Viewers vocal on Virgin-Sky spat

Virgin Media has been deluged with thousands of comments from customers facing the loss of Sky channels in the dispute between the two media giants.

Cable customers are due to lose Sky One, Sky Two, Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News from Thursday if BSkyB and the former ntl/Telewest cannot agree financial terms of a new carriage deal.

A request for comment posted to Virgin’s Have Your Say message boards has attracted around 7,000 responses across over 300 pages of replies.

Responses include those from customers threatening to migrate to BSkyB if Virgin cannot secure shows like Lost and 24, those supportive of Richard Branson standing up to Rupert Murdoch and those who say the dispute is just a spat between big kids in the playground.

The fight has also lit up the cable forums at the Digital Spy message boards.

The episode is the latest as the UK’s multi-service media and telecoms offerings hot up, with players including BT, Orange and Tiscali all now offering both television, mobile and broadband internet bundles.

More news could come on Wednesday morning, when Virgin Media issues 2006 Q4 earnings in a conference call with investors and analysts.