Telenet reports 15% increase in SVOD as TV numbers fall

TelenetLiberty Global-owned Belgian cable operator Telenet reported a 15% year-on-year increase in users to its subscription VOD packages, Play and Play More, in Q1 as TV customer numbers dropped.

Telenet said that it ended the quarter with 361,600 SVOD package customers  and attributed the increase, in part, to the revamp of its premium entertainment platform Play More.

Telenet introduced a new user interface to the service with improved search and recommend features. Over this year it said it also plans to continue to invest in “promising local content” via co-productions with its co-owned commercial channels VIER and VIJF.

Elswhere, Telenet said that, as of March 31, some 87% of its TV customers subscribed to its ‘enhanced video services’. This translated to 1.73 million enhanced video customers, a drop of 5,300 customers quarter-over-quarter.

Telenet attributed this dip to “the intensely competitive environment and the announcement of certain rate adjustments as of mid-February 2017”.

Overall, Telenet said that subscribers to its total basic and enhanced video services decreased by 21,200 quarter-over-quarter to 1.996 million at March 31, 2017.

“Compared to the preceding quarters, we incurred a higher organic [TV customer] loss, impacted by the increased competitive environment including the effects from regulated cable wholesale,” said Telenet in its earnings announcement.

“The aforementioned organic loss excludes migrations to our enhanced video service and represents customers churning to competitors’ platforms, such as other digital television, OTT and satellite providers, or customers terminating their television service or having moved out of our service footprint.”

Telenet reported adjusted EBITDA of €289.4 million in Q1 2017, up 6% year-on-year on a rebased basis, and net profit of €65.8 million versus a net loss of €8.6 million in Q1 2016.

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