Virgin Media and Sky unveil UK launch date for AdSmart partnership  

·        AdSmart to go live across Virgin Media from 1st July in the UK and later this year in Ireland

·        Partnership to give access to 30 million targetable TV viewers in the UK and Ireland

·        Initiative transforms the scale of impactful, brand-safe and targeted linear and video on demand TV advertising


Virgin Media and Sky today announced that, using AdSmart technology, addressable TV advertising will be available on the Virgin TV footprint in the UK from Monday 1st July.  


The launch of AdSmart will enable advertisers to target a potential audience over time of more than 30 million viewers across Sky and Virgin Media households; putting it on par with leading social networks.


AdSmart enables different ads to be shown to households watching the same programme. This gives advertisers and brands the ability to tailor their campaigns to specific audiences and locations in an intelligent and trusted way.


The partnership covers both targeted linear and video on demand (VOD) TV advertising. Sky Media will act as exclusive advertising sales agent across the entire AdSmart network in the UK.  Virgin Media will make use of technology developed by parent company Liberty Global as well as Sky’s ground-breaking AdSmart capabilities.


Virgin Media also confirmed that it expects to launch AdSmart on its own free-to-air television service (Virgin Media One) in the Republic of Ireland with trials starting from Q4 2019.


Speaking at the Connected TV World Summit in the Royal College of Physicians in London, Pat Kiely, Managing Director of Virgin Media Television said:


“This is a very exciting time as we count down to the launch of the next generation of television advertising across our network. Our partnership with Sky will ensure that television advertisers, new and old, will have access to an extended reach of 30m targetable TV viewers in the UK. AdSmart is truly a game changer for our industry and we’re delighted to play our part by adding scale and building on its current momentum.   


“I’m also delighted to confirm that our free-to-air channels in Ireland are almost ready to go live. With Virgin Media TV now representing the biggest share of commercial impacts in Ireland, this is a major breakthrough. When added to the Sky advertising portfolio, AdSmart will be accessible across 60% of commercial viewership in Ireland.”


Jamie West, Sky’s Group Director of Advanced Advertising commented:


This partnership with Virgin Media brings advertisers even more scale and opportunity to reach TV audiences in a trusted, brand-safe and measurable way. With the recent announcement that AdSmart will be going global with NBC Universal in the US, AdSmart is quickly becoming the one-stop shop for reaching consumers around the world within a premium video environment.”




Notes to Editors


·         Virgin Media reaches more than 4m households with its TV service in the UK and Ireland, with Sky reaching 11m households. Average household occupancy is 2.3 people (ONS). Note that this is a potential audience that could be reached as the respective applicable set-top box rollout increases through the duration of the partnership.



Media Enquiries



Virgin Media UK                               Virgin Media Ireland

James Lusher                                                   Anna Maria Barry                     / +353 86 2272072



Harrison Kelly / +447817476365


About Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.


Our dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and we’re expanding this through our Project Lightning programme, which could extend our network to up to 17 million premises.

Our interactive Virgin TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.


Virgin Media Television, our broadcast division, is Ireland’s number one commercial broadcaster offering three free-to-air channels (Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two, Virgin Media Three, in addition to the Virgin Media Player). We are a significant investor in home produced content in news, current affairs and drama as well as offering the best in international content. Virgin Media Sport and our 6 Extra Sport channels offer extensive sports coverage across the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.


Virgin Mobile in the UK launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.


Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.


Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers and offers WiFi service through 12 million access points across its footprint.



About Sky


With 23 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group.


We have 31,000 colleagues and together we want to connect our customers to more of what they love, including our award-winning original productions, like Patrick Melrose and Save Me, and great shows from our partners including HBO, Showtime and Warner Bros. And our ever-improving technology makes it even easier for customers to watch more of the shows they love with personalised recommendations and voice control and, our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract free service.


We treat our customers better than anyone else in our field, as Ofcom’s complaints data shows, and we look after our staff too. Sky is one of The Times Top 50 employers for women and we’re in Stonewall’s list of Top 50 LGBT-Inclusive employers.


We also use our position as the leading entertainment business in Europe to do the right thing. As part of Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, we’re committing to be completely single-use plastic free by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re supporting the WWF to protect our oceans with designated Marine Protected Areas.