Unitymedia CEO Parm Sandhu has declared the ‘Jetzt digital’ campaign a success, securing about 100,000 new digital subscribers in eight weeks. Speaking to Broadband TV News this morning, Sandhu said its success was due to a number of factors. “We launched it with state media authorities, which gives it more credibilty in consumers eyes. Also, from January 1st, our digital [basic] subscription is €1 cheaper than analogue. Many operators take digital to the same level, we take it lower.”
Commenting in the Q3 figures released today, he added: “we are living up to the promise of triple play. The aggregate volume of premium cable, internet and telephony RGUs grew 21% in the quarter to 963,000, representing 17% of total Unitymedia cable RGUs at September 30, 2007. Total revenues grew by 26% to €186 million on total RGUs up 7% to 5.8 million, while EBITDA increased by 24% to €83 million, with blended ARPU up 34% to €11.27. We continued to maintain a strong EBITDA margin of 45%, reflecting the increasing take-up of higher value triple play services as well as our continuing focus on cost control and productivity, generating a 100% increase in digital and broadband net additions in the quarter from just a 28% increase in quarterly sales and marketing expenditure. Our network upgrade programme continued as planned during the quarter with 5 million homes, or 58% of our network upgraded at September 30, 2007, providing the majority of our customers with access to our triple play services. We will achieve 66% or 5.7 million homes upgraded by the end of 2007 as targeted.”
On the Arena subsidiary: “Arena recorded its second consecutive quarter of operating profitability, generating revenues of €91 million and increasing EBITDA to €15 million in the third quarter as a consequence of the sublicense agreement with Premiere. ArenaSAT is now established as a profitable stand-alone satellite platform with a stable subscriber base.”
As of September 30, Unitymedia had 4,833,000 basic cable subscribers, 593,000 premium cable RGUs, 236,000 broadband RGUs and 134,000 telephony RGUs. The DTH platform Arenasat had 333,700 subscribers.
The full figures and interview with Parm Sandhu can be found in the next edition of New Television Insider.