Broadcast is reporting today that Virgin Media's TV boss Johnny Webb is attempting to "buy everything" from the US TV sales conference that is underway in the US so that he can set up a rival channel to Sky One.
The channel, apparently to be called "Virgin One" will appear on cable and Freeview (and presumably if it wishes to have a chance at grabbing large audiences, Freesat too) and will show the best US programmes Virgin can afford.
The new channel will provide a showcase for Virgin premium content, and replace the badly performing Flextech archive channel FTN. However, FTN is an evening-only channel on Freeview, so more Virgin bandwidth may need to be provided for a full-time Sky rival.
Virgin has also, it is reported, "commissioning shows from UK independent producers" for the new channel which will then sit between the female "Living" channel and the male "Bravo".
Speculation that a Virgin-branded sports channel provided by Setanta Sports may also appear on cable, satellite and Freeview.
No news on a Virgin News service, as yet.
Update 11 June 2007, 17:23
Broadcast now confirms the channel, Virgin 1, will start on cable, Freeview and satellite this autumn, and will feature content from Living and Bravo.
Jonathan Webb, told Broadcast "I want Virgin 1 and the newly reinvigorated Living to be two of the top 10 TV channels by switchover.
"Virgin 1 will shake up multi-channel and free to air TV, and start liberating viewers from the linear schedule. It will be a creative tour de force and a cutting-edge example of any time, any place content. VMtv has huge support from Virgin Media and Richard Branson who agree that Virgin 1 is what UK audiences have been waiting for."
Update: 12 June 2007, 10:40
Broadcast are now saying that there will be a "Virgin Sports News" channel on all platforms by the end of 2007. IMG Media will be the partners and Setanta expect to contribute too, but nothing is signed yet. "[We are] too far into the process not to go ahead with our own sports news channel" Virgin Media told Broadcast.
Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
Margaret & Colin Mann Wednesday 24 October 2007 4:22PM
We liked watching The Sixth Sense with Colin Fry plus other programmes of this nature but now they are not to be shown anymore since Virgin has took over from FTN, Utter rubbish is now shown instead we will not be viewing Virgin anymore!!!
My last message was removed because I spoke the truth: I will say it again politely. Virgin1 is absolute rubbish.. 95% of the programs can be watched on Bravo, UKtv People and other documentary programs. I am NOT enamoured with any of the other programs either. Why the hell do I need to watch flipping Startrek (whatever ?? generation it is). I say get this claptrap off and put something worth watching.. alternatively Virgin Media should stop behaving like little school children with SKY and get us SKY ONE back.
Like the previous tens of irritated ftn customers...bring back FTN and Most Haunted. Virgin 1 has got too many low quality US crap programs. None of these Virgin 1 programs interest me in the slightest!
i think that the virgin channel is the worst channel and ftn was better than this it is all repeats on the virgin channel. bring back ftn because the other channels on freeview are boring and it is not worth buying a freeview box. Can u do something about this channel?
I am really annoyed that ftn has been taken off as i enjoyed watching most haunted and other programs that were shown. Now that you have put virgin1 on the freeview i have never watched it because it is aload of rubbish freeview is a waste of space as it is all repeats the same as normal tv channels i pay for tv licence and there is nothing to watch were it is repeats all the time. I want ftn back as i used to watch it all the time. Loved most haunted and i think it is appauling that ftn was taken off the freeview. Bring it back!!!!
well true to my word am still boycotting virgin 1, have found nothing interesting there for me to wish to change channel to! But am really upset tonite that I cannot watch most haunted live on halloween, i know it is on living and cos don't have sky cant watch (made the sky not worth money point before!) any the only vaguely psychic program i have found so far, since the loss of ftn are on nuts tv! OMG! NO!!!!!!!!! I am female by the way hence the "no" reaction! if you watch it you will see why, oh and the mcfly thing the other night with yvette, which wasn't quite what i was expecting but gud to see the boys scared! lol! yep i like mcfly and psychic stuff and for those that may feel this is sad....... your point is..... lol!
Tahnks braintist,i am sure virgin 1 won't mind either! but thanks for replying, as for subscribing - the parents have sky and i refuse to pay the money for one decent channel! lol! that's living by the way (in my opinion)! lol! I appreciate sky is for some but not me, i love digital and loved ftn, am mourning but hey! lol! but if virgin are watching..... most haunted and colin fry as new additions to your channel would be greatly appreciated and am sure you would get loads of very happy viewers!
Yes, my previous posting appears to have been deleted too. It was in no measure offensive. I miss ftn - 6th Sense, Most Haunted, X Files, etc. In response to another posting, I have an honours degree, several diplomas - plus - and am in no way "soft headed or gullible". ftn was great escapist entertainment, (I can definitely do without Deep Space Nine as I personally find it boring beyond belief - that is not escapism, it is sheer torture). Disgruntled by standard TV, I bought a freeviewbox. Now, with the unmitigated disastrous viewing schedules provided by Virgin 1, I have unplugged my freeview box put it away and gone back to BBC1 and 2, ITV 1, Ch 4, and Ch 5. I now watch Most Haunted on youtube. I suggest others might consider doing the same.
Virgin 1 is pathetic - since its inception there has been nothing that i would like to watch on it. i cannot afford sky, but i thoroughly enjoyed programmes like most haunted on ftn. if virgin 1 hope to continue they will need to put on programmes that ftn viewers enjoyed.
Really miss ftn. used to love watching sixth sense with colin fry and most haunted. Virgin 1 doesn`t show any programmes that are of any interest to me,although may appeal to other people. Would it be possible for virgin to maybe include some psychic-type programmes in its scheduling or perhaps another channel on freeview could provide something similar. I am sure there is a huge audience just waiting.
Debbi Beattie: I have no idea why you would think that a channel with a famous UK company name would be based elsewhere. Personally, I don't care where programmes are made if I enjoy them and care even less if I don't.
My husband has recently been made redundant, so after 20 years of receiving Sky we have had to cancel our subscription ( a cost we can do without) Consequently we are now relying on all the freeview channels.
According to the Freeview website we should be able to receive Virgin 1 on Freeview, however, when we select the channel on the television it tells us to upgrade now for £1 per month on Sky Active to receive it and it then instructs you to ring a specific number to do this. If this is on Freeview then Why should we need to this.
Hi Margaret, You do not have freeview, What you have now is freesat from sky (cancelled sky system) virgin 1 / dave / more 4 / e4 for example are free on freeview but are pay channels on satellite at the moment. If you want these channels you will need to check if you are in a freeview recption area & if you are buy a cheap freeview box in a supermarket (from £14 upwards) Mark Aberfan Aerials
Since Ftn changed to Virgin, we have lost Boston Legal, Colin Fry and other reasonably good programmes. Instead we have trash, trash and more trash. I know it is freeview but does that mean we can't have quality programmes?
We have freeview in the HTV area. Up until yesterday 19/10/09 we received 24hr Virgin 1, on Freeview chl 20 now it's reverted to 9am start without an explanation. Could you please let us know why?
You r taking the piss out of people that r on the boarders of beliving.iv been in to sprits all my life, and you lot, are making it in to farse.. I know for a fact you are not getting the forces you are lying about STOP BULLSHITING an lying just for effect, Humans are like lemings if you tell them to follow they will its only people that have there own minds know that what ur doing is fake.
what on Earth is going on with these freeview channels ? I have been trying to record Unbeatable Banzuke at 8am but I wasn't getting any recordings. I have now found out that Virgin only starts broadcasting from 9am, even though it claims to be on 24 hours a day. Does anyone out there agree with me thjat freeview seems to be a waste of time ?