Vodafone sees fall in TV base due to COVID-19

Vodafone’s overall TV customer base declined by 236,000 in the financial full year to March, reflecting what the company described as lower retail activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the decline, the operator said that it now has over 22 million subscribers in 11 markets – a total that includes its VodafoneZiggo JV with Liberty Global ­– making Vodafone the second largest TV provider in Europe.

In Germany, the company’s TV base at the end of March was 13.342 million, down from 13.578 million a year earlier and down from 13.418 million at the end of December.

During the year, the company launched a harmonised portfolio across all homes in Germany, bringing Vodafone TV to the Unitymedia footprint. We It also launched the DAZN pay TV channel and a new Apple set-top box product during the year. It said that the benefit from these actions was not visible in commercial results due to lockdown restrictions affecting retail activity.

Vodafone’s converged customer base in Germany continued to grow, with 130,000 Consumer additions during the year. It now has over 1.6 million consumer converged accounts.

In Spain, a market where the company has struggled, Vodafone said that its library of movies and TV series and new ‘boxless’ TV app proposition supported good customer growth in TV with 156,000 customers added during the year. The Spanish operation ended the fiscal year with 1.56 million TV subs, down quarter-on-quarter but up from 1.404 million a year earlier.

The Spanish broadband customer base increased by 21,000 despite a premium pricing strategy in a price-competitive market, the company said.

Vodafone had 749,000 TV customers in Portugal at the end of the financial year, 302,000 in Italy and 2.398 million across the rest of Europe, excluding VodafoneZiggo.

Overall, Vodafone posted full year results in line with guidance, with revenue down 2.6% at €43.8 billion and adjusted EBITDA flat at €14.4 billion.

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