Virgin Media is planning to launch a new general entertainment channel on Freeview. The channel, Virgin 1, is set to replace FTN on the Freeview platform, and – in an escalation of Virgin’s dispute with Sky, will be positioned as a direct rival to Sky One.

Virgin 1 will carry a mixture of imported US shows and specially-commissioned content from UK producers; Virgin Media has recently been in talks with Warner Bros over a possible output deal, which would enable them to pick up shows from this year’s Warner Bros slate; these include Gossip Girl, a New York-set teen soap from the creator of The OC, Twilight, an Angel-esque series about a vampire private eye, Chuck, a sci-fi comedy-drama, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a spin-off from the Terminator movies.

Though the channel will be Free-To-Air on Freeview, no details about whether encryption will be used on the Sky platform have been announced, or if Virgin 1 will be available on Freesat.

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By Expat