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UKTV’s Drama and Really launch on Virgin Media Ireland

UKTV’s Drama and Really channels are due to launch on Virgin Media Ireland for the first time, with the operator and channel provider expanding their partnership in the country in the wake of their public spat this summer.

Drama will be available on channel number 164 of the electronic programme guide and will air shows like Pride and Prejudice, Father Brown and The Brokenwood Mysteries.

Really will broadcast on channel 165 and will air a range of documentaries and real-life stories, including UKTV Originals like Cops UK: Bodycam Squad and Helicopter ER.

“Virgin TV is now the go-to platform for the best-connected entertainment and viewing experience,” said Paul Farrell, vice president of Virgin Media. “We’re delighted to be building on our leadership by giving our customers more UKTV shows with the arrival of UKTV’s Drama and Really channels.

UKTV’s chief commercial officer, Simon Michaelides, said: “Launching new channels on Virgin Media Ireland is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the UK and The Republic of Ireland with the best TV. I’m really pleased that Virgin Media Ireland customers will now have access to all the brilliantly entertaining shows on offer on Drama and Really.”

Drama and Really join UKTV’s Dave, Alibi, Gold and W channels, which are already on the Virgin platform in Ireland, on channels 122, 151, 120 and 160 respectively. Catch-up and on-demand service, UKTV Play, is also already available on Virgin Media Ireland.

The expanded partnership follows the three-week stand-off between UKTV and Virgin Media in July that resulted in all of UKTV’s channels being taken off the pay TV platform in both the UK and Ireland.

Virgin temporarily replaced Dave, Gold, Alibi and W in Ireland with four new CBS channels – CBS Drama, CBS Reality, CBS Action and the Horror Channel.

The two parties agreed a new carriage deal in August that restored all UKTV’s channels and added more than five-times the amount of on-demand programming – including what Virgin described as “significantly more boxsets” for its ‘Full House’ TV package customers.