What channels do I get with Virgin Media Stream?

Dan Howdle | January 23rd, 2024

Virgin Media Stream

'Stream from Virgin Media' – which we'll henceforth be calling Virgin Media Stream, because, well, because that name is silly – is Virgin Media's attempt to keep up with the showstopping Sky Stream service that's setting fire to the UK TV subscription model to much applause. And it's… well, it's okay. The reasons we don't overly sing the praises of Virgin Media Stream are twofold.

First, that you will still need Virgin Media Broadband to get it, despite the box itself requiring only an internet connection (though you can get it free, which counts for a lot), and second, that the number and variety of channels offered is considerably smaller than Sky Stream. What Virgin Media Stream offers is the core of Virgin TV, but with much of the fleshy outer layer missing. For that, you'll still need a full-fat Virgin TV subscription with its TV 360 set-top box. So what channels do you get exactly? We've done the digging so you don't have to.

Key feature comparison

Here's a big picture overview of Stream from Virgin Media:

TV channels 40+
On-demand content Via apps
Contract length 18 months
Prices from £0 (free, with £35 activation fee)

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What is Stream from Virgin Media?

So, first thing's first: You can get it for free if you're either about to subscribe to Virgin Media Broadband or even as an existing customer. We suppose it should be applauded for that. But what you get is really just a small digital streaming box that delivers 40-something Freeview channels you already have numerous available means to receive for nothing. In fact, a bog-standard Freeview box will deliver them and a tonne more Freeview channels besides.

This may sound like harsh criticism. Ultimately, there may well be a wealth of customers out there without a smart TV or a Freeview box or anyway to access the actual Freeview app, and want one of these boxes thrown in with their broadband deal. We doubt it, though. It does offer the ability to download and use apps to the box, but we're equally baffled by what's missing: No NOW TV, because that's really why Virgin Media wants to give you the Stream box (to subscribe, through Virgin Media, to additional services such as Sky Channels), and no Apple TV+, whose omission is honestly baffling.

It remains however a means to access Sky TV services via Virgin Media, as well as watch your favourite TV Streaming apps (apart from those we just mentioned). Although not free, Sky Stream offers 3-4 times as many channels as well as access to all of the Sky Channels (except Sports, Cinema) as standard. And for that reason, for now, we tend to recommend that over this.

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Stream from Virgin Media channels list

So as not to present you with a wall of channel names, and because when people want to know what's included they'll tend to be checking if you are going to get one or maybe two specific channels, we've separated our Sky Stream Entertainment channels list into multiple sections to make the ones that are important to you easier to find.

Free channels on Virgin Media Stream

Here is a list of all of the channels that come with the free version of Virgin Media Stream:

BBC ONE HD BBC TWO HD ITV 1 HD Channel 4
Channel 4 HD S4C HD Channel 5 HD ITV 2 HD
BBC FOUR HD ITV 3 HD Pick QUEST HD
E4 HD Film4 HD Really More 4 HD
Cbeebies HD BBC News HD CBBC HD CITV
BBC Alba HD BBC Parliament HD Dave Drama
W HD BBC Three HD DMAX 5 USA
ITV 4 HD Yesterday ITVBe HD 4Music
5STAR 5Action HD Quest Red Challenge
4seven HD 5SELECT Blaze FreeSports HD
CBS Reality Tiny Pop Great! Movies BBC Scotland HD
Pop Sky Arts Sky News GB News HD
TG4 RTE One RTE Two Sky Sports Racing HD

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Add-on channel packs for Stream from Virgin Media

This is ultimately the real reason Virgin Media wants to give you a streaming box for nothing: It's a platform to access content you will actually have to pay a subscription fee for. None of the channels listed in this section are free. Far from it. But, at least you have the option of adding them on.

Sky Sports on Virgin Media Stream

Be aware that at the time of writing getting Sky Sports on Virgin Media Stream is among the most expensive ways to get the service. Prices do vary up and down however, and at the time of writing it was £18.75 per month at half price, but that means it's normally and eye-watering £38.75 per month. You'll need to check the price when you're considering getting it and Virgin Media will only show you add-on pricing during the sign-up process.

