Virgin Media reports strong TiVo growth

Only 6,000 cable customers joined this quarter, but there's movement towards higher-end packages
Adam Smith

October 28, 2011
Virgin Media UK

Virgin Media has just announced its results for the quarter which ended in September.

The company highlighted strong TiVo growth spurred on by an advertising campaign which began in July. Virgin said it had 163,000 TiVo customers at the quarter end, and put on even more during this month, with 222,000 as of the middle of this week.

That’s some impressive growth all round, but particularly for October.

While Virgin only managed to add 6,000 subscribers to its cable customer base, revenue for the quarter was up £1 billion (2.2% more than Q3 2010).

The money was generated due to quality and not quantity, in so much as greater numbers of people were taking more expensive, faster broadband packages on, or multiple bundled services.

The company pointed to growing numbers of triple and quad-play customers, those with three or all four of their TV, broadband, landline and mobile services with Virgin. Triple-play penetration has increased by 2% over the last year.

Virgin punters are also lapping up higher broadband speeds, with 54% of new customers taking packages which offer speeds of 30Mbps or more. That compares to just 28% signing up for 20Mbps or better a year ago.

Over a million Virgin broadbanders are now on 20Mbps or more, a quarter of the total customer base. 187,000 of those are on 50Mbps or the new 100Mbps service which is rolling out.

Speaking of which, the company says its 100Mbps roll out is proceeding on track, and will be network-wide come the middle of next year, meaning it’ll be available to some 8 million households.

The lure of such super-fast packages will no doubt be increasing profits further, then, even if Virgin is seeing nearly as many people leaving its cable service as joining currently.

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: “Our results show that we’re successfully serving what is a rapidly emerging market for better quality services.”

“Over a quarter of our entire base now subscribe to speeds of 20Mb or higher and a record number of customers joined us on superfast broadband speeds during the period with. In TV, we have quadrupled the number of households using our game-changing TiVo service and customer advocacy for this product is very strong.”


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