Virgin Media rewards growing TV customer base with free upgrade

Virgin Media says the roll out of its latest set top box is one of the largest customer upgrade programmes ever carried out in the UK.

The Liberty Media-owned company is offering all of its existing TV customers a free upgrade to the V6 STB, which it launched in December 2016 to new customers.

The roll out to the remaining three-quarters of its customers comes after Virgin saw video subscriber numbers rise by 93,200 to 3.8 million in the nine months to 30 September 2017.

Virgin said V6 customers spend, on average, two hours longer watching TV each week, record twice as many programmes and are three times as likely to launch Netflix compared customers using its old TiVo STB.

[Read more: Netflix hails “beautiful” quarter as subscribers, sales and profits all rise]

The V6 also has 10 times the power of its predecessor.

CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “Until the launch of the V6 set-top-box, [Virgin Media] was losing TV subscribers.

“Since its introduction, the box has turned around its fortunes in a cut throat market.”

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media said: “We believe that our finest kit shouldn’t just be for new customers.

“So today we’re kicking off one of the largest existing customer upgrade programmes ever seen in the UK, accelerating the rollout of our best ever set-top box."

Virgin is second behind Sky, but ahead of BT and TalkTalk, in the battle for pay TV subscribers in the UK.

Yesterday, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority said that 21st Century Fox's proposed £11.7 billion take-over of the remaining 60.9 percent of Sky that it does not own was not in the public interest.

The regulator found that the deal would give the Murdoch family, which owns not only a 39 percent stake in Fox but also in Sun publisher News Corp, too much control over UK media.

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