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Friday 18 Apr 2014

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HD content comes to BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media

This is a joint BBC and Virgin Media release

BBC HD channel content now available via BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media's TV platform

The BBC and Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) today announced the launch of High Definition (HD) content on BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media.

Virgin Media's TV customers are now able to watch some of their favourite BBC programmes, including Robin Hood, Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and Later… With Jools Holland, in HD and on demand [see Notes to Editors].

Virgin Media is the first TV platform to make BBC iPlayer available in full screen picture quality, directly to its TV customers. Demand for the service has been strong with over 100 million views since BBC iPlayer launched on Virgin Media in May 2008 and almost 15 million views in March alone.

Katharine Burns Rivington, Executive Director of Content Acquisition at Virgin Media, said: "As more households become HD Ready, we're keen to ensure that Virgin Media customers benefit from the most advanced digital TV service possible. BBC iPlayer has been a huge success on our TV platform and we're thrilled to be expanding the service with HD content. We're looking forward to increasing our line-up of broadcast HD channels over the next few months and combining the very best of HD and on demand TV."

Rahul Chakkara, BBC Controller, TV Platforms, said: "There's a real appetite for BBC iPlayer on TV screens and the addition of the BBC HD programmes further adds to its appeal. HD lets viewers enjoy their favourite programmes in exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures, perfect for the TV screen."

Upcoming highlights from the BBC HD channel, now available for catch-up on BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media, include the two remaining Doctor Who specials, the new series of Dragons' Den and children's show Kerwhizz.

Notes to Editors

To watch television in HD, Virgin Media customers need a HD V+ set-top box and an HD ready television with a HDMI socket.

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile. The company is the largest residential broadband provider in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country. Virgin Media has the UK's most advanced TV on-demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder. The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world's first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country. Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs eight entertainment channels, including Virgin1, Living, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50% joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi. With operations based entirely in the UK, Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (VMED). For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com.

About the BBC

The BBC exists to enrich people's lives with great programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. It provides a wide range of distinctive programmes and services for everyone, free of commercial interests and political bias. They include television, radio, national, local, children's, educational, language and other services for key interest groups. The BBC is financed by a TV licence paid by households. It does not have to serve the interests of advertisers, or produce a return for shareholders.

About BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is a cross-platform video on-demand product, and the BBC is working to make it available on platforms where technically feasible.

MB1

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