Virgin Media

It’s being done that way in ROI too for similar reasons. If you look at the restrictions on cloud recording imposed on Sky Glass/Stream (or in Ireland eir TV) users then you’ll see why they might have opted for that route.

Thought this was worth a mention...

Quote:Virgin Mobile customers will be migrated to O2
Virgin Mobile customers will start being migrated to O2 plans from March this year, Virgin Media O2 has revealed.
This is the next phase in bringing all the Virgin Media and O2 brands together after their huge merger midway through 2021.

Full article:  

I can't remember if the Virgin Media & O2 merger was originally discussed on TVLF or TVF.  At the time there was some speculation that the brand might be sold off or renamed, as it had recently moved underlying carrier from EE to Vodafone.  It looks like as part of the merger the Virgin Mobile brand is now being phased out completely, with the underlying carrier having already moved (again) from Vodafone to O2 last year.

It'll be interesting to see whether the Virgin Media brand remains long term for cable TV.  I'm assuming that the merged company is currently having to pay Virgin / Richard Branson for use of the brand name, so phasing it out provides a cost saving.

Formerly 'Charlie Wells' of TV Forum.

What's slightly weird about this transition is that Virgin Mobile are still actively recruiting customers - with some keen prices on Money Saving Expert etc. You'd expect them to close the front door before doing such a thing, but apparently not.

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probably the result of some very careful negotiations with Vodafone who would have been expecting £x revenue but now having that taken away, as well as their co-operation in organising any transfers to O2-based services.

as for the branding - since Ireland went from UPC to VM (presumably for the greater brand recognition), I doubt they'll make any changes any time soon. I don't know how much Beardie wants but presumably it costs in.

Virgin Mobile terminated the agreement with Vodafone last year and all customers are now using O2's network. At present Virgin Mobile is a virtual operator on O2 (like Sky/Tesco), until they phase it out completely.

In regards to rebranding from Virgin Media, most contracts have change of control clauses. Think Flextech when Telewest and NTL merged, the deal had to be structured in a way that Telewest took control of NTL to avoid losing the UKTV stake (£100mln).

As originally negotiated, the Virgin Media licensing agreement was to originally last 30 years, At the time, the company paid a near 20% premium on the firm's stock market valuation for 30-year rights to the Virgin name. They can "terminate it after 10 years on one year’s notice" - , further more... "and it is subject to earlier termination by us in certain other circumstances, including (subject to specified payments) a change of control." The merger probably keeps to the original agreement as it continues "The agreement also entitles us to use a corporate name that includes the Virgin name."

interestingly "Asked whether NTL and Telewest brands were now consigned to the dustbin of history, Berkett replied "Absolutely" while Branson said: "NTL will be firmly at the bottom of the basket – Telewest not so far down." -  - not that Telewest is likely to make a reappearance. Although I still. fondly remember Telewest.

I have wondered about how long the Irish operation will keep the brand. At the time it changed, the Irish operation had effectively changed its reporting arrangements to become effectively a subsidiary of VM U.K. rather than what was still at that point “UPC Broadband”.

Since then, Liberty Global have gone down the road of partnering in major markets, and the Irish operation, separated from the U.K. one has become a bit of an orphan. It has a traditional free to air terrestrial business attached to it that makes it unattractive for telecos at a time when “convergence” is no longer seen as the buzzword it once was and who wants a broadcast business in the streaming age anyway? The other issue is that there’s no clear partner for it in the Irish market. Branding wise it probably doesn’t make sense for it to carry VM branding any more but they may not want to bother changing it if they are still trying to offload it.

It looks like there are a few interesting changes on their way.  There are currently pop up messages on a number of SD channels saying they are moving to new channel numbers on Tuesday, with the implication being that they are going HD only.  It looks like a mix of Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels.  Additionally, Digital Bit Rate is showing that there are currently three Sky Sports UHD channels being tested (Sky Sports Main Event UHD, Sky Sports UHD 1 and Sky Sports UHD 2)

What happened with Virgin Media wanting to sell the Irish channels business?

I don't think there's anything stopping Liberty Global from rebranding Virgin Media under their other brands, maybe along the lines of Ziggo. I don't think they'd really want to return to using the UPC brand in Ireland or in other territories which have axed the name.
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