Liberty Global gears up for Polish Horizon launch

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries says the firm is on the “right track” with its next-generation TV service, and revealed that it is gearing up to roll out Horizon to Poland next.

Speaking on the company’s first quarter earnings call, Fries said that Poland – which will be Liberty’s fifth market for Horizon – will receive a version of the service based on the RDK platform that it, along with Time Warner Cable and Comcast, supports.

He added that the Polish service will get a cloud-based version of the Horizon UI, which he claimed is “cheaper, faster, and smarter.”

Also on the earnings call, Liberty CTO Balan Nair elaborated: “We started Horizon with middleware from NDS, and we have now evolved that and we’re slowly migrating off to the RDK stack that we’ve been working with Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

“We will launch in Poland… a version called 1.2. Then there will be another version of RDK that we’re looking at for next year that brings even more functionality to the device.”

In its results, Liberty said that it ended the first quarter with more than 550,000 Horizon TV subscribers across four countries – the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland and Germany. With an additional 2.1 million Virgin Media TiVo customers the UK, Liberty Global said that its next-generation video base now exceeds 2.6 million subscribers.

“I’m more and more excited about Horizon as time goes by, and more and more convinced that we’re on the right track. I’m thankful that we pushed for such an important and sophisticated user experience. Every cable operator will get here at some point. It just feels good to have already arrived,” said Fries.

Breaking down some of its Horizon numbers on the call, Fries said that Switzerland is its most successful market for the service, with 160,000 Horizon TV subs, or 24% penetration of its digital TV base.