Sky fallout hits Virgin Media profits

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Sky fallout hits Virgin Media profits

£25million (A$59 million) rebranding programme fails to stop customer churn.

Virgin Media made a loss in the first quarter of 2007 as customers continued to desert the cable firm in the wake of its spat with satellite broadcaster Sky. 

An operating loss of £15.3 million (A$36.59 million) in the first quarter saw overall revenue fall by five percent to £1.02 billion (A$2.4).

Almost 47,000 customers left the cable service during that time, while the number of new customers signing up reached 184,300, down from 215,500 in the last quarter of 2006.

The losses came despite a £25 million (A$59 million) rebranding campaign that has seen the company tout its quad-play package of television, mobile phone, landline and broadband internet services.

Virgin's subscriber base now stands at 4.81 million, with an average revenue of £42.75 (A$102.22) per user per quarter.

Virgin is currently preparing legal action against Sky, which it accuses of abusing its market position by charging too much for its channels while refusing to pay the proper rate for Virgins channels.

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