Digital pay-TV revenue was down by 1.4% y-o-y due to a decline in subscribers, partly offset by an ARPU increase and an uptake in VOD.
Subscribers to digital pay-TV increased by 1,000 during the third quarter to 824,000, which was positively affected by seasonality due to the start of the football season. For the full year, the number of subscribers to digital pay TV was down by 44,000. Ziggo blamed this on the difficult macro-environment, the switch from subscription-based to on-demand-based video consumption, the price increase for live football and increased competition from OTT premium TV providers (read: Netflix).
The number of digital TV subscribers increased by 5,000 to 2,324 million in Q3, representing a penetration of 87.1%. The number of TV-only subscribers decreased by 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year, landing at a total of 634,000 as at September 30, 2014.
“The decrease was mainly due to the upsell of the dual play bundle to our TV-only subscribers, as well as churn among our TV-only subscribers,” the company said in a statement.
“Blended churn in Q3 was slightly up compared to the previous quarter, but below the average for the last four quarters. We expect to continue to experience churn among our TV-only customers as a result of increased competition and a market moving towards dual and triple play. Churn on all other product lines, and for dual play and the All-in-1 bundle in particular, is significantly lower than churn among TV-only subscribers. Therefore, we will continue to focus on upgrading customers to our dual and triple play bundles”
Ziggo had 435,000 analogue-only homes, 2,324,000 digital and analogue TV homes, bringing the total to 2,759,000 at the end of Q3 (down from 2,811,000 at the end of Q3, 2013).
“We are pleased to have another quarter of solid performance in what continues to be a competitive marketplace. The ongoing growth for Ziggo Mobile and B2B, combined with the continuing increase in the number of customers with a subscription to our internet products, confirms the attractiveness of our product portfolio,” said “CEO René Obermann in a statement.
“Our customers fully appreciate Ziggo’s capability to offer the highest internet speeds and best quality throughout our service area. In addition, we noticed that the increase in mobile-only households in the Dutch market stimulates interest for our dual play services (TV + internet).
“Supported by this operational performance, Ziggo again managed to post solid revenue and EBITDA growth in the third quarter. Particularly strong revenue growth was reported for broadband internet and mobile services, which, in combination with the price increase as at April 1, resulted in a rise in total consumer revenue excluding revenue from other sources of 3.6%. Total revenue growth excluding revenue from other sources came in even higher at 4.2%, due to ongoing double digit revenue growth for our business services.
“Until the closing of the acquisition by Liberty Global, which is expected to happen in Q4, we will run Ziggo as a completely independent company. Our management team continues to be committed to delivering the targeted financial results.”