New UPC set-top boxes will allow TVs to synchronise with devices
UPC plans to introduce its next-generation Horizon set-top box to the Irish market next year in a bid to boost its flat television subscriber base.
Mike Fries, chief executive of UPC’s parent company Liberty Global, confirmed the launch yesterday, as he described the group’s addition of Horizon TV to the Dutch market as “a watershed event”.
UPC Ireland added 110,700 subscribers over the past year, taking its total customer tally to 969,200 by the end of the third quarter, figures released yesterday show. This represents a rise in its customer base of 13 per cent.
The company’s “triple-play” packages have seen strong growth in its home phone and broadband subscribers, with home phone customers soaring 55 per cent to 223,400 year-on-year and broadband subscribers rising 22 per cent to 294,300.
However, its television customers are flat year-on-year at 384,000, despite the company’s move to introduce on-demand services ahead of rival Sky.
UPC’s on-demand offering, which was launched at the end of May, has prompted 8 million views by its customers.
During the quarter, it also added 21 new HD channels to its line-up of channels.
But potentially more significant developments in the Irish pay TV market are on their way.
Horizon set-top boxes allow viewers to synchronise their television sets with mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones.
The Dutch version also features a selection of news apps, further breaking down the separation between the traditional TV set and computers.
Liberty Global said the take-up of Horizon in the Netherlands had exceeded its expectations, with 50,000 customers signing up in the wake of its launch.