Thursday 8 December 2016

Virgin Media Ireland gains mobile users but loses internet and home phone customers

Published 06/08/2016 | 02:30

Chief executive Tony Hanway
Chief executive Tony Hanway

Mobile subscribers at Virgin Media Ireland increased by 1,300 over the last three months, however the company reported falls in video, home phone and internet customers.

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Mobile subscribers at Virgin Media Ireland increased by 1,300 over the last three months, however the company reported falls in video, home phone and internet customers.

Total television customers at the company fell by 2.8pc to 323,200 during the period.

The fall-off in customers came before the announcement that Virgin would not be carrying Eir's sport offering, which includes BT Sport.

Virgin has also since said that there will be no going back on its decision not to broadcast the Eir sports package.

The company also reported a minor drop in its total internet customers with 3,500 leaving. Company-wide Virgin's total customer base dropped by 6,500 during the three months to the end of June. Despite the fall in customers, the firm increased revenue by 2pc in the quarter, rising to €100m.

Virgin Media Ireland is part of the Liberty Global Group, which is chaired by US billionaire John Malone.

Mr Malone bought TV3 last year and backed it up with a €10m deal for UTV Ireland as he continues to increase his footprint in Irish media.

Virgin Media Ireland chief executive Tony Hanway said the company added 13,000 new premises to its broadband network so far this year.

"On the TV broadcasting front, Virgin Media recently announced we have entered into an agreement with ITV to acquire UTV Ireland, the nation's newest free-to-air commercial broadcaster.

"This is another exciting development for Virgin Media and demonstrates our continued commitment to providing great content for Irish viewers. "The proposed acquisition adds Ireland's newest TV channel to our existing portfolio, which includes TV3, 3e," he said.

Earlier in the year Eir announced it would be offering customers free access to six sports channels carrying Setanta and BT content over Eir broadband descriptions. Liberty Global posted total revenue of $5.07bn during the quarter and added 277,000 new subscribers overall.

Irish Independent

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