Virgin Media more than doubled the take-up of its TiVo smart TV recorder in the last quarter of a turbulent 2011.
Having launched in early 2011, TiVo numbers grew by 273,000 from October to December to reach 435,100 at the end of the year.
But Virgin’s overall TV subscribers were down by 15,700 over the year, to 3.8million, as it struggled against Sky and churn down to Freeview and Freesat.
Neil Berkett, chief executive officer of Virgin Media, said: “With the number of TiVo customers doubling in the final quarter of the year, our new TiVo service is attracting both new and existing customers.
“Since its commercial launch mid-way through the year, the number of TiVo subscribers has grown to almost half a million with a large and growing proportion now using its next generation functionality on a regular basis.
“Demand for better broadband also continues to grow fast, with around half of new customers choosing superfast speeds. The combination of the best TV experience and the best broadband, has enabled us to acquire more new customers in the quarter.
“Our confidence in the growing mainstream demand for next generation digital services has recently led us to announce the roll-out of an ambitious programme to double the broadband speeds of over four million customers.
“This marks a step change in the migration to superfast speeds and, combined with the continued evolution of TiVo, further differentiates the Virgin Media customer experience.”
Broadband was a more successful area for Virgin, with total cable broadband customers rising 15,000 over the year to reach 4.1million.
Superfast broadband became more important, with 576,000 new users over the year, and around half of new subscribers taking speeds of 30Mbps or more in the final quarter.
Nearly 1.2m customers currently subscribe to tiers of 20Mbps or above, and nearly 700,000 subscribe to 30Mbps or above, including nearly 200,000 customers on 50Mbps or 100Mbps, which is up 67 per cent in the year.