Virgin Media faces decline in TV customer numbers

Q4 results indicate a fall in Virgin Media TV customers while mobile subscriptions are on the rise

David Baker
by David Baker on 16th February, 2016

The quad play provider, which rebranded from UPC to Virgin Media in November 2015, saw its total number of TV, broadband and phone subscribers reach 1.1 million in the last year.

The latest results show that the TV customer numbers fell by 38,000 in the last year, while a further 22,000 are set to leave in April when its MMDS service ends due to spectrum relocation.

It means that Virgin Media now has a greater number of broadband customers (371,200) than it does TV customers (311,200) - the first time in the company’s history that this has occurred.

Virgin Media’s Chief Financial Officer Carol Grennan described 2015 as a “year of continued investment” before adding that she expects further innovation in the year ahead.

She added that the mobile subscription numbers were a particularly positive result, before saying that the firm is planning to introduce 4G handsets to provide “even greater choice”.

Overall, revenues for its business division was up 21% year on year in the fourth quarter while Grennan added that the “breadth of our product portfolio” will help provide competitive advantage in 2016.

Virgin Media in the fourth quarter

The fourth quarter saw new CEO Tony Hanway take control of Virgin Media Ireland while the firm also completed a deal to acquire TV3 in its first venture into the free-to-air broadcasting market.

Hanway’s appointment coincided with the rebrand from UPC to Virgin Media alongside a multi-million pound investment to develop faster broadband speeds and a focus on enhancing its mobile and TV offering.

Virgin Media acquired 6,500 new mobile subscriptions after the initial launch of its mobile service in the fourth quarter. with total number of mobile subscribers now standing at 7,600.

The firm’s Horizon TV customers benefited from the introduction of Replay TV and Startover TV services, two new on demand features designed to enhance the TV viewing experience, flexibility and choice for customers.

The provider was also recently named Ireland’s fastest broadband provider by Ookla, based on more than one million speed tests by customers across the country.

According to Virgin Media their new top line broadband speeds of 360Mbps – is now available to nearly 50% of Irish homes.

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