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TiVo and superfast broadband bring Virgin Media’s customer numbers back in line

TiVo and superfast broadband are on the rise at Virgin Media as it recovers from last year’s analogue cable switchoff.

Virgin's 100Mbps ultrafast taxiThe TiVo box is now in 677,100 homes – 18 per cent of Virgin’s 3.8million TV subscribers – and more than 50,000 customers moved up from the free ‘M’ TV tier to subscription channels in the first three months of 2012.

Superfast broadband subscribers with over 30Mbps also increased by 146,700 from January to March, putting it in 20 per cent of Virgin’s 4.1million broadband homes.

Virgin’s home phone customers also saw their first growth since Spring 2011, when Virgin switched off its old analogue cable network and lost 36,000 customers across TV, broadband and home phones.

Neil Berkett, Virgin Media’s CEO, said: “Demand for superfast broadband and TiVo, the UK’s first mass- market connected TV service, continued to gather momentum.

“We once again demonstrated the unique power of our network by starting to double the broadband speeds of over four million customers.

“We have seen greater customer loyalty with our best subscriber retention for two years and this has reinforced our confidence that people increasingly appreciate the value of a genuinely next generation digital experience.”

Virgin’s customer base has now returned to the 4.8m it enjoyed a year ago, with a steady 86 per cent of customers taking at least two of it digital home services, and 64 per cent paying for all three.

Customer numbers grew by 21,200 in the first three months of 2011 – with Virgin signing up 189,000 new users but losing 168,000, the lowest rate of loss for two years.

Virgin’s also enjoying a boom in mobile phone contract sales, which have risen by a third over the past year to 1.1m, while 206,000 homes have at least one pre-pay Virgin Mobile phone.

That means that 15 per cent of Virgin’s customers (723,000) now have broadband, TV, home and mobile phones from Virgin – the ‘quad play’ dream result for Virgin.