Virgin Media’s battle to beat Sky on sheer volume of content, has ramped up a notch or two (well, four, actually) with the addition of three Channel 4 channels and UMP Movies, which airs popular Bollywood films, to its mobile catch-up service, TV Anywhere.
The new channels are 4Seven (the showcase channel that draws together the most popular Channel 4 TV offerings from the previous week), and time-shifted channels More 4+1 and Channel 4+1. The addition brings the number of channels Virgin Media offers on its TV Anywhere service to 113 - ahead of the 71 available on Sky's equivalent, Sky Go.
Even though Sky added a further five channels to the service last week, it appears to be dropping behind Virgin Media ever so slightly - at least as far as the mobile on-demand corner of the market is concerned.
In contrast, Virgin Media added 15 at the start of October, including B4U Music, E!, Al Jazeera (in English and Arabic), France TV (in English and French), Forces TV, ARY News, Lahme, Ginx, NHK World HD, NDTV 24*7, TV5, Zing and The Africa Channel.
Sky Go has been up and running for longer than TV Anywhere (it launched in 2006, while TV Anywhere only made its debut in 2012), the prize for widest channel choice (at the moment) has to go to the latter.
However, as well as 71 channels, Sky Go also gives you access to on demand Sky Movies and Sky Sports - they're free to access if you're a subscriber, but you can also by a monthly ticket for temporary access.
Sky's on-demand service is also on more devices than Virgin TV Anywhere. You can get it on iOS devices, Android phones, games consoles and more. Virgin TV Anywhere's, on the other hand, is limited to iPhones and iPads, and a smaller selection of Android handsets.
So while Virgin Media TV Anywhere's leading on quantity, Sky Go's quality of content and availability means it's not lagging far behind. Ultimately, this sort of competition can only benefit you and me. Especially since Sky's unlikely to stand still and let Virgin Media overtake it for long.
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