04/08/2018 19:20 BST | Updated 04/08/2018 19:29 BST

Virgin Media And UKTV Dispute Rumbles On As Companies Fail To Reach Agreement Over Wiped Channels

UKTV says it can't see an 'end date' for an agreement to be reached.

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The UKTV and Virgin Media dispute rumbles on as the two companies fail to reach an agreement over the loss of 10 channels for millions of viewers.

UKTV has accused Virgin Media of “backing out” of a new deal verbally agreed between the two companies. Virgin Media disputes this.

Last month Virgin Media customers were left outraged after UKTV channels including Dave and Gold were wiped from “around four million” boxes due to a business dispute.

Some viewers declared they were cancelling their subscriptions, while others threatened to abandon the digital cable TV provider if the channels, some of which are free-to-air, were not restored.

UKTV released a statement on Friday which reads: “Sadly, we can’t, at the current time, see an end date for an agreement to be reached that pays UKTV a fair price for our ongoing services to their business.”

UKTV apologised to customers, adding: “We’ve really learned over the past two weeks just how much our channels mean to people, and we are overwhelmed by your support.

“We have tried to be as helpful as possible to our channels’ fans during this time of disruption.” 

Meanwhile, Virgin Media released a statement shortly after UKTV, calling the talks “constructive” and adding: “We won’t negotiate in public and our door remains open.”

The firms have failed to reach an agreement over 10 channels, which are Dave, Drama, Home, Really and Yesterday, along with paid-for channels Gold, Alibi, Eden, Good Food and W.

Virgin Media alleged last month that UKTV was unable to provide on-demand programming of the kind “expected of a modern day broadcaster”.

UKTV hit back, saying it “just can’t accept” Virgin’s drastic price cuts.