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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 20:46 GMT 21:46 UK
Sky and Virgin fail over TV deal
Virgin Media TV page
Sky carries some of the biggest TV shows and sports events
Television providers BSkyB and Virgin Media have continued to accuse each other of intransigence in a row that has led to customers losing channels.

Sky has pulled its main channels from Virgin's cable TV service in a row over payment, leaving viewers unable to watch programmes such as Lost and 24.

On Friday, Sky said that Virgin had rejected its latest attempt to find a solution to the long-running spat.

Virgin said that it was open to realistic offers, but none were made.

'Little prospect'

Last month, Virgin launched a High Court legal action against Sky, claiming that Sky was abusing its dominant market position and wanted to double its prices.

Sky denied the claims, adding that the higher prices would have cost Virgin just three pence per customer per day.

On Friday, Sky said that it wrote to Virgin on 10 May offering to compromise and reach an agreement.

Sky said that 10m separated the two sides and their view of the correct level of pricing, and that they should agree to meet in the middle.

Virgin said that offer did not go far enough and any deal would need to "reflect the fair value of the Sky Basic channels and the damage inflicted on Virgin".

Sky concluded that there was "now little prospect of Virgin Media agreeing to restore Sky basic channels to its network, at least for the foreseeable future".

Both sides accused the other of conducting their negotiations through the media.

Virgin Media was formed earlier this year by the merger of NTL, Telewest and Virgin's mobile phone operations.

Last month, the company said that the loss of Sky's channels would increasingly impact its earnings in coming months.

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