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ITV and Virgin Media O2 agree new long term commercial partnership

ITV and Virgin Media O2 agree new long term commercial partnership

London, 10 November 2021: ITV and Virgin Media O2 have today signed a new long term multi-year agreement that delivers deeper integration of ITV programming, support for IPTV, enhanced advertising capabilities and continued access to ITV’s vast range of channels and on-demand services for Virgin TV customers.

The new agreement, which lasts over five years and signals a new commercial relationship between the two companies, includes full integration of the ITV Hub platform onto Virgin TV set-top boxes. This enables viewers to seamlessly search for and watch all of ITV’s ever-growing selection of available programmes, including more full series than ever, on-demand directly from within the ITV Hub - which currently has 34.8 million registered users. A range of new features including programme start over and cloud recording will also be introduced for some Virgin TV customers in future.

This full integration of the ITV Hub platform also brings increased benefits to advertisers through Planet V, ITV’s innovative programmatic addressable advertising platform. Planet V allows both advertisers and agencies control over the planning, purchasing and reporting of their campaigns on ITV Hub, building audiences with first party data and augmenting those audiences with advertisers’ own data.

Looking ahead, ITV’s live channels and the ITV Hub will also be available through Virgin TV’s upcoming IPTV service when it fully launches in early 2022 – the service will offer a seamless app and streaming-based experience powered by the company’s leading ultrafast and gigabit connectivity.  Building further upon the benefits to advertisers under this agreement, ITV will also be able to offer linear addressable advertising via IP delivery through the Planet V platform.

ITV’s wide range of much-loved programmes and content across various genres will receive enhanced prominence across all Virgin TV interfaces, and bespoke curations of content will be made available within the catch-up sections of the provider’s platform. This will help viewers easily discover, access and watch the latest and greatest ITV shows all in one place.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said:

“This extended and enhanced commercial agreement brings benefits to both ITV’s viewers and advertisers and the work that Virgin Media O2 is doing to develop its IP proposition advantages both those groups. 

As Planet V continues to grow at scale, we’re able to deliver addressable advertising via the fully integrated ITV Hub on the great platform that Virgin Media O2 continues to evolve via both on-demand and linear viewing. Plus our viewers are able to access ITV’s fantastic range of programming more easily than ever before with an enhanced viewing experience.”

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, said:

“We have been a longstanding partner of ITV for many years and this new agreement further cements our relationship. It paves the way for future product innovation and delivers more for our customers and our business, as well as enhancing the toolkit available to advertisers.

“Our focus in TV is all about providing incredible entertainment to our customers in a seamless way underpinned by the very best connectivity. As we continue to invest and innovate, having ITV’s vast selection of must-watch programming fully integrated and easily accessible plays a huge part in giving our customers a fantastic experience both now and in the future.”

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About Virgin Media O2

Virgin Media O2 launched on 1 June 2021, combining the UK’s largest and most reliable mobile network with a broadband network offering the fastest widely-available broadband speeds. It is a customer-first organisation that brings a range of connectivity services together in one place with a clear mission: to upgrade the nation. Virgin Media O2 is the corporate brand of the 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica SA, and one of the UK’s largest businesses.

The company has 47 million UK connections across broadband, mobile, TV and home phone. Its own fixed network currently passes 15.5 million premises alongside a mobile network that covers 99% of the nation’s population with 4G, and 210 towns and cities with 5G services. Virgin Media O2 is committed to delivering gigabit broadband speeds across its entire network footprint by the end of 2021 and plans to upgrade its fixed network to full fibre to the premises with completion in 2028.

Virgin Media O2 is a major investor in the UK. It employs around 18,000 people, has more than 430 retail stores and has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years. 

As integration work progresses at pace, both Virgin Media and O2 continue to offer their respective products to customers, with new, joint services launching soon.

Today, the business delivers award-winning broadband and WiFi connectivity to homes as well as providing a connected entertainment service. This brings together live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and a wide-selection of apps to customers through a set-top box and on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.

It also provides 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile services, and is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile, as well as managing a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.

Virgin Media O2 Business plays a leading role in supporting the public sector and businesses of all sizes. This includes a variety of managed connectivity services and flexible working capabilities, security, data insight, 5G private networks and cloud solutions, as well as wholesale services to other operators and partners

Awards for Virgin Media and O2’s telecommunications services include recognition by GWS for having the most reliable UK mobile network for three years in a row (2021, 2020, and 2019) and winning the publicly voted Uswitch awards in 2021 for the fourth consecutive year for Best Network Coverage (mobile) and Fastest Broadband Provider.

Virgin Media O2 is committed to using the power of connectivity to supercharge communities across the UK, taking action to close the digital divide and helping to build an inclusive, resilient, and low carbon economy. The company has an ambition to achieve net zero carbon operations (scopes 1 & 2) by the end of 2025.