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Virgin Media releases 2008 3rd QTR results: 50Mb coming end of year?

# 6 November 2008, 16:29 by Cable Forum

Just two days after Virgin Media and BSkyB ended their long running feud with each other, today the cable company releases its third quarter results for the year. Revenue was down this quarter, figures were £991 million, compared to £1.01 billion in Q3 2007. In Q3 2008, VM added 68,700 broadband connections, taking its total broadband customers to 3,630,000. There was an additional 37,800 television customers, total TV customers of 3,570,000 and there was 15,400 customers taking up the Telephone service bringing the total Telephone customers to 4,080,000.

Apparently its been revealed today that both companies have agreed to pay the other; £30m per year, over a 4 year deal – relating to their channel agreements. Because VM and Sky are receiving the same amount, the deal seems to be on the promise of ‘Virgin Media can carry Sky’s channels if Sky can carry Virgin Media’s.’ However, due to the performance-related targets in place as part of the agreement between the two sides, there is the potential of bonus payments on top.

From the the financial results today, Virgin Media has said it will be focusing more on its Broadband product, as it sees this as its ‘premier’ product and hopes to have the long awaited 50Mb tier service available to customers by the end of this year. When this is launched, Virgin Media will have four tiers of broadband service at 2Mb, 10Mb, 20Mb and 50Mb.

Virgin Media also saw an additional 43,800 V+ DVR subscribers in Q3, bringing the total number of V+ customers to 468,700. Virgin Media strongly believe that VOD subscribers and V+ DVR users are less likely to churn. (Leave due to strong competition from rival providers)

Commenting on the results, Neil Berkett, Virgin Media Chief Executive, said:

“These third quarter results represent another solid operational and financial performance as we continue to execute against our strategy. In particular, we have grown ARPU, churn remains lower than a year ago and our customers are buying more products from us than ever before.

In the face of a slowdown in the general economy, our business has shown good resilience and we are focused on keeping churn low, improving our operational execution and driving unnecessary costs and inefficiencies out of the business.

We continue to exploit our competitive advantages in leading next generation broadband in the UK and redefining the on-demand TV experience. Our fourth quarter will mark a major milestone as we launch our unrivalled 50Mb broadband service.”

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