UPC’s base slips back

Total subscriptions rise 7 per cent as more people sign up for product bundles

Magnus Ternsjö, chief executive of UPC Ireland, and Mark Coan, vice-president of UPC sales and marketing, pictured at the launch of its Horizon set- top box in August. UPC says there have been 30,000 subscriptions to Horizon TV in the year to the end of September. photograph: cyril byrne

Magnus Ternsjö, chief executive of UPC Ireland, and Mark Coan, vice-president of UPC sales and marketing, pictured at the launch of its Horizon set- top box in August. UPC says there have been 30,000 subscriptions to Horizon TV in the year to the end of September. photograph: cyril byrne

 

UPC Ireland has been toasting 30,000 subscriptions to its new Horizon TV service and a 7 per cent rise in overall subscriptions in the year to the end of September, but the data published by parent company Liberty Global shows the number of customer relationships it has in the Irish market has actually fallen.

UPC has 1,040,000 total subscriptions or “revenue-generating units” in the Republic, up 70,800 year-on-year, but its customer relationship tally has slipped from 538,200 to 534,700.

Customer relationships are defined as the number of customers who receive at least one service without regard to which or to how many services they subscribe, while revenue- generating units are counted separately for each service.

Horizon TV, launched in August, is the company’s newest digital television platform, offering the most sophisticated user interface, improved functionality and greater accessibility across a range of devices.

The figures suggest both UPC’s fibre broadband network and the Horizon service have helped the company increase its average revenue per customer in Ireland. However they also indicate that the high-profile marketing campaigns for its new or upgraded products have not helped it extend its customer base.

UPC Ireland has 330,000 broadband customers, up 12 per cent, while the success of its product-bundling is evident in its home phone subscriptions, which have increased 25 per cent year-on-year to 279,100.

However, despite the launch of new services, UPC has found it trickier to increase its reach in television. It now has 336,700 digital television customers, up just 600 on last year.

Sky is the market leader for television subscriptions here, while both it and UPC now face new competition from Eircom, which last month launched its eVision television service, hailing it as a “game changer”.