Virgin Media adds 46,600 digital TV subscribers in 1Q10

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 
Virgin Media logo

LONDON — Virgin Media Inc. (NASDAQ:VMED) (LSE:VMED) announces results for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Bringing “Digital Entertainment” into homes

We grew our digital TV base by 46,600 in the quarter to over 3.7m. We have now switched off our analogue TV signal in all digitally capable areas, freeing up significant spectrum to enhance both our TV and broadband services further. Taking into account this planned decline in analogue TV services, our TV customer net growth was 35,700.

Subscribers are increasingly using our market-leading video-on-demand (VOD) service and 58% of our TV customers now regularly watch VOD. We are developing monetization of this library of thousands of hours of content, working with broadcasters and advertisers to create dynamic pre-, mid- and post-roll adverts. We recently announced a landmark first agreement with two UK media agencies that are part of Aegis Group, one of the world’s leading marketing communications companies.

Our VOD services include a substantial amount of high definition (HD) content. We are also continuing to expand our HD offering, where we now offer 12 HD channels and expect to add even more in the coming months. We have also launched our new HD ready standard set-top box, the V HD Box, which is available for no additional monthly subscription fee, ensuring our customers do not need to pay extra per month for access to HD channels. Our V+ HD DVR subscriber base continues to grow and we added 77,900 subscribers in the quarter to reach an installed base of 939,900, which represents a penetration level of 25%.

We also continue to work with TiVo to develop a new converged TV and broadband interactive platform which will be unveiled later this year.

Consumer Operations Statistics (‘000s) – Television:

Total         Q1 2010  Q4 2009  Q1 2009
              -------  -------  -------
Digital TV    3,702.8  3,656.2  3,510.4
Analogue TV      26.8     37.7     91.9
              -------  -------  -------
              3,729.6  3,693.9  3,602.3
Adds          Q1 2010  Q4 2009  Q1 2009
              -------  -------  -------
Digital TV       46.6     56.9     41.4
Analogue TV    (10.9)   (22.7)   (10.8)
              -------  -------  -------
                 35.7     34.2     30.6

As part of our analogue switch off programme during the quarter we identified 49,300 analogue customers as of December 31, 2009 that we do not expect to convert to digital products and services. These customers were previously reflected in our Consumer and Cable Operations tables as both customers and Analogue TV (ATV) products. As they do not receive any directly billable services from us they will not be included in our Operations tables in future periods.

To ensure our operations statistics are presented on a comparable basis, we have removed 49,300 customers from our customer and ATV product numbers for all previously reported periods. The following statistics have been recalculated: Opening and Closing Customers and Products, Monthly Cable customer churn %, ATV Products, Products / Customer, Percentage of dual or triple products, Percentage of triple products, Cable ARPU, Average customers, Quad-play penetration.

More: Earnings Release