Liberty Global posted preliminary results for some of its European operations, presenting a mixed picture across Europe. There are continuing losses for basic video services as the group focuses on next generation experiences through its own Horizon platform, and through TiVo in the United Kingdom. Virgin Media has shown little signs of subscriber growth for several years.
Virgin Media lost 12,200 television subscribers in the United Kingdom in the second quarter of 2015, having lost 11,300 in the first quarter. At the end of June it had just 3,000 more television customers than it had 12 months previously, at 3.74 million.
UPC in Ireland, now part of Virgin Media, lost 2,900 enhanced video subscribers and 2,700 basic video customers, ending up with 318,900 enhanced video subscribers.
Subscriptions to TiVo in the United Kingdom and Horizon in Ireland increased by 91,000 in the second quarter to 2.9 million, representing 71% of the enhanced video subscriber base.
Liberty Global now notably reports numbers for the United Kingdom and Ireland separately, having previously consolidated their results following the transfer of UPC Ireland assets to the Virgin Media group.
Unitymedia in Germany gained 11,800 enhanced video subscribers but lost 19,300 basic video customers, ending with 1.40 million enhanced and 5.11 million basic video subscribers.
Ziggo in the Netherlands lost 20,300 enhanced video subscribers and 36,300 basic video subscribers, following the acquisition by UPC Netherlands. It now has 3.35 million enhanced video subscribers.
Elsewhere in the Liberty Global group under the UPC brand there were small gains in enhanced video subscribers, up by 29,900, led by gains in Romania and Hungary. These were offset by continuing losses of 52,400 basic video subscribers, down by 38,900, with a loss of 23,000 in Switzerland. The total number of enhanced video customers is now 3.50 million, across Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.
The roll out of the next generation Horizon platform continues. The Horizon user base increased by 34,000 for Unitymedia in Germany to pass the 350,000 mark. For the Dutch brand Ziggo it increased by 62,000 to 437,000. Under the UPC brand it increased by 50,000 to 308,000. So across the group there are now over a million Horizon subscribers.
In June, Vodafone confirmed that it was “in the early stages of discussions with Liberty Global regarding a possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies.”