Virgin Media has confirmed that boxing fans will have to continue paying for BoxNation, despite rival BT recently announcing it would be bundling the channel with its sports pack from next year.
Customers who subscribe to the BT Sport channels on BT TV, Sky and TalkTalk will all receive BoxNation at no extra cost after BT and channel owner Frank Warren announced a major tie-up which will give Warren’s fights a much larger potential audience.
However the deal excludes Virgin Media which has separate wholesale deals with BT Sport and BoxNation and charges customers for the channels on their standard cable bill.
This differs from Sky and TalkTalk whose customers pay BT directly for the channels which they can then watch and record on their existing, non-BT set top box.
Although Virgin Media bundles BT Sport with some of its pricier viewing packs, a spokesperson has confirmed the company “won’t be bundling BoxNation”.
This means that while the cable firm’s viewers will get to see the 20 fights simulcast on BT Sport, those wanting to see the rest of Warren’s line-up will have to subscribe to BoxNation for an extra £11 per month.
A Virgin Media spokesperson told SEENIT the monthly price was “the most competitive offer available compared to a number of other providers”.
Virgin’s decision to bundle BT Sport has been blamed for a series of price hikes as it seeks to recoup the money it pays BT for the channel. The firm has also previously confirmed that the cost of acquiring channels and content from BT and Sky has adversely impacted its bottom line.
Update: Asked to comment on recent rumours that the BT Sport channels could be removed from the XL pack next year, the spokesperson added: “That’s definitely not the case. BT Sport will remain part of the pack.”