BT Vision has become the fastest-growing pay-TV service in the UK, adding more customers in a quarter than BSkyB for the first time since launching more than four years ago.One thing I would say is that, with the analogue signal switch off now rolling around the country BT Vision is picking up those who don't fancy Sky or Virgin's relatively high monthly costs but fancy a bit more than the basic Freeview. I'd imagine in time this market will be better catered for by a combination of Freeview (including a handful of HD channels) and SmartTV services on the newer TV ranges, but for now BT is enjoying its (limited) success.
The telecoms company's pay-TV offering – which combines Freeview channels with sport, movies and on-demand content via broadband – said that the addition of the BBC iPlayer and a significant amount of on-demand content from major film studios had helped boost numbers.
BT Vision added 41,000 customers in the three months to the end of September, the most the service has attracted in a quarter for more than two years.
It also marks first time BT Vision has ever added more TV customers in a quarter than BSkyB since launching in mid-2007.
BSkyB added 26,000 pay-TV customers in the quarter to the end of September – well down on the almost 100,000 it reported in the same period in 2010 – while cable pay-TV operator Virgin Media's total television subscribers declined by almost 6,000 in the period.
"It is the first time we have beaten Sky since launch and we have added more customers than both [including Virgin Media] combined," said Marc Watson, chief executive of BT Vision. "It is very encouraging but we are not getting carried away. We are a young business with a lot to do."
Virgin Media refuted the claim, arguing that it added 42,000 new TV customers to its TiVo service. While this is slightly ahead of BT's growth rate, Virgin also lost customers in the third quarter, adding a net total of 28,800 pay-TV customers.
November 03, 2011
BT Vision "the fastest-growing pay-TV service in the UK"
Report from MediaGuardian: