TalkTalk has shrugged off the football rights war between bigger rivals BSkyB and BT as the telecoms group added 167,000 TV customers in the last three months.
“That’s more TV customers than BT, Sky and Virgin put together,” said chief executive Dido Harding. “Not everyone wants to pay a premium for TV sport.”
TalkTalk – who began offering a YouView Internet-enabled, STB as a low-cost alternative to high-end rivals just a year ago – said it should have one million TV customers by next year.
Turnover rose 1.8 per cent to £843 million in the half year as TalkTalk notched up a third quarter of revenue growth after several tough years. Harding upgraded forecasts, which sent the shares up 6 per cent. TalkTalk made a pre-tax loss of £9 million against a £46 million profit last year but she insisted it was “a really healthy sign” as she invested in new customers, by factoring in the cost of a free set-top box or router at the start of their contract and reaping the benefit later.
TalkTalk has 4.1 million broadband customers, up 5000 in the quarter.