Virgin doubles on demand views

By Julian Clover
February 1, 2010 10.49 UK

Over a quarter of a million homes are now watching on demand services through UK cable. New figures released by Virgin Media show an increase of 50% on the previous 12 months, with over 750 million on demand views.

Some 59% of Virgin Media’s 3.7 million TV customers are watching catch-up content from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Virgin 1 and Living. The cablenet now benefits from on-air references from ITV, though the BBC remains silent as to the availability of the iPlayer on Virgin, as it does not want to be seen to be offering promotion to a particular platform.

The BBC iPlayer was the first TV platform to launch on the cablenet, going live in May 2008, its take-up rising from 10.5 million views in June 2008 to a record 20 million views in December 2009.

The ITV Player achieved 25 million views over the last three months of 2008, thanks in part to top rating shows The X Factor, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Coronation Street.

Virgin Media recorded 76 million views in December alone, a 6% increase on the previous month.

Over 11 million movies were watched on demand during 2009, the Christmas holidays helping deliver a 29% increase for December over the previous month. Music also saw a 17% increase in views during December.

Virgin did not give any information as to the average viewing time to its VOD services.