On-demand TV helps Virgin beat expectations
Friday 30 October 2009
More viewers than ever watching movies and TV shows on Virgin Media's catch-up service helped the group beat revenue expectations in the three months to the end of September.
Virgin's chief executive Neil Berkett was delighted with growth in the video-on-demand (VoD) service, which allows viewers to watch BBC and Channel 4 shows as well as Hollywood movies. The service hit 66 million average views a month during the quarter, 46 per cent higher than the previous year.
He said: "We differentiate ourselves with the VoD product; it is really coming to the fore. It is a real growth prospect for us and we have barely scratched the surface."
Virgin is set to face increased competition in on-demand programming next year. BSkyB is to launch a VoD service next year, while the BBC, ITV, BT and Five are working on Project Canvas, a move to bring internet TV into the living room. Mr Berkett was undaunted, saying: "Bring it on," he said "This is a world that cable was made for."
Revenues at Virgin Media rose 1.3 per cent to £953m in the three months to the end of September, up from £941m the previous year, and beating analyst expectations by 1 per cent. It added 17,800 net new customers to services excluding mobile over the three months. Jerry Dellis, an analyst at JP Morgan, called the results "very strong".
Mr Berkett said: "The growth was really pleasing as it was not just through cost cutting." He added pay TV services benefited from people staying at home more: "Pay TV is good value for money and broadband is a necessity."
Part of the rise in revenues has been due to the group's success in attracting "higher value customers, who buy more from us and stay with us longer". Average revenue per subscriber grew 6 per cent to £44.24. Virgin's services cost, on average, £18 each. Carphone Warehouse's cost about £12. Mr Berkett said the rise in revenues shows viewers were happy to pay more for quality: "We are concentrating on value for money not on the cheapest."
Customers using three of the group's services, from pay TV, broadband, home phone and mobiles, rose from 54.7 per cent to 59.5 per cent last quarter. Virgin Mobile also saw 88,000 net new customers in the quarter, but revenues at the mobile arm were down from £146m in the third quarter of 2008 to £134m, with the group blaming the fall in mobile termination charges.
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...
£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...