Virgin Media’s UK arm added just 900 TV subscribers during the three months ending December 31st, a fraction of the 21,500 who joined in the same quarter a year earlier.
The poor TV gains were revealed in parent company Liberty Global’s latest market update which was published on Tuesday.
Although growth in the TV operations was almost non-existent, Virgin Media’s ultra-fast broadband services helped it win 69,000 new broadband customers in the same period.
According to the update, the cable firm has seen the number of customers taking two services rise from 17.6% to 18.8% over the past year but has suffered a slight fall in the number taking three services, with numbers falling from 65.9% to 65.1%.
The number of ‘quad play’ customers taking mobile, TV, fixed-line phone and broadband is flat at 17%.
Telecoms and pay-TV operators are increasingly looking to cross-sell bundles of products with customers promised discounts for taking more than one service.
UK customer churn, the number of customers cancelling their services, improved from 14.6% to 14.1%.
In a statement published alongside today’s figures, Virgin Media confirmed it had seen “elevated TV churn” following its decision to hike up TV prices in the previous quarter.
The firm said the price rise “was implemented to recoup a portion of our investment in BT Sport Europe”. Virgin added the channel, which has exclusive rights to the Champions and Europa leagues, to its top-tier XL channel pack alongside a £3 per month price hike.
Many customers complained that this forced households with no interest in the leagues to subsidise football fans.