TiVo and broadband success for Virgin Media

Virgin Media saw a surge in new TiVo customers during the fourth quarter of 2011, with its base more than doubling to 435,000. That figure means 12% of the cable operator’s TV base now subscribes to the next generation platform that combines live TV with on-demand and web content and offers up to 1TB of storage.

The UK operator saw its TV base increase by 56,100 quarter-on-quarter but the total figure of 3.8 million pay TV customers was down 15,000 from the end of 2010.

In broadband, around half of subscriber additions in the quarter, about 133,000, took high speed services of at least 30Mbps. Overall, nearly 1.2 million customers took a package of at least 20Mbps. The number of customers taking services of at least 50 or 100Mbps increased by 67% over the course of the year to 200,000.

Virgin Media’s overall cable subscriber base increased by 15,000 during the fourth quarter, which was the first period since the second quarter 2010 that there was a year-on-year reduction in gross disconnections. Virgin Media said 697,000 customers, or 14.5% of its base, took quad-play packages including mobile services, up 19% year-on-year.

Financially, full year consumer revenue was up 3% to £2.7 billion (€3.2 billion), principally a result of increased ARPU, which was up 0.7% to £47.85.

“Our strategy of focusing on customers who want more from the digital world is paying off,” said Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media. “With the number of TiVo customers doubling in the final quarter of the year, our new TiVo service is attracting both new and existing customers. Since its commercial launch mid-way through the year, the number of TiVo subscribers has grown to almost half a million with a large and growing proportion now using its next generation functionality on a regular basis. Demand for better broadband also continues to grow fast, with around half of new customers choosing superfast speeds. The combination of the best TV experience and the best broadband, has enabled us to acquire more new customers in the quarter.”