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Virgin Media extends BSkyB carriage deal

Pay-television operator Virgin Media has extended a deal to carry BSkyB’s pay-television channels, including the Sky Sports channels.

The deal will run for at least five years, from 2014-15 to 2018-19, and is an extension of an existing three-year agreement between the two companies.

In addition to its current portfolio of Sky channels, Virgin Media will also offer its television customers five of Sky’s new high-definition channels – Sky Sports 3 HD, Sky Sports 4 HD and Sky Sports F1 HD, with the Sky Sports News HD channel to follow alongside Sky News HD.

From this summer, Virgin customers with subscriptions to Sky Movies and Sky Sports will also be able to access live and on-demand content through the Sky Sports and Sky Movies applications for mobile devices.

In other news, Sky has confirmed a report that emerged over the weekend that it is in preliminary talks about acquiring media company 21st Century Fox’s 57-per-cent stake in sister pay-television broadcasters Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.

Sky said that it had “initiated preliminary discussions with 21st Century Fox to evaluate the potential acquisition of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy.” Sky added: “At the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay-TV group.”