Freeview to drop a Virgin Media shopping channel

LONDON - Virgin Media has been dealt a blow by Freeview with the news that the licence for one of its shopping channels will be not renewed next year.

Under its content business brand Sit Up TV, Virgin currently has two shopping slots on the Freeview platform - Bid TV and Price Drop TV. Bid TV is available 24 hours a day in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but only for limited hours in Wales while Price Drop TV, is available for 24 hours across the entire country.

Freeview has decided not to renew one of the licences and Virgin Media said today it was considering its options.

A Virgin statement said: 'In September 2008, our Sit-up business received notification that one of its two licenses to broadcast over free-to-air digital terrestrial television (Freeview) would not be renewed in January 2009. In the fourth quarter, management is reviewing the implications of this development on our business model and considering alternative courses of action.'

Announcing results today Virgin Media said it had expanded its pay-TV subscriber base by 37,800 in Q3 with 3.58m visitors.

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