Now here’s an interesting move from Virgin Media. The company’s just made its first foray into exclusive content by buying the UK rights to Ash vs Evil Dead. The cult Starz TV series will be exclusively available to Virgin Media customers on demand.
Ash vs Evil Dead launched in the US a few weeks, and has already been renewed for a second series. Based on Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series of movies, Bruce Campbell returns as the mightily-chinned Ash Williams, as he battles against monsters with nothing more than his wits. Also chainsaws and a shotguns.
Virgin Media's deal with Starz gives it the whole of the first series. The first five episodes already broadcast in the US will be available on demand from today to anyone who subscribes to a More TV package or above. If you're a TV XL customer, you can also watch it in HD. The rest of the series will become available each week as they air in the States.
Virgin Media's main rival Sky has form for buying up exclusive shows - the only way to watch Game of Thrones on TV is Sky Atlantic, for example. Now Virgin Media's getting in on things too, but focusing much more on its on-demand service - unsurprising considering it doesn't have its own channel.
Whether Virgin Media can properly compete on exclusive will largely depend on what it can snap up. What we can say is that it won't be anything from HBO, as Sky has that deal sown up.
Said David Bouchier, Virgin Media's chief digital entertainment officer: "We are very excited about bringing Ash vs. Evil Dead to the UK, exclusively for Virgin Media customers. This long-awaited and much anticipated series marks a step-change in our TV programming strategy and demonstrates the true potential for video on demand.
By investing in original series and bringing more exclusive TV shows to Virgin Media customers, we are unlocking the power of the box set once again. Ash vs. Evil Dead is just the start for Virgin Media customers."
Source: Hollywood Reporter