Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Virgin and BSkyB end channel row

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The agreement will see Sky's basic channels return to Virgin Media

Television providers BSkyB and Virgin Media have reached an agreement on a long-running row over channel charges.

The deal will see Sky's basic channels return to Virgin's cable service and Virgin's channels stay on Sky.

Last year, Sky 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.

Both companies said they had agreed to end all High Court proceedings against each other.

The two firms have reached a deal which will see fixed annual payments for the channels, plus performance related bonuses.

Watchdog Consumer Focus welcomed the news, saying "common sense had finally prevailed".

Long-running row

Sky's basic channels - including Sky1, Sky News and Sky Sports News - will return to Virgin Media on November 13 under a contract running to June 2011.

Under a second deal, the Virgin basic channels such as Living and Bravo will continue on Sky.

The two companies fell out last year over the price that each would pay to carry each other's channels.

Relations were already sour after BSkyB bought a stake in ITV in 2006. Many saw the move as a way to block a Virgin takeover of ITV.

BSkyB was later told by the Competition Commission to reduce its stake in ITV because of competition concerns.

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