BT Vision’s growth slows

BT Vision image

BT is preparing to launch Vision 2.0 later this year

UK telco BT added 21,000 subscribers for its hybrid DTT+IP television service ‘BT Vision’ in the second quarter of this year to reach a total of 728,000 customers – fewer than the previous quarter, though the pace of additions is expected to pick up again once its new football-focused channel arrives next year.

BT secured the broadcast rights to 38 live games from the English Premier League and 18 first picks (around half of those available) for the 2013/14 to 2015/16 football seasons – and will create a new football-themed channel next year to host them all.

The company also revealed in its quarterly results that it expects to launch its first YouView bundles this autumn – and appears to be planning to operate these bundles in parallel with its BT Vision service, which is widely expected to be updated later this year.

BT added another 2mn UK homes and businesses to its fibre footprint in the three months to June, bringing the total to in excess of 11mn premises. It also plans to create another 2,000 jobs in 2012 related to this fibre rollout, including the recruitment of engineers and the opening of four new UK call centres.

Retail broadband additions were small over the quarter at 85,000, though they represented 50% of the entire net additions in the country – an indication of the saturated state of the UK’s broadband market.

With 150,000 new customers being added for its fibre broadband services in the period (bringing the total to over 700k), this suggests that BT actually lost 65,000 broadband subs connected via DSL or LLU.

Consumer revenues across all operations declined by 2% year-on-year in the period, with lower calls and lines revenue partially offset by growth in broadband, driven by an increasing contribution from fibre. This growth contributed to an increase in consumer ARPU from GB£ 343 (US$ 532) to GB£ 350.

Total revenues across all operations and markets for the second quarter of this year reached GB£ 4.484bn, down 6% from one year yearner, while pre-tax profits rose 8% to reach GB£ 578mn.

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