Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sir Richard Branson believes that TiVo is Virgin Media's weapon against Sky

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson talked to TechRadar about Virgin Media's next-generation PVR, and how its the tip of the spear aimed at Sky:
I think that it is fantastic. There's numerous things one can do and I think that we have finally got a weapon that can give Sky a run for their money.

We may well get thousands of people switching over from Sky to Virgin; it's a weapon that we've got that they can never develop which obviously gives us a bit of an advantage.

The only problem is whether I have to sell my island to move to a place where I can get TiVo, someone suggested that I swap Necker Island for the Isle of Wight so I'm going to have to work out if I go that far or maybe lay an enormous cable from here to the Caribbean; that would be tremendous.


Capvermell said...

Dear Sir Richard,

I don't live on a Caribbean island but only in the leafy far southern Surrey countryside. However I am shocked and extremely disappointed to find that after over eight years of very enthusiastic use of my Tivo Series 1 unit with both a Freeview and Freesat box to provide the program source that on 1st June I am to be left without the Tivo service I have enjoyed for all these years.

Despite their withdrawal from selling new Tivos in the UK in late 2002 Tivo has loyally gone on providing a monthly UK EPG in conjunction with Tribune Media Services for all this time since and honoured my Lifetime Service agreement. However the moment Virgin launches its own Tivo all of us who a Series One Tivo are suddenly told that our own Tivo EPG service is to be cut off on June 1st 2011. I believe this only happened on the instruction of Virgin Media's CEO, Neil Berkett and his fellow board members due to Virgin's exclusive deal to distribute Virgin in the UK from now on.

The problem is that around 50% of the UK is still not cabled up for Virgin Media television and so around 50% of Tivo Series One customers cannot upgrade to the new Tivo service as you suggest. Also how is it ethical for Virgin to make Lifetime Tivo Service customers living in the Virgin cable area pay another Tivo monthly subscription fee when they have already paid for Lifetime Service on their still working Series One Tivo machines.

In short Sir Richard I hope you will intervene personally to ensure that Series One Tivo users do not have their service cut off on June 1st when 50% or more of them cannot upgrade to the Virgin Tivo due to you not yet having found a way to offer service in the more rural parts of the UK that they live in. We do of course hope that you will soon find a way to start delivering Virgin Media's services and the Virgin Media Tivo to these parts of the UK and with that in mind it would seem short sighted in the extreme to cut of Tivo Series One service to these potential future Virgin Media Tivo customers.

keith said...

I would dearly love a shiny new Virgin Tivo having had a series one machine for the last 9 years.

Sadly, not only am I unable to get Virgin despite my house being only fifteen metres from houses that are cabled, but I am also going to lose the functionality of my existing machine due to the tivo service being closed down for Series 1 machine on the 1st June :(

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