April 11, 2010

23% of Virgin TV customers now have HD

Found this interesting snippet in an OFCOM report this week on the take up of HD services in the UK:
  • Sky added 482,000 extra subscribers to its HD service, the highest quarterly additions to date. Total HD subscriptions are now almost 2.1 million equivalent to around 21 per cent of its customer base (up from 8.4 per cent in Q4 2008).
  • Virgin’s V+ HD service added 112,700 subscribers to reach 862,000 by the end of 2009, equivalent to 23 per cent of its TV subscriber base (up from 14 per cent in Q4 2008).
So Sky has the bigger number, but in terms of penetration of overall customer base it is Virgin that is actually closer to a quarter of its TV customers having HD services. Of course, the fact that the only PVR from Virgin is an HD device has distorted these numbers somewhat, but with the vastly improved HD line up on Virgin and now the non-PVR HD box shipping, I wouldn't be surprised to see a more rapid take up of HD penetration on cable this year.


Moe said...

The more interesting thing here is that cables total customer base has been static at around 3.5 million for about 10-12 years where as Sky went from having less customers to 10 million in the same period.

Okay Sky is easier to get and cable is limited in which areas, but it is surprising that the number has stayed about the same for such a long time especially considering how good the service is now.

sibod said...

I did a little comparison of costs this weekend.
With 20 meg broadband, (Their maximum), and talk unlimited with line renta and caller displayl, sky with HD would cost me:
£59 a month.

For the same bundle with XL , XL and XL, + Caller display, Virgin costs:

So for £1 more, you don't get anything extra as compared to Sky.

This is why people are choosing Satellite.

I would have, hadnt it been for the fact that Virgin's broadband product is more reliable than ADSL in my area (3.5 megs or lower on ADSL!).

Add movies and the cost is £77.5 for Virgin and 75, or £2.50 cheaper

With Movies + Sports:: Virgin £85.5 Sky: £84.50, or £1 cheaper.

Given Sky are cheaper and offer more HD content, it's no wonder people are going for that instead of cable.

sibod said...


Basic channels + L telephone M BROADBAND+ CLI :40.44
Sky Variety pack, Talk evenings, 10 meg broadband + CLI = 44.

Advantage Virgin

With movies =
Virgin = 73.94
Sky: 69.50

Advantage: Sky

Basically, Virgin need to drop their line rental price and drop charging for extras like Caller Display else they are pricing themselves higher than Sky.

Remove landline rental from he equation

Virgin's basic TV +Broadband L+ V+ £36.50
Sky basic + HD Pack:+ mid broadband = £38

Essentially anything but the most basic, packages, Virgin lose out!

Remove HD from the equation and Sky are handing Virgin their backsides on a plate.

Krankor said...

"So Sky has the bigger number, but in terms of penetration of overall customer base it is Virgin that is actually closer to a quarter of its TV customers having HD services."

Sorry, but this makes no sense.
This would also be true if Virgin only gained 4 new subscribers for the year of which 1 of them took HD (25%).

You cannot compare percentages like this.

Nialli said...

@Sibod: I try to avoid the Sky vs Virgin costs debate on this blog as it is covered ad nauseum elsewhere and there appears to be little consistency in pricing when you pick up the phone and enquire directly. But let's not get into that on this blog.
@Krankor: agree to some extent, but I thought the fact that almost a quarter of VM customers now have HD boxes was interesting. Probably a mistake to draw a comparison to Sky in the OP.

Square eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

I agree that Sibod is incorrect also. I have XL TV, M BB & M TEL, and my services come to around £2.50 less than the sky equivelent. In this case, the Sky equivelent would be 8 Meg ADSL (Which you simply can't compare to my at least 9 Meg measured Cable), Sky+HD with 6 mixes and eve+weekend landline. Virgin has its downsides, its not all great, but I prefer the way they are looking to improve whereas Sky just keep throwing more (rubbish) channels into the mix.