ITV has written to Virgin Media warning that it could remove its channels if an agreement cannot be reached.
The Guardian has reported that Virgin Media’s decision on Sunday to remove UKTV’s 10 TV channels appears to have provided an opportunity for ITV to pressure the cable operator.
Four sources have reportedly confirmed that a letter was sent and contains an ultimatum, or threat, that ITV could remove its channels as soon as this weekend if a deal cannot be agreed on.
It is unclear if the broadcaster would be allowed to take down its flagship public service channel that must be supplied to rivals under broadcasting regulations.
Sources say however that despite the letter, the two are now close to signing a deal. One source described the letter as “opportunistic” but not likely to result in a breakdown in relations, as was the case with UKTV.
A Virgin Media spokesman told the Guardian: “All ITV channels remain live on Virgin TV and we have no intention of removing them.”