Oh what fun. Virgin Media, as ntl:Telewest has renamed itself, is having a bit of a row with BSkyB.
Reading the report suggests that one or both parties are lying weasels. The current state of play is that Virgin are declining to pay BSkyB what they demand for their popular channels, including Sky One. They’re going so far as to say that they can do very nicely without those channels, and they’re going to have other stuff to “make up for it”. There’s a slight odour of bovine waste products about that, as Sky One has a tendency to have exclusive rights to programmes that people actually want to watch, such as Lost, 24, and much more significantly, The Simpsons.
If the UK’s only remaining cable operator drops the main Sky channels, we’ll be taking a bold step backwards into last century, when different cable and satellite operators had different sets of channels. This wasn’t at all good for the customers, and eventually things settled down and companies stopped being silly.
But now it seems we’re in for some more silliness. And I think it’s Virgin who will have to back down more than BSkyB. They already suffer from customers leaving them for cheaper deals with Sky, and losing key channels would accelerate that. Sky win either way: they get more money from Virgin, or they get more of Virgin’s disgruntled customers.
I’d hate to have to switch – I don’t want to have a silly dish thingy on my house, and I really don’t want to switch from my cable broadband to ADSL, which quite apart from anything else would involve having to have a BT phone line. I suspect this will all be sorted out, and Virgin and Sky will kiss and make up. But I do wish the people running these companies would Grow up and stop playing silly buggers
 There used to be two of those…
 Dealing with BT is something I really prefer to avoid.