Thursday, November 11, 2004

Q3 data points - UK last time

UK cable is making some pretty impressive headway on the triple play front. Last week NTL reported triple play penetration up to 23%, and each customer on average taking 2.0 services from the company. Today it was the turn of Telewest, which is more impressive - triple play in 24.4% of homes, and an average of 2.1 services per customer. Telewest has been more successful at digital conversion of CATV customers (now 83% vs. 68% at NTL), and also at cross-selling telephony (92% vs. 86% of total customers), while NTL has been more successful at converting CATV customers to broadband (55% vs. 47%). Still, Telewest added 70k new broadband subs in a much smaller footprint (NTL only added 47k), so maybe that is changing. I am also interested to see that Telewest managed to migrate 26k subs over to digital cable and still actually grow the overall CATV base, something NTL didn't get close to achieving. Maybe the difference is that Telewest actively promotes bundling, while NTL doesn't so far, though CEO Simon Duffy acknowledged last week that Telewest's approach might be worthy of emulation. Might Telewest think the same about NTL's DSL strategy following the debt haircut?

UPDATE: I neglected to mention that Telewest is rolling VoD in H1 2005, and a PVR in H2 2005, and the EU today approved the joint venture between Disney and Sony submitted in October to deliver on-demand content to NTL and Telewest subscribers in the UK and Ireland.

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