12.34 Europe/London, July 15, 2011 By Julian Clover

Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, has reported a strong first half of the year with two-thirds of its subscriber base (896,000) now receiving a digital TV service.

Triple play continues to play an essential part in Ziggo’s growth strategy. An additional 39,000 customers took the All-in-1 bundle during the second quarter, taking the number to 1,178,000. Digital TV added 56,000, broadband internet 26,000 and fixed-line telephony 40,000.

Digital pay-TV subscriptions declined in the second quarter by 25,000 subscribers compared to 896,000 in Q2 2010 – proportionately the same as 12 months ago, but more noticeable given the increase in popularity of the Eredivisie Live football channel.

Blended ARPU in the second quarter of 2011 was €35.94, an increase of €3.14 or 9.6% compared to the prior year, helped by local price increases.

Revenues of €363 million were up 7.6% against Q2 2010, delivering EBITDA of €206.9 million, up 7.1%.

“With 56,000 new customers watching digital TV, already two thirds of our TV subscribers now have access to the quality and diversity of our Digital TV package which will be enriched even further in September when we implement our new TV proposition,” said CEO Bernard Dijkhuizen, adding that Ziggo was well placed to continue its strong financial performance following the decision of Dutch telecom regulator OPTA not to pursue its Open Cable strategy.