November 06, 2008

Virgin Media's results Q308

Nothing really worthy of much excitement in the latest quarter's results from VM, announced today. Numbers are up on TV but nothing sensational (up 38k on the previous quarter), ditto on the V+ (see graph) and the usual investor-friendly numbers and spin. Full presentation here for those interested.
But again, no mention whatsoever of High Definition services. Yes, Video On Demand. Yes, the return of the Sky Basics is proudly plugged. But again, the somewhat slow penetration of the V+ is seen as "an opportunity for further growth" without any real analysis as to why it's not setting the world on fire. Lack of HD perhaps? Surely not...

4 comments:

Dazz285 said...

It seems to me that Virgin will not admit to their failure to grasp HD and make use of the full potential of their V+ box. Shame really i feel that the lack of HD content is what is holding back people or even tipping them over the edge and going to Sky...

Count Stex said...

They could really do with being far more aggressive. Especially chasing the non BSB HD channels, which I admit are few

Splatz said...

This is classic 'what came first chicken or the egg'! Subscribers are not taking up V+ because of perceived lack of HD content. Virgin are not investing in HD content because of perceived lack of Subscriber interest.

Obviously real reason is lack of bandwidth due to MPEG2 and current analogue. It is huge investment to upgrade network and everyone to MPEG4.

Virgin would never admit this publically because it would be huge marketing gaff (fibre optic currently being touted as being far superior)

demented said...

Disappointing I'd say for VM. Very disappointing after 3 quarters of very positive growth for V+. After the amount of circumstancial evidence of people continued interested on forums asking about it I'm surprised. Then again we can console ourselves that sky had 1 quarter of very poor growth and a fantastic time just gone.

MPEG-4 is not that big a deal. It's MPEG-2 as it was telewest's baby. They already had a network in better shape than NTL and plans for analogue switch off. The merger screwed up both of these solid aspects of why MPEG-2 made sense. It looks a poor choice now as we have to put up with the lowest common denominators of both parts of the network and so bandwidth is very tight on the worst bit. MPEG-4 still isn't necessary in the boxes as other people have said there are various technologies to have it MPEG-4 to the headend and save space that way. I think this is probably the way to go. However if the analogue switch off is planned sooner than they think even this may be bad investment in the short to medium term. I'd love an MPEG-4 box but I appreciate we're locked in to an extent.