BSkyB buys Virgin Media TV channels for £160m – Including Bravo…

iMPACT! on Bravo

iMPACT! on Bravo

BSkyB today confirmed that it has finalised the deal to buy Virgin Media Television, which operates channels including Bravo, for up to £160m in cash. Sky will pay £105m up front on completion of the deal, with the remainder to follow completion of the regulatory process. The acquisition will need to be cleared by competition regulators in the UK and Ireland.

Bravo

Bravo

We knew this was on the horizon but it wasn’t a certainty until now. Why is this of relevance to Wrestling fans and more specifically TNA fans in the UK i hear you ask? Well this purchase includes the Bravo channels (Bravo, Bravo+1, Bravo 2) which currently broadcast TNA’s flagship show iMPACT! each week.

BSKYB also currently broadcast WWE programming via their Sky branded channels such as Sky Sports 3. It is widely believed that part of the WWE contract includes and exclusivity clause prohibiting the broadcast of non-WWE wrestling programming, as Bravo is now set to become a SKY owned and operated TV channel, SKY may be forced to buy-out the remainder of the BRAVO-TNA agreement so that they are not in violation of this clause, meaning TNA iMPACT! has no home in the UK.

What is yet to be clarified is whether indeed the exclusivity clause will be enforced or whether it is simply related to channels that currently broadcast WWE programming rather than all SKY owned channels.

I’m working with contacts to try and get further details. My take on this is that this shouldn’t be a major worry to TNA UK fans. At the very least should TNA programming be dropped from Bravo, i’m sure Extreme Sports would be interested in picking up IMPACT, at best a major network such as FX, ESPN etc. may be interested in iMPACT! given the solid ratings performances vs WWE programming in the UK of late. More to come, stayed tuned to the site and the twitter feed……

Ray

TNA UK

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

2 Responses to BSkyB buys Virgin Media TV channels for £160m – Including Bravo…

  1. Mamu says:

    I know for a fact TNA programming wont be affected at all on Bravo as Sky only own the channels, they are not operating them short term.

    • Ray Mullan says:

      Well Mamu, judging by your IP address, you should know your facts on this. When you say wont be affected short term are you simply stating what we already know – that Bravo will still be Flextech/VM operated until the sale is finalised? But what about the bigger picture, a 3 year extension to the TNA-Bravo agreement was signed last year – will that then be honored?

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