The number of customers for BT Vision reached 423,000 by the end of March. The British telecommunications company added 25,000 BT Vision customers in the last quarter, the lowest increase since the service was launched. At this rate, assuming linear growth, it could take five years for BT Vision to reach a million homes.
Last year BT Vision added an average of around 5,000 BT Vision customers a week. Now it seems that less than half that number are taking up the service. BT has not issued any further guidance on its stated ambition to reach at least 2 million homes by the end of 2011.
BT reports that 90% of new BT Vision customers took out a subscription package at the point of sale, which is interesting because the BT Vision service has been positioned as a subscription-free service.
Instead, BT Vision offers a rather complicated system of subscription packages that can be changed on a monthly basis, starting at £6.85 a month for the first quarter, rising to £13.70 after that. It cheapest offering is a replay service, with a selection of television shows broadcast over the last week, at £2.93 a month.
The number of subscribers, as opposed to the installed customer base, is not reported, and there are no details on any rate of churn. BT does report an average of 30 views per subscriber in March. It is not stated how many of those are for catch-up as opposed to premium services. No details of revenues from the service are provided.
Overall, BT consumer revenue fell by 7% due to a decline in calls and line rentals, “partly offset by growth in broadband and BT Vision.”
In the last quarter BT signed up over 40% of new broadband customers in the country, adding nearly 100,000 accounts to take its broadband base to 4.8 million, including some business users.
Announcing preliminary annual results, chief executive Ian Livingstone said he believed “BT will emerge from the recession a stronger company to the benefit of our customers and shareholders.”
The company plans to cut a further 15,000 jobs after making a pre-tax loss of £134 million last year, compared to a profit of £2 billion the previous year, largely down to the “unacceptable” performance of its global services division, on which it wrote down £1.6 billion.
In the next year BT expects to double the pace of the roll out of super fast broadband within existing capital expenditure plans, bringing fibre based services within the reach of more than a million homes and businesses.