Virgin Media offers Sky Sports and Sky Movies in HD for the first time

Virgin Media

They'll have to pay a £7/month premium on top of their existing Sky package from Virgin, but that's less than the £10 Sky charges for its HD pack.

Virgin claims its subscribers can save up to £144 a year compared to the cost of the same services on Sky HD.

Sky Sports HD1 and HD2 include Premier League football, cricket and rugby union in high definition. Any Virgin customer who currently subscribes to the single or dual Sky Sports Pack in standard definition will be able to add the HD sports channels for an extra £7/month.

Film fans with a subscription to Virgin's single movies Pack 1, Pack 2 or dual movies Pack 1 and 2 will also be able to add up to ten Sky Movie channels in high definition for £7/month (excludes Sky Movies Classics, Sky Movies Premiere +1 and Disney Cinemagic).

The addition of Sky's HD services follows Virgin Media's deal with Sky to bring its customers a wide range of new HD channels and red button interactive services. The deal also adds Sky 1HD and Sky Arts HD (launch date to be confirmed), taking the total number of high-definition channels on Virgin to 30.

High-definition versions of non-Sky channels such as BBC HD, ITV 1 HD, 4HD, Film 4HD and Five HD remain free of additional subscription costs.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, says: "As the new home of HD telly, we're delighted to bring our customers Sky Sports in HD at incredibly competitive rates."

To capitalise on the start of the new football season, Virgin today launches an extensive marketing campaign aimed at footy fans.

Last month Virgin slashed the cost of Sky's standard-definition Sports and Movie packages.

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