Advanced Television

Virgin Media adds 6000+ subs

October 27, 2011

Virgin Media has won back 6,300 cable customers in the third quarter of 2011, partly making up for losses of 36,000 over the summer after students disconnected for the holidays.

Financial results showed that revenues grew 2.2 per cent to £1 billion year on year, marking a 3.3 per cent rise for the first nine months of the year.

Overall cable customer numbers increased on the second quarter to 4.79 million. The number of telephone customers fell by 13,300 to 4.31 million, as use of mobile phones at home gradually replaces landline phone calls. Virgin says that customer ‘churn’ – the proportion of customers who quit – has increased, to 1.7 per cent, although those leaving its network spend on average £38.30 a month, 20 per cent less than the bulk of its customers.

The strategy of selling more to its existing customers led to a steady rise in ARPU (average revenue per user), up 3.2 per cent so far this year, to £47.86 a month, which is Virgin’s highest on record and compares with around £44.58 a month at rival BSkyB.

More customers are parting with extra cash for higher speed broadband and on its latest digital video recorder from TiVo

Chief executive Neil Berkett said: “Our results show that we’re successfully serving what is a rapidly emerging market for better quality services. The demand for superior connectivity is accelerating as more people, regardless of their circumstances, recognise the best digital technology is worth paying more for.”

Virgin had sold 222,000 TiVo subscriptions as of this week, up from 36,000 at the end of June. The number of on-demand TV shows watched each month reached 80 million, an increase of 10 per cent on 2010, although that figure is likely to rise as TiVo adoption spreads.

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