Total TV net additions were 24,800 in the quarter (Q1-08: 36,800; Q2-07: 2,200). Net additions were up compared to the same quarter last year which was negatively affected by BSkyB’s removal of its basic TV channels from our platform.The last piece is perhaps the most interesting to readers of this blog; Virgin added almost twice as many customers to the world of HD this month than Sky, and now has an HD-capable 425k homes compared to Sky's 490k . But there ain't a single mention of HD services in the press release which means anyone hopeful of more channels in 2008 is heading for disappointment. What's more, the success of the VOD service will reinforce VM's belief that strategically it's onto a winner investing solely in On Demand services when it comes to TV, especially as the take up of Sky's HD premium package has slowed with just 33k new subscribers this quarter. Whilst I'm not convinced that there's sufficient demand for 50mb connectivity at home unless it's coupled with some fabulous new content stream that needs that speed, Berkett and co are unlikely to change their thinking based on these results or Sky's this quarter.
During the quarter, we launched the BBC’s iPlayer service on our VOD platform offering hundreds of hours of BBC “catch-up” content. Virgin Media is the first TV platform to make BBC iPlayer available in full screen picture quality directly to its 3.4m digital TV subscribers. Developments like this give VOD a new impetus and help establish on-demand as a genuinely mainstream TV service.
Customers are increasingly using our VOD services. On a monthly basis, 1.6m of our TV customers are now using VOD, representing a reach of 48%. Average views per user per month in the quarter were 24 compared to 14 a year ago. Average monthly views were 38m in the quarter, up 5% on the previous quarter and up 92% on the same quarter last year.
During the quarter, we added 60,700 V+ DVR subscribers to reach an installed base of 424,900. This represents a penetration level of just 13% of our digital subscribers and so the growth opportunity remains strong.
Go on Virgin, prove me wrong and give us at least C4HD before Christmas...