Talk Talk's Now TV service. So they cannot get SA or ITV Encore on Talk Talk after all. I believe that you can only use the Movies and Sports passes.

However, I see no reason why the full service cannot be made available to VM if they wanted it.

https://www.cable.co.uk/guides/sky-a...s-and-answers/

Last edited by OLD BOY; 27-08-2016 at 11:29.
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