You may have noticed Virgin Media is throwing Sky Sports Racing HD (horse racing) in with the free channels pack. That leaves you with the following channels on the Sky Sports HD pack:

Sky Sports Action Sky Sports Arena Sky Sports Cricket Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports Football Sky Sports Golf Sky Sports Main Event Sky Sports Mix
Sky Sports News Sky Sports Premier League

TNT Sports (BT Sport) on Virgin Media Stream

TNT Sports (previously BT Sport) is another add-on you can add to Virgin Media Stream. Right now, at the time of writing, it's around half-price at £10 per month, but yes, that also means if you don't catch it during this offer it won't be cheap.

Here are the channels you'll find with TNT Sports:

TNT Sports 1 TNT Sports 2 TNT Sports 3 TNT Sports 4
TNT Ultimate

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Sky Cinema on Virgin Media Stream

You'll get all 11 Sky Cinema channels in HD for £10 per month at the time of writing (normal price £14.99 per month). Here are the channels:

Sky Action Sky Animation Sky Comedy Sky Drama
Sky Family Sky Greats Sky Hits Sky Premiere
Sky Sci-Fi Horror Sky Select Sky Thriller

Essential Entertainment channels on Virgin Media Stream

The Entertainment Essentials add-on includes a bunch of channels you probably thought you'd be getting in the Freeview section. It also includes Sky Entertainment channels, with the notable omission of Sky Atlantic, which you can't get on Virgin Media. At the time of writing, Essential Entertainment was £8 per month, though the normal price is listed as £12 per month.

Virgin TV Ultra HD Dave HD Sky Showcase HD Sky Max HD
Comedy Central HD Sky News HD Sky Witness HD GOLD HD
alibi HD W HD Sky Crime HD TLC HD
MTV HD Discovery HD Sky Sci-fi HD Sky HISTORY HD
E! HD Sky Replay National Geographic HD Sky Arts HD
Sky Comedy HD Sky Nature HD Sky Documentaries HD Sky Sports News HD
Sky Sports Mix HD

Kids Pick channels on Virgin Media Stream

The final optional add-on (besides the various appas you can add to the device, which we'll cover in the next section), is called 'Kids Pick', and comprises a collection of kids channels you won't find in the Freeview section. At the time of writing this add-on was just £2.50 per month (£4 per month normal price), and includes:

Nick Junior Nick Jr Too Cartoonito Boomerang
Cartoon Network HD Nick HD Nicktoons

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Apps on Virgin Media Stream

As a digital streaming box with its own software and operating system, you can of course load most of the streaming apps you might want onto the device. Three of them even offer subscriptions that can be rolled into the monthly price you'll pay for Virgin Media Stream: Netflix, Disney+ and Lionsgate+.

Full list coming up, but it's worth noting you won't be able to watch NOW TV via its app on the Virgin Media Stream box. If you're going to subscribe to Sky premium channels, Virgin Media wants you to do that through them. So not particularly surprising. What is surprising is the lack of Apple TV+. It's a pain, because Apple really has made some unmissable TV over the few short years it's been offering shows and movies. Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, See, Silo, Foundation, Trying, Severance and many more.

So just be aware. Here is a full list of apps you are allowed to load onto your Virgin Media Stream box:

Netflix Disney+ Prime Video YouTube
YouTube Kids Vimeo BBC iPlayer ITVHub
All4 STV Player Britbox My5
Vevo BBC Sounds BaebleMusic Dance TV
RadioLine Al Jazeera CNN France24
Switch to Virgin Media

Speak to our Virgin Media experts about switching. Call now on 0333 210 1126.

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See also

Frequently asked questions

Can I get Sky Atlantic on Virgin TV?

Unfortunately there's no way to watch Sky Atlantic on Virgin TV, despite rumours floating around the internet for years that Virgin would be able to offer it. But there's a trick to get around it. See our How can I watch Sky Atlantic? to find out more.

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