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Virgin pays Sky £30m for basic channels

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Virgin Media will pay Sky at least £30m per year for its basic channels such as Sky1 and Sky News, it was revealed today.

On Tuesday, Virgin and Sky announced they had struck new carriage agreements for Sky's basic channels on Virgin Media cable TV and for the carriage of Virgin's Living, Bravo, Trouble and Virgin1 channels on Sky's EPG.

The Sky channels will reappear on Virgin cable on November 13. Today, Virgin Media revealed that it is paying Sky a licence fee of £30m per year plus performance-based additional payments of up to £6m in year one, £8m in year two, and £7.9m for the seven months to the expiration of the agreement in June 2011. The base rate of £30m per year is believed to be on a par with what Virgin paid Sky for the channels before their departure in March 2007.

Virgin also revealed that Sky is paying Virgin a licence fee of exactly the same value for the carriage of Virgin Media Television's channels in Sky's subscription packages.

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