While revenue rises, Virgin Media loses almost 27,000 TV subscriptions

8 Aug 2017

Paul Farrell, vice-president of commercial at Virgin Media Ireland, at the recent launch of free public Wi-Fi in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Image: MKC

Virgin Media Ireland has seen a dip in the number of TV subscribers in Q2 2017, but internet and mobile users grow.

Virgin Media Ireland has welcomed the news of a small increase in its revenues for Q2 this year, but it is facing an uphill battle to keep the numbers for its services outside of broadband and mobile.

In its latest report, the Irish division – part of the Liberty Global group – posted revenues of €102m, marking a 2pc increase on the same time last year.

Future Human

Leading this success has been a small increase in its number of internet subscribers, rising from 364,200 last year to 366,100 in 2017.

Virgin Media has experienced the fastest growth in its mobile service, which it launched in Ireland in 2015, with promises of cheap contracts to take on the biggest networks in the country.

In Q2, the company managed to add 12,600 subscribers to the network, bringing its total to just over 40,000 in Ireland. By comparison, at the same time last year, it had added 11,800 to the network.

However, marking a sign of its changing role, the Virgin Media report shows a major decline in traditional TV subscribers.

This year, the company had a total of 269,500 TV subscribers, marking a fall of more than 26,800 on the same period in 2016.

Liberty Global posts declining revenues

It was only a month after the release of the Q2 report for 2016 that Virgin Media announced it was to acquire the failing newcomer UTV Ireland for €10m. This has been referenced by the company as a contributor to its increased revenue.

“We are generating real momentum with our network build and have already switched on new homes and businesses in Dundalk, Drogheda, Ballina, Enniscorthy, Gorey, Tullamore, Kildare and Greystones,” said Paul Farrell, vice-president of commercial at Virgin Media Ireland.

“Ultrafast broadband is becoming essential and our new customers are benefiting from being connected to Ireland’s only truly ultrafast broadband network.”

There was less pleasing news for Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, which reported a decline of 10pc in quarterly revenue to just over $4.5bn.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic