To say the first week of August has been action packed for Liberty Global is something of an understatement.
It began with the announcement that the company had renewed a long-term distribution agreement with Discovery Communications.
Covering the latter’s full portfolio of channels, including Discovery, TLC, ID and Eurosport, it ensured that Liberty’s customers in the 12 European countries the company is present in would continue to receive those channels for the foreseeable future. As would be expected in this day and age, the agreement also included digital rights.
In addition, the deal ensured that Liberty’s customers would for the first time be offered full coverage of Olympic Games, starting in 2018.
Next up in a week of major announcements was the news that Liberty had entered into a major multi-territorial original partnership with All3Media, the independent production and distribution company it jointly acquired with Discovery in 2014. The deal is the first time Liberty has teamed up with such a company to make exclusive programming – in this instance provided on an on demand basis – for its customers.
Liberty then received some good news from the European Commission, which gave its approval to the merger of Vodafone and Ziggo in the Netherlands. Needless to say, this was welcomed by both Vodafone and Ziggo’s owner Liberty, despite the requirement for Vodafone to sell its consumer fixed business Vodafone Home.
Last but not least, Liberty published its latest set of results towards the end of the week. Second quarter highlights from a CEE perspective included Poland being the third leading European market in Horizon take-up, with 35,000 additions; 38,000 additions in Slovakia and 7,000 in Hungary for the Horizon-Lite product; and 3% rebased revenue growth for Liberty’s regional operations, thanks largely to its DTH operation and businesses in the Czech Republic and Poland.
More generally, Liberty achieved two notable milestones in Q2. Firstly, in the UK Virgin Media secured 66,000 new TiVo customers and thereby crossed the 3 million threshold. Secondly, Liberty’s next generation TV subscriber count surpassed 7 million for the first time.