Virgin set to drop Dave and other UKTV channels

Irish customers will see four CBS rerun channels added from Sunday

Virgin Media Ireland customers may see four channels owned by UKTV disappear from Sunday after negotiations on a renewal of the carriage agreement between the two companies stalled.

Four channels owned by CBS Studios International and AMC Networks International will be added to the Irish platform for the first time from this weekend.

However, the channels Dave, Gold, W and Alibi will disappear from Virgin's platform unless a new carriage deal can be agreed at the last minute between the pay-TV operator and UKTV, which is jointly owned by the BBC and US media giant Discovery.

Talks have faltered as UKTV believes Virgin’s renewal bid is too low, while Virgin is dissatisfied that the deal does not include on-demand rights.


Dave shows repeats of Top Gear, Mock the Week, QI and American Pickers, while Gold is the home of Only Fools and Horses, Mrs Brown's Boys, Dad's Army and Last of the Summer Wine reruns.

Alibi's line-up includes the Murdoch Mysteries, Death in Paradise and New Tricks; and W, previously known as Watch, broadcasts Tipping Point, My Dream Home and Inside the Ambulance.

Virgin said much of the same content could be found on Netflix, as well as on RTÉ, the BBC and its own TV3 group of channels.

UKTV chief executive Darren Childs said the company couldn’t accept the “drastic cut” in fees that Virgin was seeking. Its channels will continue to be available in Ireland on the Sky, Vodafone and Eir television platforms.

It is still possible that a renewal deal will be struck and the channels will remain on Virgin Media without interruption to the service.

Either way, Virgin Media Ireland will add CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Reality and the Horror Channel from the early hours of Sunday morning.

CBS Action offers repeats of crime shows such as NCIS and CSI Miami along with the 1990s Dick Van Dyke vehicle Diagosis: Murder, while CBS Drama is the home of "era-defining classics" such as ER and Dynasty.

CBS Reality is where viewers will find Bondi Rescue and Voice of a Serial Killer, and the Horror Channel shows a mix of horror and science fiction television and films.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics