May 26, 2010 / 11:50 PM / 9 years ago

Virgin Media's TV channels in BSkyB's grasp--paper

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s dominant pay-TV company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc BSY.L is close to finalising a deal to buy Virgin Media Inc’s VMED.OVMED.L TV channels, the Guardian reported in its Thursday edition.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper said a deal to buy its competitor’s channels business, which includes Virgin1, Living, Bravo and Challenge for about 150 million to 160 million pounds could be announced as early as next week.

“We are absolutely steaming ahead, and it should be done, if not by the end of this week, then next week,” the Guardian cited the source as saying.

BSkyB and Virgin Media could not immediately be reached for comment.

Virgin Media is thought to be negotiating a deal to allow it continued access to its TV channels, as well as BSkyB’s sports, movie and high-definition channels following any sale, according to the paper.

Last month, Virgin Media said it added 38,300 net cable customers in the first quarter and the average amount they were paying per month was up 5.3 percent to 45.01 pounds, also a record. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; editing by Andre Grenon)

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